Hincheyville Neighbors Represent Past, Present & Future of Black Tie Event
Generations of Williamson County residents have made a tradition of supporting the Heritage Ball, the community’s longest-running black tie event. Now, Brian and Lisa Beathard of the Hincheyville neighborhood in downtown Franklin have been named Chairs of the Heritage Ball, and their neighbor Marty Ligon, who launched the initiative 41 years ago, will serve as Honorary Chair.
“Historic preservation is about honoring the past as part of our present and our future,” said Mary Pearce, executive director of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County. “This is a long-standing tradition and a principal fundraiser, so it’s exciting to see a young professional couple as Chairs who want to continue the Heritage Ball legacy that the ones who came before them brought to life.”
Brian Beathard currently serves as a County Commissioner in the 11th district. A sales executive in the transportation industry, he is a native Texan and a graduate of Baylor University. Since moving to Franklin with Lisa and their two children, Payce (9) and Ava (11), the Beathards have jumped headfirst into community service. Brian currently sits on the boards of the Heritage Foundation, Franklin Tomorrow, the Williamson County Education Foundation, the Downtown Neighborhood Association and Carnton Plantation. In addition, he serves on the County Budget Committee and the Parks and Recreation Committee, and is also a member of the Franklin Noon Rotary.
Born and raised in Nashville, Lisa Beathard is an alumnus of Brentwood Academy and Belmont University. A scholarship athlete at Belmont, she has been a Registered Nurse at St. Thomas Hospital for 18 years. She volunteers on a regular basis with Poplar Grove School, where the children attend, and has worked in support of various events for the Heritage Foundation, including the Town & Country Tour of Homes, the Main Street Brew Fest, Pumpkinfest and the Main Street Festival.
“Lisa and I fell in love with Franklin when we first met, and we knew we wanted to raise our family here and be involved with shaping the future of the community,” Brian said. “Now, almost 10 years later, we’re honored to be able to head a talented committee that orchestrates one of the most significant events of the year.”
Marty Ligon, who also lives in the Hincheyville Historic District, was the leader of a core group of people who conceived and executed the inaugural Heritage Ball 41 years ago. Back then, Carnton Plantation was home to tenant farmers, and had fallen into disrepair. During the frantic renovation in advance of the first Ball, bare wiring and other hazards were discovered, potentially heading off disaster for what has become one of the region’s most popular Civil War tourism destinations.
“Not only were we able to highlight the importance of Carnton and convince the families to allow us to borrow artifacts to decorate the house as it would have been before the Battle of Franklin, but things like Carrie McGavock’s portrait and the dining room table and many other key pieces remain in the home today,” Ligon said. “The Ball was the spark that set in motion a series of events that brings us to where we are now, which no one could have imagined back then.”
Ligon says it required a Herculean effort to pull off the inaugural event. People who were involved back then are some of the familiar faces you still see at the Heritage Ball today – people like Sandy Zeigler, Ann Herbert Floyd, Rod Heller, Danny and Teresa Anderson, and Joe and Betty Willoughby, who were named King and Queen of the Ball last year, and so many more.
“We were inspired by a cause that was important to us, and it’s a thrill to see how far everything has come today,” she said. “Sometimes people have trouble visualizing what something can be, and it’s always been a source of pride that we were able to accomplish our mission. I couldn’t be more delighted to serve as the Honorary Chair, and to share that recognition with everyone else who played a role.”
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. To learn more, visit www.historicfranklin.com or contact Torrey Barnhill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.