Franklin (Venango County)

The Venango County Courthouse

Franklin is a city in Venango County, in the Erie Region of Pennsylvania, in the United States of America.


Franklin was founded in 1741 by the French during the French and Indian War, where French Creek meets the Allegheny River. When the British saw the French had built a fort, they sent George Washington, who would later become the nation's first president, to tell the French that the territory had already been claimed by the British. The French refused, and proceeded to amass an army (including local Indians) to attack Fort Pitt and Fort Dusquesne in modern Pittsburgh. When the British began to attack Fort Niagara, the French were forced to send their troops north and the territory was claimed by the British. After American independence from Great Britain, the layout of the city was redesigned by Andrew Ellicott, who also helped design the layout of Washington, D.C. With the discovery of oil in nearby Titusville in 1859, wealthy oil tycoons moved to Franklin, quickly changing Franklin from an unknown to a wealthy, bustling town. With large fires consuming the oil fields in 1892 and 1894, the wealthy dispersed as quickly as they had come.

Today, Franklin, together with Titusville and Oil City, is known as the Oil Region. Although the town remains rather quiet, the oil boom has left the city with many historic buildings. The architectural features range from Victorian to Gothic Revival; it is said that all of the architectural styles used in the state from 1830 to 1930 can be observed in Franklin. The Episcopal Church also shows off the city's former wealth, with its complete collection of Tiffany Windows and mahogany pews. The Appalachian Mountains and forests that surround the area also make it a popular destination for hikers and bikers looking to get out of the cities to experience nature.


 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 36 36 47 59 71 79 84 82 76 65 50 38
Nightly lows (°F) 18 16 25 34 43 53 57 56 50 39 31 21
Precipitation (in) 3.4 2.7 3.4 3.4 3.8 4.3 4.4 3.5 3.4 3.1 3.1 3.1

Located in America's northeastern region, all four seasons can be experienced in Franklin. Spring and summer are often warm, but not uncomfortably so. August is generally the hottest month. In the autumn, the leaves typically begin to change colors around late September and early October around Applefest. It begins snowing around November. Lake-effect snow is not as great a concern in Franklin as it is closer to Lake Erie; however, it does occasionally cause heavy snow showers.

Tourist Information

Get in

By plane

Franklin Regional Airport (IATA: FKL) is a small local airport, with daily flights to and from Pittsburgh. Call 814-432-5333 for more information. Because of the limited flight options, many visitors prefer flying into Erie or Pittsburgh and then driving to Franklin however, flights are have become very affordable with government subsidies, so it may be more worthwhile to fly directly here from Pittsburgh.

By car

Route 322 runs through Franklin from the east and west, and Route 8 travels through Franklin from Erie to the north and Pittsburgh from the south.

By bike

If you are travelling from Oil City or Emlenton, you can enter Franklin by bike via the bike trail, which passes through Franklin. From there, you can easily travel to the downtown area.

Get around

On foot

Liberty Street contains shopping areas, the Barrow Civic Theater, the Courthouse, and the parks, making it a great place for those travelling on foot. St. John's Episcopal Church is also nearby, so visitors can see all of these without having to drive around however, not all of the sites are in walking distance, so those hoping to see more than the downtown area will need to take the bus or drive.

By car

The sites in Seneca, such as the mall and roller skating rink, can be reached from downtown Franklin by travelling on Route 322 East. For Two Mile Run County Park and Tri-City Speedway, drive down Rocky Grove Avenue. Rocky Grove Avenue becomes Route 417 outside of the city, but they are exactly the same road.

By bus

Franklin is served by the VenanGO Bus, which also has stops in Oil City and the Cranberry Mall. It costs $1.50 for adults and $0.75 for children ages 6-11. Children 5 and under, as well as Senior Citizens with PA Transit Passes, can ride for free. Buses operate from 8AM to 4PM and generally arrive at each stop once per hour, making it most convenient for shopping trips.


Much of the downtown area was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 for its architecture and history. Many of the shops, public buildings, and residences date back to the days when Franklin gained an immense amount of oil wealth. Notable historic buildings include the Courthouse, Public Library, churches, the Liberty Street shop buildings, and the Galena-Signal Oil Company building, which was once an oil refinery. The houses along Elk Street are exquisite examples of the Greek Revival architecture. Many other architectural wonders can be found scattered throughout the city.

Tiffany Windows in St. John's Episcopal Church
Much of the furniture on display belonged to the Osmer family and is original to the house, along with the light fixtures and Italian marble fireplaces. The house museum has many changing displays that include clothing, household items, tools and archival artifacts from the Society’s collections that help to tell the story of the history of Venango County.
Venango County Historical Society also houses a Genealogical Research Library and Archival Resource Center, and is the designated repository for Venango County artifacts. Donation.


One of the remaining petroglyphs on the Indian God Rock



Fountain Park during Applefest



In Downtown Franklin, most of the shops are located along Liberty Street. The street itself has a nostalgic feel that makes browsing pleasant (and even more so since the parking meters were removed). A few of the more unique shops are Something Clever, offering unique clothing and accessories, Franklin Press with a variety of toys and games, and the antique shops, Liberty Street Antiques and DeBence Antique World.





Internet access is available at the Franklin Public Library.

Go next

Routes through Franklin

CantonYoungstown Jct ← Jct  W  E  Warren Buffalo
Cleveland Meadville  W  E  Clarion State College
Erie Titusville  N  S  Jct W EButler Pittsburgh

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, January 06, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.