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    Franklin Historical SocietyFranklin Historical Society Franklin, Wisconsin
    Back in the day of 1836, Town 5 North, Range 21 East, was the first time that a quadrant of the Wisconsin Territory would be formed and cover some 36 square miles that made it the second biggest city, area-wise, in the state, and then finally named Franklin in 1838, after the great statesman, inventor and author, Benjamin Franklin. During the 1830s, that first wave of European immigrants would arrive here from Ireland, and since the region had excellent natural resources, it was a great place for people that had become used to hard work. The town was heavily wooded in that time, with a large variety of hardwoods like ironwood, hickory, oak, walnut, lynn, aspen and sugar maple and had outstanding numbers of wild game, the Root River and wetlands. Native Americans still would use it for their hunting grounds, along with the whites, but in the 1840s, the Irish would be followed by the Dutch and then Germans in the 1850s, with every wave of the newcomers causing the town to grow into the biggest farming community bordering the southern expanse of Milwaukee county. The initial recording of history for the town dates to 1839, when it would be recognized as a civil town. One of the finest indicators of how the town has grown and progressed, it was ranked 90th on Money Magazine's list of the 100 best places to live in the country during the year 2007, that focused on the smaller cities that offered the best blend of a real sense of community, good schools, economic opportunity, things to do and safe streets. Some of the historic structures that the historical society operates includes; the Sheehan-Godsell Cabin, the Whelan School, Old Town Hall and St. Peter's Chapel.

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    Wehr Nature CenterWehr Nature Center Franklin, Wisconsin
    The Wehr Nature Center sits on 220 acres of magnificent woodlands within the lovely 660 acre Whitnall Park area of southwestern Milwaukee County, the only nature center in the southern half of the county, with more than five miles of trails that link the center's natural communities: the Prairie, Wetland, Lake, Oak Savanna and Woodlands. There are many interpretive signs located around the center that will introduce you to the homes and habitats of the state's wildlife, with numerous study sites along the trails that offer guided groups the opportunity to investigate the natural world face-to-face. The visitor's center offers interpretive environmental education programs and displays along with an outdoor amphitheater. Other facilities include; a 20 acre Mallard lake with three islands that was finished being constructed in 1936 by the CCC, the visitor center and nature store, wetlands that also include shrub carr, floodplain forests, sedge meadow and access to a 1700 foot boardwalk that features two piers and a bird blind, maple and oak woodlands, restored Oak savanna and prairie and all the trails.

April 28, 2011