Director of Preservation Hired – Meet Annabeth Hayes


Annabeth Hayes joins the non-profit’s team to aid efforts in county-wide preservation and advocacy

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County has hired Annabeth Hayes as director of preservation. Hayes will assist the Heritage Foundation in efforts of preservation throughout Williamson County, along with education and advocacy for the non-profit organization.
“I am thrilled to have Annabeth join our team later this month,” said Bari Beasley, CEO of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. “Her education, professional experiences at Colonial Williamsburg and the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, along with her desire to be part of our Williamson County community make her a great fit for the Heritage Foundation. I look forward to all that she will accomplish as she focuses on education, advocacy and preservation throughout Williamson County.”
Hayes joins the Heritage Foundation after working on an architectural preservation project with the Grainger Department of Architectural Preservation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Prior to her work with Colonial Williamsburg, she served as a graduate research assistant at the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, working alongside historian Dr. Carroll Van West on local history exhibits and historic preservation projects from Memphis to Chattanooga, African American neighborhood projects in Alabama and North Carolina and a history and heritage plan for Rockdale Plantation located on the Trail of Tears in Georgia.
David Garrett, chairman of the Heritage Foundation board of directors added, “This is an important position to the Heritage Foundation as we continue preservation projects throughout Williamson County. We look forward to Annabeth’s leadership and guidance in this position and are confident that she will make a wonderful addition to our team.”
Prior to her professional experience, Hayes earned her B.A. in history from Rhodes College and completed the 2017 Summer Institute in Southern History and Culture at the Museum of Early American Decorative Arts in Salem, North Carolina. She is completing her M.A. degree in public history with a concentration in historic preservation at Middle Tennessee State University under the direction of Dr. Carroll Van West.
About The Heritage Foundation
Since 1967, the nonprofit group has been dedicated to protecting and preserving Williamson County’s 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. For more information on the Heritage Foundation, visit

Heritage Foundation and Studio Tenn join forces


For the first time, the Heritage Foundation and Studio Tenn are joining forces for a special evening. Studio Tenn is bringing back Battle of Franklin: A House Divided which, is a peak into the Carter household during the days of the Civil War. If you’ve lived here very long you’ve surely toured the Carter House. You have seen the bullet holes that riddle the back porch and heard the stories of how the family and slaves took cover in the basement as one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War raged overhead. Now it’s time to meet those individuals.
Though a fictional account, Battle of Franklin: A House Divided is a peak into what might have been in the hearts and minds of Todd Carter, his family and their slaves.
On September 8th, preceding the play, you’ll have a chance to taste some Tennessee Whiskeys, compliments of Moon Wine and Spirits. After the play, join Rick Warwick, Williamson County Historian and Playwright, A.S. Peterson, for questions and answers.
As a Heritage Foundation member, you receive a 10% discount. To enjoy this unique evening on September 8th, go to and use promo code “Heritage”.


New CEO Named!

Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County Selects First-Ever CEO

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County, the non-profit organization behind much of the historic preservation effort that made Franklin the community it is today, has announced its first-ever CEO. The Foundation’s Board of Directors selected Bari Watson Beasley, a Williamson County resident, to succeed longtime Executive Director Mary Pearce as head of the organization.


Heritage Foundation Board President Julian Bibb said Pearce has spearheaded a nationally recognized campaign to preserve and enhance the Franklin community for 30 years, and that Beasley is the right leader to carry the organization forward.


 “Ms. Beasley is highly qualified to lead the Foundation, from non-profit management to public relations and everything in between,” Bibb said. “She possesses an array of outstanding professional skills that are necessary to maintain the organization’s ongoing success and carry it into the future.”


David Garrett, incoming president of the Heritage Foundation’s Board of Directors, served as chair of the Transition Committee, whose members worked tirelessly for 12 months to prepare the Foundation for its next 50 years. The Committee developed a new organizational structure and job descriptions for the Foundation’s current staff, as well as a comprehensive job description for the organization’s first CEO. The Committee was composed of Angela Calhoun, Pam Chandler, Josh Denton, Dr. Allen Sills, Cyril Stewart and Garrett. The call for applications for the CEO position generated an overwhelming response from scores of applicants from across the country, and the committee evaluated applicants in a three-tiered selection process. The end result was the Board’s enthusiastic selection of Beasley last week.


“Bari Beasley has exceptional credentials, with deep experience in non-profit leadership, marketing and development – all of which make her uniquely qualified for the new CEO role,” Garrett said. “Most importantly, Bari has a passion and love for Williamson County, as well as the proven drive to build on the Foundation’s past success in order to continue the important work and build upon the legacy of this organization.”


 Beasley brings more than 15 years of experience in marketing and non-profits, most recently serving as the chief officer of marketing and external relations for the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), a global agency of The United Methodist Church.  At GCFA, Beasley oversaw three divisions, including marketing and communications, travel and meeting planning and external relations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in advertising and public relations, both from the University of Alabama. She lives with her family in Thompson’s Station.


 “I am honored that the Heritage Foundation’s Board of Directors has chosen me to follow in the footsteps of a truly remarkable leader – Mary Pearce,” Beasley said. “I look forward to working with the staff, the board and community leaders in continuing the Foundation’s mission of ‘saving the places that matter in Franklin and Williamson County.'”


Pearce said she is excited to have someone as talented as Beasley succeed her, given the longstanding and important role the Foundation has played in creating a wonderful community. She is looking forward to the Foundation’s continued growth under Beasley’s leadership.


“As I seek to scale back my work duties, I am pleased that the Heritage Foundation will have this caliber of leadership to guide this great team and organization into the future,” Pearce said.


Since 1967, 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.

Preservation Alert! We need your help!!


This could be your new neighbor...

There is a bill before the Tennessee Generally Assembly right now that would drastically affect the way Franklin and Williamson County neighborhoods are built and would look. HB0476 is a zoning bill which removes our local government’s ability to adopt local residential building design standards.

This bill allows developers to set aside existing city building design standards. For instance, rules such as garages must be oriented behind front porch lines and entryways would be null and void. Builders could use lesser quality materials or fewer architectural elements than other homes in the same neighborhood that are already built. This means if there is an empty lot next to you, there may be no exterior design controls.

*There is an exception to allow Historic Overlay Zoning, however, this only covers a small part of Franklin and there are “gaps” even within the Historic District.

The City of Franklin’s leaders are working to stop this legislation which has already passed Senate Committee. To quote Mayor Ken Moore, “This could be a disaster in neighborhoods and in infill areas.” Our local and state officials are working to fight this legislation.

Our town and county values design standards.

If you agree, that the ability to manage how the neighborhoods look should be kept a local level, please contact Representatives, Senators and the Governor’s Office to ask them to vigorously oppose this bill.


Thank you,

Mary Pearce, Executive Director
Julian Bibb, Chairman of the Board
The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County