Eamon McCarthy Earls, 18, spent hundreds of hours researching his hometown of Franklin and interviewing longtime residents for his history book, titled “Franklin: From Puritan Precinct to 21st Century ‘Edge City.’ “
Earls spent a lot of time at the Franklin Public Library, poring over microfilm copies of the Franklin Sentinel, the town’s newspaper from 1883 to 1978, which provided “unusual, slice-of-life stories.”
Pictured: A troop of cavalry marches through downtown Franklin, around the time of the Spanish American War.
He came across some interesting anecdotes, including a brief gold rush in the 1890s in a woman’s backyard.
Pictured is a photo of Franklin taken from a tower on East Central Street around 1900. Dean Hall is the prominent building on the horizon.
In 1919, four anarchists accidentally blew themselves up while trying to destroy the American Woolen Mill in Franklin, which is now an apartment complex.
Pictured: The Morse Opera House (right) on Central Street in Franklin, around 1900.
“It’s really inspiring for somebody to have that kind of insight and compassion for the stories he’s retelling,’’ said Robert Percy, who serves as the clerk of the town’s Historical Commission.
Pictured: The 1918 Dean Academy football team.
A UMass Amherst geology and history double-major, Earls said he is thinking about future writing projects, but would like to branch out to other genres, including fiction.
This map of Franklin (pictured), dating from the 1790s, shows mills and the town center, as well as surrounding towns such as Wrentham, Medway, Attleborough, and Dorchester.