Meeting House Roof & Restoration Complete!

Franklin Township Historical Society members accept a check from Indiana Landmarks representative, Mark Dollaske, on August 20, 2015.

Franklin Township Historical Society members accept a check from Indiana Landmarks representative, Mark Dollaske, on August 20, 2015.

The Franklin Township Historical Society’s Meeting House (located at 6510 South Franklin Road) is one of the most recognizable buildings in southeastern Marion County. And for those of you driving, biking, or walking your dog by, you may have noticed that the Meeting House has a new roof! We also have a dry basement and much needed repair to the woodwork supporting our building. Thanks in part to a grant from the Indiana Landmarks Foundation and a very generous donation of materials and labor from Franklin Central alumnus Ed Holmes of Holmes Roofing, our building has received a much-needed facelift. We are truly grateful.

Built in 1871, the former Big Run Baptist Church was given by its last remaining church members to the newly formed Franklin Township Historical Society in 1976. The Meeting House is the home of the Historical Society and houses our sizable collection of donated artifacts, photographs, artwork, documents and books, as well as property, cemetery, and genealogical records. In the early 2000s, then-FTHS president Diana Stevenson was instrumental in the Meeting House being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Big Run Baptist Church

Big Run Baptist Church around the turn of the 20th century

Since 1976, the Meeting House has been open to the public twice a month with programming and activities. Current Open Hours are the first Saturday and third Sunday of each month, March through October, from 1 to 4 p.m. We also host numerous tours and special events for school classes, groups, and for our membership and community each year.

We encourage you to take an interest in the preservation and history of Franklin Township and to be active with the Franklin Township Historical Society. Join or renew your membership, or email us at franklintownshiphistory@gmail.com for more information on how you can become involved.

FTHS Meeting House with new roof

FTHS Meeting House with new roof

You are also welcome to join us at any of our upcoming events. Our next public event is the annual Harvest Dinner at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Wanamaker, October 24 at 1:00 p.m. (Reservations required; click here for more info.) Then, join us in the Meeting House on Sunday, December 13 at 7:00 pm for our traditional “Old Fashioned Christmas.” Sit in the same pews as did the original Big Run Baptist parishioners, look out our original, nearly 150 year-old ceiling-to-floor windows, sing along to your favorite carols, and enjoy the best Christmas cookies in town!

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