About Us

Franklin Farm

Historic Farm & Homestead

The Historic Metcalf Franklin Farm was the last complete dairy farm in Cumberland, RI.  It's agriculture and architecture  demonstrate the developmental history of Abbott Run Valley from the early 19th to the late 20th century. In 1994 and 2005, the Town of Cumberland purchased the intact 65 acres farm and, with the help from the HMFFPA, preservation and restoration has begun.  

The farm has had only two family owners, the Metcalfs and the Franklins.  The Metcalf family is one of the oldest families of New England arriving in 1637 to escape religious persecution.  In 1776 Liberty Metcalf was born in Cumberland, RI and purchased the land, in its entirety in 1801. In 1857, William Franklin purchased the farm with him and his descendants diversifying and farming until Rhody Franklin's passing in 2005.  

Additional historical information about this pristine, intact farm can be found on the 
National Register of Historic Places 
http://www.preservation.ri.gov/pdfs_zips_downloads/national_pdfs/cumberland/cumb_abbott-run-valley-road-142_metcalf-franklin-farm.pdf

The Garden

The garden has become a gathering place for citizens to join in and take part in giving back to those experiencing food insecurities in Rhode Island.  Partnering with the RI Community Food Bank, Franklin Farm's Community Garden has provided over 270,000 pounds of farm fresh, naturally grown vegetables for over 11 years.  Planting begins in May, when local school children experience a day of outdoor learning with traditional agricultural experiences.  Once the garden is in, volunteers are welcome to assist with tending, harvesting and boxing of vegetables on our Tending Nights.  By fall, the garden has given its bounty and efforts turn to preparing the garden for the winter months.    

Over the years our garden has brought a diverse and amazing group of volunteers.  All ages are welcome to take part including families, individuals and senior citizens.  For many years, groups have included the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Spurwink School, students from CHS, NCM, McCourt Middle, Brown University, Johnson & Wales, Providence College, Rhode Island College and CCRI.  In addition, Citizen's Bank, UNFI, Navigant Bank, EMC, CVS, The Valley Breeze, The Rotary Club, and the Masons.  We also hosted church organizations from Pennsylvania, Illinois, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.

Please contact us at franklinfarm65@gmail.com to find out how you can become involved.

The Buildings

The HMFFPA would like to thank the RI Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission 
for presenting the Town of Cumberland with a $150,000 matching grant for Phase 1, the exterior of the 1857 Franklin Homestead. 

There are three building in existence on the farm property. The William E. Franklin House ca. 1857, a late Greek Revival Farmhouse; an adjacent Garage ca. 1930; and the Liberty Metcalf/ William E. Franklin Barn Complex and Franklin Cow Stable ca. 1810, ca.. 1860, ca. 1930.  

18th to Mid- 19th Century Farm Walls can be found along Abbott Run Valley Road, surrounding the farm on the north, south, east and west, as well as in northern and western sections of the the fields.  

More information on the Buildings of Franklin Farm can be found on the 
National Register of Historic Places  

Board of Directors

Every member of our board of directors brings a unique set of skills and expertise to our organization. Elected by our Association, Board Members are all volunteers who are dedicated to preserving the farm for the future generations.

President:  Pam Thurlow
Vice President:  Denise Mudge
Secretary:  Julie Guerin
Communications/ Education:  Kathy Lambert
Historian:  Lesley McLaughlin
Board Member: Karin Robison
Board Member: Mia Ackerman
Board Member: Frank Matta
Board Member: Phil Frink
Board Member: Judy Quaglia (Garden Coordinator)

http://www.preservation.ri.gov/pdfs_zips_downloads/national_pdfs/cumberland/cumb_abbott-run-valley-road-142_metcalf-franklin-farm.pdf
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