Cindy Townsend Holding Silent Auction for Foundation Through Franklin Store

Town’s End General Store in downtown Franklin announced the closing of its store this week–but when one door shuts, another one opens!

Cynthia Townsend, owner of the shop, also revealed that she will open her franchise-owned business, Jamba Juice, in its location come Spring 2015. Though Town’s End General Store is closing, it is now offering discounts on items throughout the store–including display and antique items.

The sale will continue through the first week in February, and conclude with a silent auction coinciding with Franklin Art Scene on Friday, Feb. 6. The silent auction will end on Friday, Feb. 8. The proceeds from the event will benefit the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and Williamson County CASA.

Silent auction items will include merchandise left after the store’s sale, items Cindy has saved for the auction, antique pieces from Cindy’s own collection, and more!

“We are glad to have the opportunity to give back to our community through local charitable involvement,” Cindy says.

Jamba Juice Company is a leading restaurant retailer of all-natural, specialty beverage and food offerings–which include whole fruit smoothies, fresh-squeezed juices, breakfast wraps, wellness bowls, sandwiches, flatbreads, kids’ meals and a variety of baked goods and snacks.

“Community involvement is extremely important to the Jamba brand, and we want to continue to have an impact in the area by promoting a health, active lifestyle through better options–as well as programs that support schools, youth sports and local causes.”

Town’s End General Store is located at 504 West Main Street, two doors down from Sweet CeCe’s.

To learn more about Jamba Juice, go to

Cannons on the Square Campaign

cannons on the sqaure

Today, there are four Civil War era cannon tubes displayed on Franklin’s Public Square.  These original Civil War cannons are mounted on unattractive, inappropriate concrete pedestals that do not do justice to these historic artifacts or add to the aesthetics or character of the best small town in Tennessee.

Volunteers from several Franklin preservation groups have formed a committee with the mission to purchase carriages and mount the four Civil War era guns on the Franklin Square by November 30, 2014: the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Franklin. They have studied various options and determined that the cost to buy and install four National Park-quality reproduction No. 1 Field Carriages is approximately $60,000.

The plan is to apply for grants from the Tennessee Historic Commission, the City of Franklin, and other organizations.  The Committee will still need to raise a substantial portion of the $60,000 from private donors. Save The Franklin Battlefield, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, has offered to receive and hold the donated funds as the project progresses.

These city-owned cannon tubes are original bronze Federal Model 1841 6-Pounder Field Guns, cast in Massachusetts between 1847 and 1861. Two were cast in Springfield by N. P. Ames Founder in 1847; one in Chicopee by Ames Company in 1853; and one in Boston by Cyrus Alger & Company in 1861.

Your generous contribution will ensure these historic guns are protected and mounted appropriately as an honor to those brave soldiers who served during the Civil War. They will also serve as a visible and lasting reminder to future generations of the great struggle that is an important part of our American heritage.

Members of the CANNONS ON THE SQUARE CAMPAIGN committee are: Pam Lewis, Sam Huffman, Dr. Sam Gant, Alderman Mike Skinner and Colonel (Ret) Sam Whitson. For more information or questions, visit the STFB web site at: or call 615.500.6612.

Send your contributions by May 30, 2014 to:


P.O. BOX 851

FRANKLIN, TN 37065-0851


Main Street Festival Returns, April 26-27

The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County’s 31st Annual Main Street Festival, presented by First Tennessee, will return April 26-27, 2014 to Historic Downtown Franklin, Tenn.  The event will feature more than 200 artisans and crafters, three stages for all-day entertainment, two blocks of children’s activities and two food courts.

The free two-day weekend event will run Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the Fourth Avenue street dance continuing until 10 p.m. on Saturday night.  All activities will re-open Sunday, April 27, from noon to 6 p.m.

More than 130,000 visitors are expected to attend the weekend that’s packed with family-oriented activities, non-stop musical entertainment and international flavors provided by the 20-plus food vendors.

Artisans and crafters will be selling handmade work, including original oil and watercolor paintings, pottery, jewelry, furniture, woodworking, ornamental iron, stained glass, photography, home and garden accents, birdhouses, leatherwork and much more.

In addition to a juried arts and crafts show projected to host more than 200 entries, the festival will offer two special areas of children’s activities on Third Avenue South and Third Avenue North.

