Next Generation Laying Foundation for Historic Preservation, Sept. 28-29

The Next Generation Heritage Foundation is heading up efforts to rebuild a bit of Franklin history.  In conjunction with the Dry Stone Conservancy (DSC), Next Gen will be hosting a workshop to both educate aspiring stonemasons and rehabilitate the walls of Rest Haven cemetery in the process.

This two-day workshop will be held Saturday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 29, and will focus on the crumbling stone wall façade on Fourth Avenue North.  Workshop participants will learn the basics of dry stone masonry, an architectural feature that is a hallmark of Tennessee and Kentucky.

In addition to the hands-on workshop, Next Gen and the Dry Stone Conservancy will be hosting a presentation on the history of dry stone walls and their importance to the area.  This free presentation will be held Friday, Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Franklin City Hall boardroom, and is open to the public.  The featured speaker will be Neil Rippingale, Master Craftsman with DSC.

“It’s not often that we literally get to lay the foundation for historic preservation in our community, and to make an impact that will benefit future generations here in Franklin,” says Next Gen president Sean Carroll. “Rest Haven is the final resting spot for such notable Franklinites as Tod Carter, so we are honored to help restore this hallowed ground.”

Rest Haven has been the site of previous restoration work, most recently in 2007 when the Heritage Foundation and DSC partnered on a similar rehabilitation project.  Since then, the City of Franklin Parks Department has assumed responsibility for the upkeep of Rest Haven, and is proudly partnering with Next Gen on this project.

Registration for this two-day course is $300 per participant, and includes all tools and materials.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

The Next Generation of the Heritage Foundation (NGHF) is comprised of members 21 to 40, and supports the larger mission of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County: To help protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County and to promote the ongoing revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.

Since its inception in 2006, Next Gen has hosted “Historic Socials” at local historic homes, hosted the last event held in the historic Franklin Theatre, chaired homes during Historic Franklin’s Tour of Homes, published two cookbooks–A Taste of Historic Franklin and A Taste of Historic Franklin Vol. II–and held an annual (and wildly popular) fund-raising event,Three Blind Vines, where all proceeds benefit the long-term sustainability of the Franklin Theatre.

For more information, contact the Heritage Foundation at 615-591-8500.

Rest Haven Cemetery  4th ave. in front of produce mkt.  (25 ft.)


Heritage Foundation Completes Purchase of Old, Old Jail

The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, a not-for-profit historic preservation organization, has completed the purchase of Franklin’s “Old, Old Jail” building on Bridge Street.

A unique opportunity was created when FirstBank approached the City to rehabilitate the former Post Office at Five Points, where the Heritage Foundation offices had been located for more than a decade. The Foundation’s Board of Directors was excited to learn that both the City and FirstBank understood the importance of keeping a postal service in this historic location. Everyone involved understood that this could be an opportunity to save another neglected iconic building in Franklin—the Old, Old Jail.

The ca. 1941 structure was originally the Williamson County Jail, but the City of Franklin acquired it in approximately 2005 as part of a land swap. The City sold the building to the Heritage Foundation for $25,000 which was donated by FirstBank. The Foundation expects to invest approximately $1.5 million restoring the building to serve as their headquarters, and as a public resource for those interested in historic preservation. Street Dixon Rick is serving as the architect, and Rock City Construction is the contractor.

“Our goal is to have gained the necessary regulatory approvals and to have the construction documents prepared by the end of the year. We’d like to begin the restoration project as soon as funds are raised,” said Heritage Foundation President Cyril Stewart. “The environmental studies have been conducted, and there were no significant implications for the site. Inside, our first objective is lead paint and mold abatement.”

The Old, Old Jail served Franklin and Williamson County for more than three decades. From the 1970s on, it was used at various times as a Highway Patrol outpost, an employment office, the County archives, and book storage for the school system. It fell into disrepair and has been vacant since 2008.

“Our vision is for this project to help spark the revitalization of the Bridge Street district,” said Franklin Mayor Ken Moore. “The Heritage Foundation’s track record with bringing historic treasures back to life – most recently with the Franklin Theatre – made them the perfect buyer for what was surplus property and an eyesore. This is a win-win for Franklin.”

Stewart says that this is an important milestone for the Heritage Foundation, which has rented office space in and around downtown for years.

“It’s an opportunity to own our own home, a permanent headquarters in downtown Franklin,” he said. “We’ve already begun the initial fundraising plans, and our vision is for this building to be a resource for the community, a place where anyone with a need for or an interest in historic preservation is welcome.”

In addition to the Foundation’s headquarters, it will also feature a vast archive of old photographs collected by Historian Rick Warwick, who has helped countless people learn more about their family and property histories over the years. Stewart says the Foundation helps home and building owners with everything from National Register of Historic Places nominations to Franklin’s Main Street program.

A meeting room will be available for non-profit and community use on the upper floor. Other resources for those involved in history, preservation and planning will be available to the public.

Since 1968, the not-for-profit Heritage Foundation’s mission has been to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County, and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation. To learn more, visit

 Old Jail by Ben Johnson copy (1).jpg


Heritage Ball: Design Chair Angela Calhoun Unveils Glimpses of 40th Annual Look

Sponsors, committee members and supporters of the Heritage Ball gathered at Gallery 202 in downtown Franklin on June 25 to get a sneak peak of what the upcoming Ball could look like.

Now in its 40th year, the Heritage Ball is the longest-running black tie event in Williamson County. Design Chair Angela Calhoun says she has some surprises in store for the Ruby anniversary, but talked the crowd through her inspirations and some sample table settings.

“I’m of course taking heavy cues from the traditional red of the 40th anniversary,” Calhoun said. “It’s going to be a very rich design scheme, with fabrics and flowers that are sort of over the top in terms of their luxurious feel.”

Calhoun showcased a flocked ruby damask tablecloth accented by champagne linens and china. Flower arrangements included red roses, of course, with pink lilies and hydrangeas and towering red birds of paradise.

Ball Chairs Jan and Andy Marshall welcomed the crowd and shared their excitement for the process. The Marshalls reported that fundraising and solicitations for high-end auction items are going very well.

“It’s been such a joy to work with FirstBank as our presenting sponsor and so many more who have stepped up to support the important work of the Heritage Foundation with this anniversary event,” Jan Marshall said. “We’ve been reviewing all that’s happened in historic preservation over the last 40 years in Franklin, and it underscores the critical role the Foundation plays in saving the places that matter. We’re looking forward to celebrating those wins, with an eye toward the future.”

All proceeds from the Heritage Ball support the non-profit Heritage Foundation’s mission: to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.  To learn more, visit

For more information on the 40th Annual Heritage Ball, please contact Torrey Barnhill at 615-591-8500 x20, or by email at