Three Blind Vines Offers Exception Silent Auction Items

3BVThose who enjoy glitz and glamour will be particularly taken with this year’s Three Blind Vines fundraiser at The Factory in Franklin on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014: the Next Generation Heritage Foundation has promised that the “Classic Hollywood” theme will offer a movie premiere-like ambiance with wine tastings, food pairings, live entertainment –and an extensive list of swanky silent auction items.

Next Gen President Sean Carroll says that topping the string of sought-after pieces and packages are two that go along with the preservation organization’s mission: a vintage corbel hand-selected by HISTORY’s American Pickers stars Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz; and a paranormal investigation of the Old, Old Jail with a 20-person tour lead by Syfy’s Killer Contact host Austin Cook.

Other notable takeaways from the 80-plus items on display include a private backstage tour, meal and movie screening at the Franklin Theatre; a weekend getaway to Knoxville with two nights in the historic Oliver Hotel in Market Square; a custom wine bar, created by local design firm Austin Bryant Moore; a soaring hot air balloon ride over Tennessee’s rolling hills, capped off by a romantic dinner at Sopapillas and hand-picked chocolates from Schakolad; and much more!

The event, presented by GRAY’S on Main, benefits the Franklin Theatre. If all goes accordingly this year’s fundraiser will pay off the non-profit’s financial commitment for the Franklin Theatre’s famous marquee, donated by Next Gen during the historic venue’s grand re-opening in 2011.

To see a complete list of the 2014 silent auction items and descriptions, go here.

A $35 ticket may be purchased in advance on the Three Blind Vines’ website for $35, or at the door for $45. To learn more about the event, go to

The Next Generation Heritage Foundation consists of members aged 21-40, and is part of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. 

Mike Wolfe Advocates For Old, Old Jail in HISTORY Channel Piece

HISTORY viewers across the country may have gotten an earful about a project making waves in the Williamson County community: a public service announcement-like clip launched on the channel earlier this month features “American Pickers” star Mike Wolfe extolling the praises of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County, and its initiative to restore one of the county’s historic properties.

Known as the “Old, Old Jail,” the non-profit organization purchased the ca. 1941 downtown Franklin building last year with hopes to restore the structure to serve as their permanent headquarters, and as a public resource for those interested in historic preservation.

The HISTORY television advertisement appears during the commercials breaks of the “American Pickers” seventh season, which airs each Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. CST.

“I was excited to have the opportunity to be part of the HISTORY channel video because I am a resident of Franklin and I know how important history is to our community,” Wolfe said. “It’s important for all community citizens, including young people, to become involved in saving community treasures. I am blessed to have an audience to take this message to.

“It is important to not just live in your community—each of us needs to be a part of it, too.”

This year, the Heritage Foundation plans to launch a fundraising campaign to raise the approximately $2 million it will take to rehabilitate the future “Big House for Historic Preservation.” Executive Director Mary Pearce says she hopes that these national HISTORY segments about the project will act as a catalyst for donors.

“We see the ‘Big House for Historic Preservation’ as a community resource, and a inspiration for all interested in saving the places that matter in Williamson County,” Pearce said. “We’d like to begin the restoration project as soon as funds are raised, and hope that this HISTORY piece will jumpstart that movement.”

Pearce says Wolfe, a Leiper’s Fork resident, approached her to participate in the HISTORY advertisement for the Old, Old Jail, which was donated by Liberty Mutual. The television star is a longtime supporter of the Foundation, and is an advocate for historic preservation.

The channel traveled to Historic Downtown Franklin in Fall 2013 to film the piece. Hundreds of local volunteers turned out to serve as extras for filming at Harlinsdale Farm, the Franklin Theatre and at the Old, Old Jail.

“We are grateful to Mike Wolfe for making a difference in this community, and using his voice and influence to help preserve our history,” Pearce said. “This kind of exposure is immeasurable.”

The two-minute PSA can be viewed on the Foundation’s YouTube channel at

Though it’s an opportunity for the non-profit to restore yet another neglected iconic building in Franklin—this is the same organization that saved the Franklin Theatre and has moved the wrecking ball from countless historic homes—the “Big House for Historic Preservation” will also feature vast archives.

