The Village of Franklin is celebrating their bicentennial this year.

The Village of Franklin is celebrating their bicentennial this year.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Franklin’s bicentennial celebration starts with barn dance

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 2, 2024


FRANKLIN — Franklin is kicking off its bicentennial celebration with a dinner and barn dance April 6. The night will begin at 5:30 p.m. in a tent between Village Hall and the police station.

People can enjoy dinner from Nino Salvaggio’s, followed by an energetic night of square dancing. No square dancing experience is necessary as there will be a professional caller at the event to teach guests. There will also be beer and wine at the event.

Franklin Historical Society Secretary Nena Downing is the event coordinator for the barn dance.

“It’s a community-wide event for anyone in the vicinity that would be interested in joining with us,” Downing said. “Everybody is welcome to come to help us celebrate our 200th anniversary of the founding of the village.”

Guests will be the first to see the new exhibit, “Hoofing Through History.” This exhibit will give guests an opportunity to learn about Franklin’s first settlers.

This is an adult-only event. Tickets cost $60 per person. Free valet parking will be available.

Having it in the spring “gives us a chance to join with each other and celebrate the fact that spring has finally come,” Downing said.

To purchase tickets to the Dinner and Barn Dance, visit


Franklin’s first settlers
This event is the first in a series of many bicentennial celebrations. While the sign in Franklin says “founded in 1825,” they are beginning the celebration in April of this year, because the first settler arrived in Franklin in April 1824. They did not receive their land deeds until 1825.

“We figured we would just party for the whole year,” Franklin Historical Society President Ann Lamott said.

The first settler was Dillucene Stoughton. Prior to venturing out to the Michigan Territory, Stoughton and his family were from Niagara County, New York. According to the Franklin Historical Society, he purchased 80.6 acres of land on the east side of Franklin Road, from 14 Mile to Scenic Drive, for $1.25 per acre.

Stoughton’s arrival was followed by Elijah Bullock and his family about six weeks later. The Bullocks were also from Niagara County, New York. Bullock purchased 80 acres of land on the west side of Franklin Road, from 14 Mile to Scenic Drive, leading the men to establish the name “the Stoughton-Bullock Settlement.”

The first group of settlers who came to Franklin were all from Niagara County, New York. Interested in learning more, Lamott said she connected with the historical society in Niagara County to learn more about the first settlers’ connection to one another. This is where they learned that they were either neighbors or relatives.

“When they came here, they had a little community already established,” Lamott said.


More bicentennial events
After the kickoff event, the next event celebrating the bicentennial will be the “Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony — Walking in The Footsteps of Henry Cox” at 11 a.m. May 27.

As for the summer, the Strawberry Festival will be held June 23, the 200th birthday party on July 13 and the Main Street block party Aug. 21.

In September there will be the Franklin School Reunion Sept. 1, the Round Up Sept. 2 and a pancake breakfast at the fire station and build-a-scarecrow Sept. 28, followed by 1800s Woman’s Style Show Oct. 14, “Franklinstein” Oct. 26, and the Sip, Shop and Stroll event Dec. 5.