The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County is presenting a rare opportunity to buy a well-kept historic home with a great story for less than $10,000. The catch: the buyer must relocate the home to a suitable property in Williamson County.
The story-and-a-half home, built near the turn of the 20th century on the site of the former Franklin High School on Columbia Avenue, was moved across the street in the 1920s to this location to make way for the new high school. The simple post-Civil War house, which sits on the site of the Carter Cotton Gin that played such a pivotal role in the Battle of Franklin, includes all of the original trim, fireplaces, beaded board paneling and an incredible central staircase, along with several original windows and doors. The Foundation is offering it for $7,500, and will advise a qualified buyer on the relocation process.
“This is a historic home that has a lot of history, and we want it to remain a part of Franklin’s story,” said Heritage Foundation Executive Director Mary Pearce. “For the right person, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a historic house for next to nothing. We’ve been involved in moving nearly a dozen old homes; it is hard, tedious work and can be expensive, but it’s a labor of love. It is the road of last resort to save a house from demolition.”
The house is thought to have been built by Dr. Samuel Henderson Jr., who lived there until his death. Henderson’s heirs sold it to the City of Franklin when the site was chosen for Franklin High School in the mid 1920s, and the City offered this house and the house next door to purchase and move.
It is believed that Mrs. Robbie Hunter, who owned the Carter House at the time, is the one who relocated this house to a vacant lot on Cleburne Street, where it sits today. The current location of the second house is unknown. Mrs. Hunter rented the home out until her death in 1946, at which point it was inherited by her brother, Bennett Hunter, who then sold the house at auction. For years the Sawyer family lived there, and it was later owned and rented out by Heritage Foundation founding member Roy Barker. The Heritage Foundation purchased the property for $162,000 in 1997. Local realtor Danny Anderson handled the transaction at no cost, and then-Heritage Foundation President Julian Bibb was the pro bono attorney. The organization put $32,000 cash down, and the property owner, Mr. Barker, carried the financing.
“The Heritage Foundation purchased this property hoping that one day we might be able to reclaim more of the property that was at the epicenter center of the Battle of Franklin,” Pearce said. “Now that the Carter Cotton Gin Park is becoming a reality, this home needs to be moved to interpret what happened on this site that means so much to Civil War history. This house has already been moved once, but we can never change the location of this sacred ground.”
Plans call for the house to be moved off the property by March of 2014. Interested parties should contact Pearce at the Heritage Foundation at 615-591-8500 x15.