Historian Rick Warwick has collected thousands of old photographs and documents, and helped hundreds of people learn more about their family and property histories over the years. These same resources help 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.

CNN Hero of the Year Chad Pregracke Appearing at the Franklin Theatre March 7

ChadCNN Hero of the Year Chad Pregracke, elected by CNN viewers for cleaning 7 million tons of trash out of the Mississippi River, is kicking off Keep Tennessee Beautiful month with a public event at the Franklin Theatre March 7. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will be among those participating in the morning event on Franklin’s Main Street.

The public is invited to the breakfast event from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Franklin Theatre for $10 per person.  Tickets are on sale now at for the March 7 event. His appearance is sponsored by Keep Tennessee Beautiful and the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and supported by several additional community groups interested in making the Harpeth River more of a community asset.

“Chad is proof that one person can make a difference. His passion and dedication have motivated countless others, including myself, to get involved. TDOT was proud to join him for the massive clean-up effort on the Mississippi River,” said John Schroer, honorary chairman of the event, former Mayor of Franklin and Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. “He is truly a hero, and we thank him for helping us bring positive change to communities across Tennessee.”

Keep Tennessee Beautiful is the primary sponsor of Pregracke’s appearance. March is “Keep Tennessee Beautiful” month and this event will help kick it off, according to KTNB Executive Director Missy Marshall.

“Keep Tennessee Beautiful is looking forward to bringing this international hero to the Franklin Theatre,” Marshall said. “His success can be applied to every other waterway in Tennessee, and we invite anyone interested to come to this presentation and be motivated to join the cause.”

Pregracke received the CNN honor for generating more than 700 clean-up days along the Mississippi River through his nonprofit organization known as Living Lands and Waters. He’s organized more than 70,000 volunteers to pick up 7 million tons of trash, 90% of which has been recycled.

In December 2013, he was nominated and awarded Hero of the Year by CNN viewers over a five-week voting process, but immediately took some of his $250,000 in winnings and dispersed $10,000 each to the other nine finalists for the award. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper said that had never happened in the history of the Hero of the Year Award.

Tickets to the event include a light breakfast with doors opening at 7 a.m., and the program is expected to last from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Waste Management is underwriting the complementary breakfast served in the theater lobby and several local organizations, including Franklin Tomorrow, Keep Williamson Beautiful and the Harpeth River Watershed Association, will be in the lobby with information about their efforts and opportunities to get involved.

To purchase tickets to the event, go to

Important Preservation Legislation: Act Today!

The Tennessee Preservation Trust has filed legislation that, if enacted, would make Tennessee the 36th state in the nation to have a historic preservation tax credit.
Thirty-five states – including all of the states contiguous to Tennessee – have enacted historic rehabilitation tax credits to encourage investment in the rehabilitation of historic buildings.

Because Tennessee does not have a historic rehabilitation tax credit, it is missing out on valuable, impactful, job-creating private capital investment that would preserve historic buildings throughout our state.

For the legislation to have a chance of success, lawmakers need to hear of your strong support today!

How You Can Make Your Preservation Voice Heard:

1. Today, please contact your state representative and state senator to urge them to become a cosponsor of this important legislation.

2. Please use this site to find your state representative and state senator:

3. Please call your state representative to urge him or her to become a cosponsor of House Bill 1474.

4. Please call your state senator to urge him or her to become a cosponsor of Senate Bill 1723.

5. Please tell your legislators that this legislation is needed to make Tennessee the 36th state in the nation to enact a historic rehabilitation tax credit and that it will create jobs, drive economic development, and revitalize main streets and downtowns throughout the state.

6. If you know your state legislator personally, when you see them, urge their strong support for this legislation.

Williamson Source Tours McLemore House

As the country honors Black History Month, Tom Murdic of the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County got together with Williamson Source‘s Nick Paranjape to talk about the “Black Tie Affair” benefit this Friday, Feb. 7.

Plus, the pair discusses the historic McLemore House off 11th Avenue North in downtown Franklin–a destination full of historic treasures and artifacts. For a tour of the McLemore House,  click HERE.