About The Commons at FranklinA little bit of history ...


The building at 1340 Liberty Street in Franklin, Pennsylvania was originally built in the Queen Anne style as the private residence of Richard Terrell in 1887.  It was apparently purchased by George H. and Lizzie White for $8,000 from Mr. Terrell through an agent, a Dr. G. B. Stillman. In 1889, there was a deed transfer from the Whites to a social club known as “The Nursery Club”. This club eventually became known as “The Franklin Club”, and was the social center of downtown Franklin for over the next century.

The Franklin Club was organized in 1877 as a social club by a group of local young men, home from college, with no place to gather for social activities. The club’s first headquarters consisted of a single corner room on the third floor of the Hancock building on the corner of Liberty and Twelfth Streets.
In 1879, this group was granted a perpetual charter as “The Franklin Club” organized for social fellowship and with a membership limited to fifty. Two years later the identity of the Franklin Club became lost with the granting of a corporate charter to another group of young men known as “The Nursery Club”. The membership merged and continued under the name of the Nursery Club until 1913. In 1913, the club petitioned the court to have its named changed from The Nursery Club to The Franklin Club.

After purchasing the home from the Whites, and before the Nursery Club moved in, they constructed the present ballroom and during the next decade added a billiard room, grand staircase, and large porch. The inviting 12’ x 16’ fireplace in the ballroom was built under the direction of the Honorable S.C. Lewis, who headed the Eclipse Works, which was located just north of Franklin. It was during the latter years that plans were drawn for the bowling alleys, kitchen, dining rooms, and grill rooms.
The original hard maple floors and southern pine trim in the ceiling remain intact. The raised stage area added prominence to the orchestra which provided music for weekend entertainment. The cost of the ballroom work was set at $6,000. The total cost of acquiring the property, its furnishings, and the additional was placed at $18,000. The completion of the redecorating and expansion of The Franklin Club was celebrated
with a gala event, which was held Friday, January 15, 1892. Some excerpts from the Franklin Evening News relative to the event follows:

“At 8:00 p.m., the carriages began to roll up to the clubhouse which was highly lighted by electric lamps."
"Toward 9:00 p.m., the rooms and halls were a moving mass of ladies and gallants.”
“An evening of dining and dancing was enjoyed by 728 guests.”
“900 Havanas were burned in the billiard room.”

In 1908, plans for the bowling alleys, kitchen, dining rooms and grill room were completed. Throughout the years, The Franklin Club has been improved to meet the demands of its membership, which in 1993 stood at 745. It was during that year that the latest upgrading, an $80,000 façade renovation project, was accomplished. Today, the club is very proud to serve as the civic center for this area and to offer its facilities as a launching platform for worthwhile community projects.

Owners Gary and Sandy Baker purchased the former Franklin Club building in 2009 and have restored it to its original luster. The facility has been renamed “The Commons at Franklin” and is no longer a private club. The Commons is a multi-level, multi-venue facility which houses McGinnis’ Irish Pub and Grill as well as The Terrace fine dining restaurant. The Grand Ballroom, The Galena Room, the Victorian Parlour, and The Heritage Room make for perfect private event hosting. Event Manager Lisa Richards will assist you to create an immaculate and memorable occasion. Two fully equipped kitchens under the supervision of our professional Chef Asa Seelbaugh, serve the finest cuisine and a staff of over 50 provides first rate service.