Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Books For a Bell

It all began at the end of the American Revolution when a problem arose that divided the citizens of Wrentham. The problems grew so much some of the citizens left and started their own town which they called New Wrentham. The traditional New England way of building towns was to first build the cultural and governmental buildings in the middle of every town. This would include churches, banks, and so on. Anyway, after they built the church they noticed that it was missing the bell in the steeple. Why make such a big fuss? Well first of all, the bell could summon the citizens for a mass at the church, but also it was needed to let the people know of any type of an emergency.

So what did the leaders of the town do? They decided to rename the town after Benjamin Franklin. They hoped this would get Dr. Franklin's attention. Then they wrote a letter to him telling him what they did. Though, this did not impress Dr. Franklin, he later wrote back suggesting that "sense is better than sound," and suggested a better way of helping the town. Instead of a bell, he gave them books and suggested that they should start a library. The people of the new town followed what he said. So 200 years later, they have one of the oldest public libraries in the United States!

Like this story? It was adapted from SHOCKING SECRETS OF AMERICAN HISTORY, 115 Surprising and Amusing Tales. Get the book for more Shocking Stories!


  1. Interesting post - I'd never heard that before. Made me go look up Franklin, MA:)

  2. Yeah that's what I thought when I first read this!