Patrons will also enjoy live entertainment throughout the two-day event at any of the three stages: the First Tennessee Stage on the Public Square; the Heritage Stage on Fourth Avenue North; and the Beer/Wine Garden Stage on Fourth Avenue South.

Three designated food areas will offer a tasty variety of everything from roasted corn on the cob and stuffed baked potatoes to Polish sausage, Greek gyros and Asian and Mexican cuisines. And don’t forget the Southern fare: barbeque, burgers and hotdogs, smoked turkey legs, funnel cakes, kettle corn and more will be offered.

A shuttle service provided by the Franklin Transit Authority will be available to transport people from the free parking lots at Harlinsdale Park on Franklin Road and at The People’s Church on Murfreesboro Road. Shuttle rides to the event are $1 for adults and 50 cents for children and seniors. Both sites will operate on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Only the Harlinsdale site will operate on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Main Street Festival is presented by First Tennessee with major sponsors Hidden Valley, The Kroger Co., Williamson Medical Center, The Grove, Patterson Company, AT&T U-Verse, Wyndham Resorts, LeafFilter and The City of Franklin. Supporting sponsors include Fox 17, Clear Channel Radio, The Tennessean/Williamson A.M., Franklin Home Page, Schroeder Chiropractic, K-9 Off-leash, Durante Home Exteriors, Summerwinds Resorts and FranklinIs.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, and their missions, respectively: 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.

The Main Street Festival is located in Historic Downtown Franklin, Tenn., exit No. 65 from I-65, three miles west to the Public Square.

For more information, call 615-591-8500.

The Perkins: Offering a Piece of History, Community and Their Heart


Dan and Gwen Perkins are selling Chapman’s Pie Wagon II, a mobile food venue modeled after Franklin’s original Chapman’s Pie Wagon that served hot lunches and slices of homemade pie on the Public Square until it closed in the mid-1940s.

Below is the Perkins’ story. If you are interested in starting a conversation about purchasing not only the business, but also a piece of history, please contact Dan or Gwen here or by calling 615-587-5354. They are active Heritage Foundation members.

Dan and Gwen Perkins know something about running a successful business. Back in Oregon, Gwen worked as a caterer for private business parties, ranging from five people to nearly 1,000. Dan owned and operated a small lumber company in Oregon for 40 years.

In 2010, the pair returned to Gwen’s Tennessee roots to seek another entrepreneurial venture: this time in the form of Chapman’s Pie Wagon II—a downtown Franklin mobile food venue first inspired by a West Coast all-natural concession stand, but modeled after Franklin’s original Chapman’s Pie Wagon.

It took Dan and Gwen nearly a year and a half to open Chapman’s II after thorough research, and adhering to city requirements—not to mention the meticulous detail they put into designing the trolley—but since 2011 the duo has served their made-from-scratch lunches and desserts in the parking lot by Landmark Booksellers on E. Main Street.

For more than 20 years, the Chapman’s mobile concession in downtown Franklin was such a popular spot that there’s still some who remember the original pie wagon.

At Chapman’s II, people order through the window… just like the original, owned by Jim and Effie Chapman. Its trolley-like appearance and candy-cane striped finish of the mobile restaurant also hits close to home for many who know of the old food truck.

“We’ve tried to make Chapman’s as much like the original as we can,” Gwen says. “The history is so compelling to us—and to many of our customers who have eaten with us, and also at the original Chapman’s. You can feel the pride in their voices when they remember the former trolley, the good times had, and the sense of community it created.”

Before opening, Gwen and Dan embraced a book compiled by Heritage Foundation Historian Rick Warwick’s book “Meet Me at Chapman’s Pie Wagon,” which detailed the special sense of community that Jim and Effie Chapman helped create through their business. Gwen says she believes the Chapmans accomplished this through giving their customers a happy, relaxed place to eat and communicate among friends, neighbors and coworkers.

Gwen often talks about the people who now stop by Chapman’s II just to chat, to ask questions about our city, get directions or just enjoy a beautiful day with a homemade lunch.

“We’re in the wagon and can hear people visiting, laughing, reconnecting, doing business. They even help each other taking food to their car,” Gwen says. “Several times someone will note that our garbage is full. But they don’t just tell us, they ask for a bag and they change it out. How’s that for kindness?”

