The Francestown Improvement and Historical Society has purchased
an 1846 building that is an architectural and historical gem, which
will become its exciting and permanent new home. Built by Oliver
Butterfield, it was known as the Butterfield Block. It is located next
to the Town Hall and carriage sheds and was used as a boarding
house/dormitory for the Francestown Academy (presently the Town Hall) as well as a home for Mr. Butterfield.
For many years this building has been affectionately referred to as “The Beehive.” No one knows for sure the origin of its name, but there are several theories: the most common is that with all the students from the academy coming and going, it resembled the activity of a beehive.
And now we have the opportunity to bring the building back to life. Thanks to some very generous donors, and in large part to a grant from the Land and Community Heritage Program (LCHIP), our Rehabilitation Work Has Begun! Imagine what the Beehive will look like with a fresh coat of paint, a new roof, repaired windows and siding, and bright interior rooms that are ready for programs and to display and showcase the FIHS historical collections and artifacts.
We envision a building that is alive and bustling with activity: educational opportunities for children and adults, seminars, holiday celebrations, small
meetings, tours, essay contests, as well as being a place to honor, house, and
preserve collections from the past, so that future generations can appreciate
where we have come from and where we are going.
A great deal of work has to be done, but together we are making it happen.
The FIHS board of directors has established the “Beehive Restoration” campaign. In order for this campaign to be successful, we must involve the entire community in various ways and create an intellectual and emotional connection to the building and its purpose. We have been given a wonderful opportunity to participate in bringing this exceptional building back to life. This project, and ultimately its completion, has the potential to awaken tremendous interest and enthusiasm in every person, child and adult, to the importance of protecting and preserving who we are as a society and what defines us as a culture. For all of us, both neighbors and friends, it will be a a pleasure to be part of this process.
Please join us.
Yes! I'd love to help....