A century ago in Guilford history: Franklin Barker is wounded

By By Andrew Shosho and Ethan Wexler • 05/12/2022 04:00 AM EST

This is part of a series of articles on Guilford history researched and written by members of the Guilford High School History Club.

According to the Shoreline Times of April 6, 1922, Guilford resident Franklin Barker had “raked up” a pile of miscellaneous trash near his home at 139 Prospect Avenue in Sachem’s Head. Among the pile of trash collected for burning was a loaded shotgun shell, which exploded when exposed to flames. The discharge sent shrapnel in the direction of Barker, which injured his hands and legs, as the entire pile of leaves burst into flames. Fortunately, Dr. CW Robertson was nearby and attended to the injured Barker. Barker was then taken to Grace Hospital in New Haven, where “particles were removed” from his body. Barker remained in the hospital for several days, until he recovered. The Shoreline Times writes: ‘It is very fortunate that Mr Barker did not suffer more serious injuries’ as a result of this ‘very painful and unusual accident’.

In high school, Barker was a talented basketball player. He played on the Guilford High School team and formed his own team, called “The Invincibles”, with a group of friends. The team was coached by Reverend Olmstead. Also on the Invincibles list was a boy by the name of Harry Potter, although probably not the same Harry Potter as the books.

Helen L. Cuellar