New Franklin Nature Blog

As summer winds down and we head into fall, chances are good a lot of you will take advantage of the cooler temperatures to get out and about in the natural areas we have here in Franklin. From the DelCarte Reservation to the Franklin State Forest to your own backyard, there’s nature all around us waiting to be discovered and shared. 

Now there’s a place for us all to report sightings of interesting birds, wildlife and more! My buddy Mike Perrin has put together a brand new blog for Franklin residents to share our encounters with the natural world, so check it out and contribute next time you go for a local nature walk! I’ll be sharing my bird observations soon… 

Sprucing things up 

It’s been a busy summer so far! We’ve owned our home for almost five years now, and this year we’ve decided to take care of some major home improvements we’ve been planning ever since we bought. 

So far this year we’ve replaced our furnace and added central AC (for which we have been profoundly grateful in the recent heat waves), upgraded some ductwork, and replaced some insulation. But now, the major visible changes are underway, and our curb appeal is about to skyrocket!

This is where our front steps (brick and concrete, ugly iron railings) used to be, and where our solid granite steps will be installed soon. Once the steps are in, it’s on to vinyl siding and brand-new doors, so watch this space for updates, especially if you’re considering some upgrades of your own! 

Norfolk Registry of Deeds – July Real Estate Report

Here’s the report from the Norfolk Registry of Deeds on real estate activity in our county last month…

“Norfolk County Shows Unexpected Real Estate Results for July

Running counter to recent reports of robust real estate activity in Massachusetts and Greater Boston in particular, Norfolk County showed reduced levels of real estate sales and mortgage financing for the month of July.

Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell noted, “Last month the total number of deeds recorded, both residential and commercial, decreased 13% across Norfolk County from the previous July. The average sales price for these properties was $668,688, an 11% reduction.” In addition, the total volume of real estate sales, again both residential and commercial, fell 24% year over year.

The Register went on to say, “at first glance, the numbers are surprising, especially when considering the warm weather for the month and the continuing low interest rates. We are hearing from real estate professionals that the reduced volume is a result of low inventory and buyers being concerned about overpaying on properties.”

Lending figures also came in well below last year’s numbers. “During July, a total of 2,798 mortgages were recorded, a 5% reduction from July 2015. Total mortgage financing took a hit of 13% from the same time period,” noted O’Donnell.

One shining spot for July was the reduced level of foreclosure activity. A total of 17 foreclosure deeds were filed last month compared to 22 in July 2015. Also, the total number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings, the first step in the foreclosure process, closed at 43, a nice reduction from the 65 recordings for the same time period of last year. “While one foreclosure recording is one too many, I am encouraged by the reduced numbers. I am hoping that this is the start of a positive trend,” stated the Register.

The Registry continues to partner with Quincy Community Action Programs at (617) 479-8181 x-376 and Neighbor Works Southern Mass at (508) 598-0950 to help anyone who has received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage from a lender. Another option for homeowners is to call the Massachusetts Attorney General’s HomeCorps program at (617) 573-5333.

In regards to an important consumer protection tool available to property owners, Homestead recordings also experienced a 10% dip for the month of July. The importance of filing a Homestead, O’Donnell noted, “is to provide limited protection against the forced sale of your primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000.”

Register O’Donnell concluded, “July’s sluggishness was not what we were expecting. Clearly the evidence seems to indicate low real estate inventory has dampened the market. Potential buyers are concerned that they may be overpaying for property. On the other hand, sellers appear to be reluctant to put their property up for sale afraid that they will not be able to find something for themselves once their home is sold. Hopefully, an increase in real estate inventory can eliminate these concerns.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at or follow us on and/or

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at

Register William P. O’Donnell 

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds


phone: 781-234-3336


Feast of St. Rocco – August 11-14, 2016

It’s that time of year again! 

Franklin’s favorite festival, affectionately known as St. Rocco’s, kicks off next Thursday. Here’s the basic schedule of events: 

Thursday, August 11 6-10 pm

Rides and limited food (hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza) only

Ride all rides for $25

Friday, August 12 6-10 pm

All food booths open

Rides, midway and entertainment

Saturday, August 13 11 am-11 pm

Anointing Mass 10 am

Food booths, rides and midway open at 11 am

Entertainment begins at noon

The PawSox mascots Paws and Sox will be on the field at 1:30 pm 

Come meet Paws and Sox and take a photo with them

Sunday, August 14 12 pm-9 pm

Closing Mass and Procession of the statue to the field at 10:30 am

Food booths, rides, midway and entertainment begins at noon

Raffle drawings at 8:30 pm

Follow the Feast at their official page on Facebook for more info! 

New Listing – 321 Riverview Ave., Athol

I have a brand new listing to share with you! Meet 321 Riverview Avenue in Athol, Massachusetts.


This sweet ranch home has been well-loved by its current family, and it’s looking for a new owner to give it a few cosmetic updates and make it shine. Unusually for a ranch, it has an open, flowing kitchen/living/dining area, making it perfect for entertaining!


Three bedrooms and two full baths, including a master bath with whirlpool tub, complete the living area of this home.


That’s not all, though – a full basement, huge two-car attached garage, and shed will give you all the storage space you need (and even extra living space if you finish the basement). And true to the name of the street, you’ll have seasonal views of the Millers River from the deck!


Athol’s a little out of the way, but it’s extremely affordable – this home is listed at $159,900. Come see it for yourself at the open house on Sunday, July 31 from noon to 2 PM!

Downtown Streetscape Update – July 26, 2016

Two-way traffic is here, but the job’s not over yet! From the office of Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, here’s the latest on the downtown construction… 

“Today the traffic has opened to two-way in Downtown Franklin. Thank you to everyone for their patience and working to provide a safe flow of traffic in downtown.

However, there is still work to be done. The project will continue through the next couple months with odds and ends to complete, including installation of benches, bike racks, trash barrels, decorations, banners, American flags, finishing the crosswalks, planters, trees and much more.

Please contact the Town Administrator’s Office at 520-4949 with any questions. We will continue to keep the public informed through our website, Twitter and Facebook.”

Still one way!

Don’t be fooled by the fancy new yellow lines. Downtown Franklin traffic is still one-way for now!

The big changeover won’t take place until 5 AM on Tuesday, July 26. I’m hearing lots of reports around town of drivers who have narrowly avoided accidents, so please be safe, use caution, and spread the word to your local friends who might not follow Franklin media.