My grandmother, Fran Hines, instilled in me a strong sense of family, tradition and pride. My entire family routinely gathered around her table for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, as well as countless cookouts and random get-togethers. Gram’, as many knew her, was everything you’d expect of a grandmother. Caring. Nurturing. Wise. As I grew, I realized she shared these qualities not only with our family, but her extended family as well. Her friends. Her community. Her Magnolia.
Of course the Magnolia of Gram’s youth was steeped in tradition and rich in history. There was the Oceanside Hotel, the New Magnolia, Green Gables and many more grand landmarks. There was the Fuller House, which later served as storefront for Doc Vieira’s pharmacy and penny candy store. And there was loss. Fires and storms ravaged her village over decades changing Magnolia’s landscape, but not the tradition and heritage that the structures symbolized. That history was too precious, too important to simply let be forgotten.
And so Gram’, at the tender age of 55, with a story to tell and preserve, set out with a group of neighbors and friends in 1982 and established Magnolia Historical Society, Incorporated from a tiny room within the Magnolia Library Center. They collected old photographs from friends and neighbors, salvaged artifacts from the Ocean Side Hotel and began to file and archive.
Gram wanted to ensure that the beautiful architecture and history of her beloved Magnolia was not forgotten. She wanted to be sure that our ever changing, enchanted corner of the world had a voice. That was Gram. That was Franny. That was Francis Hines. The consummate grandmother, friend and citizen.
In 2010, I was asked to take the helm of Magnolia Historical Society -- the very office held by my grandmother. I couldn’t have been prouder to do so. I was elected President and accepted the awesome responsiblity of celebrating Magnolia's glorious past. Of carrying on the sense of family, tradition and pride that I’ve known my entire life. To instill, as Gram did in me, the same appreciation and love for the village I’ve lived in my entire life. A village of my family and friends. My Magnolia. Our Magnolia.