Franklin Relic Hall to extend War Exhibit

Susan Hawkes, curator at the Franklin Relic Hall shows the display of photographs taken by Newell Handy, a resident of Franklin who served in WWI.

The Pioneer Relic Hall Museum and Historical Site in Franklin, ID is extending their display of relics from both World War I and World War II donated from local families until Sept. 1. The display was put on to showcase the 100th anniversary of WWI.

Susan Hawkes, curator at the Hall, said the display has been quite popular.

She said, “We had about 600 people come through here during Idaho Days. We have had some interest in our displays.”

Items include photographs taken by Newell Handy, a resident of Franklin who served in WWI. Among the photographs of him on the ship, Santa Maria, are pictures of fellow soldiers interacting with French people when they docked. There are uniforms, medals, and other artifacts from not only American soldiers but also German and Japanese soldiers.

“We have the registration cards from the Monson Store,” said Hawkes. “One registration card we found was Harold B. Lee’s, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who taught school in Franklin County.”

Among their display items is an original German Iron Cross. She said the Iron Cross is the highest medal you can get in the German Army.

There are a host of objects and other material local soldiers of both wars brought back from the war. Two of the local soldiers survived the Bataan Death March.

Hawkes explains where the display came from and why she thinks the items are important for people know about.

For instance she explained the importance of victory gardens.

She said, “people were encouraged to grow gardens so they would take away from the food being given to the soldiers. Recycling was also a big thing back then. People were asked to give metal and used tires to help the war effort.”

The Relic Hall is located at 113 East Main in Franklin, Idaho and is open from Memorial Day until Labor Day, Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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