Franklin: Then and Now


The Sacred Heart School of Theology, located on Hwy. 100 near Rawson Avenue, was originally known as the Sacred Heart Monastery and as a seminary for the training of men into the priesthood. It was originally built across the street from the present buildings.

The original building was built in 1897 as a convent for nuns. By 1929 the Priests of the Sacred Heart bought the property and they were the ones to rename it the Sacred Heart Monastery. The property included a multi-storied cream city brick building, numerous farm buildings, a grotto and a boathouse. The property overlooked a large lake, originally called Franklin Lake but now known as Monastery Lake.

In the 1960’s the seminary decided to replace the old deteriorating buildings with a new complex on 20 acres of land across the street. The new buildings were designed to be very distinctive and included an altar centrally positioned with a dramatic sky dome and an imposing gold crown above. On the original site today is a recently built large residential complex which includes living areas for retired clergy.

Upcoming Events

Open House Dates

The Franklin Historical Society will have our five historic buildings open for touring from 3 PM to 4:30 on Sunday June 22, Sunday August 3 and Sunday August 17 following the Music in the Park concerts.

The buildings will also be open for touring immediately following the City of Franklin’s 4th of July parade.

Please contact Jim Luckey at 414-421-6539 if you have a group who wishes a free private tour of the FHS historic village.

Save This Date!

Saturday, Oct 4, 1 - 4 pm - Join the Franklin Historical Society for a special FREE movie event to celebrate the "raising of the barn." We will be showing the 1947 classic, "The Egg And I", with Claudette Colbert, Fred McMurray, and introducing "Ma and Pa Kettle". Cine dressed as a hardworking farmer or as carefree Ma and Pa Kettle to be eligible to win a door prize. Refreshments will be served. Bring the children /grandchildren to this fun, family film, "The Egg And I". Donations to the barn would be appreciated
See "ya" there!

An Old-Fashioned Christmas

On Saturday Dec. 13 there will be three non-denominational services held at several times: 4:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. at our St. Peters Chapel In Lions Legend Park. After each service cookies, snacks and beverages will be served in the Old Town Hall. Live music and song of the season will be enjoyed by all. The Whelan School and the Sheehan-Godsell Cabin will also be open for public touring.

On Saturday Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. children are invited to celebrate the Christmas season by making decorations for the school house and trimming the school tree. They will learn poetry and songs of the season. On Saturday Dec. 13 the continuation of the Whelan School Program precedes the St. Peters services.

Fall Barn Dance

Sunday, Nov. 9 1-4 pm - The FHS will be hosting its annual Fall Barn Dance at the Hideaway Pub & Eatery 9643 S. 76 St. There will be music by Vern & The Originals, raffles, games, dancing and a lot of fun. Advanced tickets at the Hideaway or by calling Luanne Burdick at 414-423-0065. All proceeds go to the FHS barn fundraising project.

What's New

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Chapel Weddings

Our chapel is available for weddings and other ceremonies. Couples interested in a quaint chapel wedding ceremony are welcome to rent the St. Peters Chapel for such a service. The chapel holds up to 50 guests and an organist is available if requested. For reservations, contact Marian Luckey at 414-421-6539 or luckeyjim@yahoo.com

Tours Available

We love to show our buildings to anyone interested in a tour. If your group or organization is interested in a tour please contact us to schedule.

Living Museums

Whelan School Living History Experience: Teachers are invited to sign up their elementary class for a day of learning in a rural one room school setting. Contact Barbara Pforr at Bap4@earthlink.net for more details.

Scout Outings

Tours of our grounds make great outings for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.