Look beyond the beloved Artcraft Theatre for even more Mayberry charm.

[1] Snack
With the warm comfort of an old-fashioned candy store, M.W. Wadsworth & Co. Fine Chocolates is full of indulgent treats shipped in from all over the country. An antique case features 24 flavors of truffles, including cappuccino and Kahlua White Russian. 154 E. Jefferson St., 560-5624.

[2] Craft
Middle David’s Artisan Candles has the bright idea of hosting make-your-own-candle parties, with almost 200 scent samples to choose from, and even gives you a partial refund if you bring back empty jars for reuse. Just want to shop? More than 20 scents have been created by local artists ($11.50 to $19.99). 152 E. Jefferson St., 738-3886,

[3] Decorate
Julie Stewart’s Salvage Sister’s Antique Market repurposes everything but the kitchen sink—and possibly that, too. The concrete-floored shop sells elegantly refurbished furniture and architectural elements, including doors, dressers, and banisters. 398 E. Jefferson St., 736-4353.

[4] Shop
Bird on a Wire boutique specializes in upcycled goods—and will become one itself when the shop moves into an old service station later this month. Bold block letters from vintage storefront signs, knit scarves, industrial wall clocks (pictured, right), and handmade jewelry crafted from silverware are just a few gems you’ll find in this eclectic shop. 296 E. Jefferson St., 738-4237,

[5] Sip
The only place in town with local artwork, Benjamin’s Coffeehouse is usually flooded with regulars nursing one of the 20 brews or lining up early for the day’s first batch of chocolate-chip scones. Sample January’s Drink of the Month: Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate. 49 E. Court St., 736-0048,

[6] Play
Located on a residential street, Imagination Station is worth the walk for educational toys. Kids can pile favorite finds into their own “birthday bucket” so relatives know what to buy. 198 N. Main St., 736-9636.

IN THE KNOW: Rob Shilts
Emcee at the Artcraft Theatre and executive director of Franklin Heritage Inc.

What is Franklin’s best-kept secret? We have amazing festivals, especially in the summer.
Best memory as an emcee?
At the Artcraft, we give away “Long Distance” awards for the person who travels the farthest to get to the theater each night. One night, the International School of Indiana brought a bus representing 17 countries. We had to scramble to collect prizes for all 17 people.
Junior Mints or popcorn?
Jumbo popcorn, lightly buttered and layered.


Photos by Tony Valainis; photo of Rob Shilts courtesy Franklin Heritage Inc.; illustration by Scotty Reifsnyder.

This article appeared in the January 2013 issue.


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