(This post is part of a series about my research of Fitchburg architect H.M. Francis)
Today, I accomplished two important steps moving forward in my research.
First, I went through over fifty building/labor specifications for H.M. Francis buildings and added them to the growing inventory. Some highlights included a house in Athol that was moved twenty feet further from the road before being remodeled and an abundance of boiler systems installed in many of the commercial buildings.
Second, I found the obituary for Sidney Francis, H.M.'s nephew. He died while in New Haven, CT and I thought it would've been easier to find his obituary in the New Haven Register. At the end of the day today I decided to check the Fitchburg Sentinel to see if there was a death notice or maybe an obituary as well. (Sidney was a former resident of Lunenburg). Lucky for me, a very detailed obituary was published in the Sentinel. The obituary gave me a few key dates that corresponded with his tenure at Yale University as well as other architectural firms he was employed with.
The specifications were very detailed and interesting to read. They allowed for a more technical aspect to be taken when considering all of the intricacies and nuances in a particular building. The Sidney Francis obituary helped to iron out more dates and names to understand more about the talented Francis family.