And all of that, Gwen says, goes to show that Chapman’s, once again, has risen to its original place—one of bringing a city together and knitting hearts for a common goal of neighborliness to one another.

“That’s what Chapman’s was for, and is what it is for today.”

The Perkins hoped to create another generation saying “Meet me at Chapman’s!” Allow them continue that receiving the baton for the next heart of Franklin’s community:

WHO: Gwen and Dan Perkins; Heritage Foundation members

WHAT: Chapman’s Pie Wagon II; modeled after Chapman’s Pie Wagon (1922-1946)

WHY THEY ARE SELLING: Gwen and Dan began Chapman’s II as senior citizens, and Dan has a heart condition that is requiring more rest.

“We knew we had a ‘season.’ We love Chapman’s and it is hard to let go but we must. We just so want someone to grasp the wonderful opportunity and business that we have been so fortunate to be a part.”

WHAT CHAPMAN’S HAS MEANT TO THEM: “It’s really hard to pass this on, because it has been our baby. But we know this season is over for us. It’s been fabulous, and the people in Franklin have been so supportive. We’ve made friends for life through Chapman’s.”

WHAT GWEN SEES IN CHAPMAN’S FUTURE: “Chapman’s is poised to grow and we know someone younger will have the energy and heart to make that happen.”

WHAT YOU ARE BUYING: The Chapman’s name, the business, the trolley, supplies, cooking utensils and Gwen’s standard recipes, if so desired.

Gwen is also willing to help the new owners transition and would help up to three months, if desired.



Old, Old Jail

Heritage Foundation to Restore Downtown Franklin’s Old, Old Jail

Do you want to help us restore the Old, Old Jail? Email us here or call Mary Pearce at 615-591-8500 ext. 15.

Rendering by Ben Johnson
“Old, Old Jail” rendering by Ben Johnson

What is the Old, Old Jail?

One of Williamson County’s historic properties, the ca. 1941 “Old, Old Jail,” building 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.

When Did The Foundation Come Into Play? 

The Heritage Foundation completed the purchase of the building on Bridge Street in downtown Franklin in 2013.

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. Everyone involved understood that this could be an opportunity to save another neglected iconic building in Franklin—the Old, Old Jail.

The Art Deco-style 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 restore 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.

What Will It Be Called? 

The building will be called the “Big House for Historic Preservation.”

Why Should You Care?

  • Though the Foundation has served the community for nearly five decades, this will be the non-profit’s first permanent home.
  • We will be saving and restoring a piece of Franklin’s history.
  • The vision for the project is to help spark the revitalization of the Bridge Street district. The Heritage Foundation’s track record with bringing historic treasures back to life – most recently with the Franklin Theatre – make it a win-win for Franklin.
  • The building will be a resource for the community, a place where anyone with a need for or an interest in historic preservation is welcome.

How Will The Space Be Used?

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.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.

Where Can I Learn More?



Published: April 2013

Old Old Jail
Old Old Jail in 2013

The City of Franklin’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen have approved a contract for the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County to purchase the building known as the “old, old jail” on Bridge Street, with a goal of restoring it to its ca. 1941 Art Deco appearance and using it as office space.

The contract is contingent upon the findings of a Phase II environmental study to be conducted within the next 60 days. The first phase revealed some potential ground contamination bordering the property—to be expected in an area that has housed auto repair and junkyard lots for decades—but nothing insurmountable, Foundation officials said.

“This building has been at the top of downtown Franklin’s most endangered list for years, and this is one of the key reasons why the Heritage Foundation exists: we restore old buildings that others might think would be better off torn down,” said Cyril Stewart, the Foundation’s Board President. “That was certainly the case with the Franklin Theatre, but with that project under our belt we feel that we are well positioned to take this on.”

Stewart, who is a licensed architect, says he believes the building is structurally sound, and that they expect to deal with some lead paint and limited asbestos abatement as part of the environmental remediation. The opportunity was too good to pass up, he says.

“With our current home at the Historic Five Points Post Office being restored by FirstBank soon, this is a chance to save two historic treasures while creating an office space that will serve the Heritage Foundation well into the future,” Stewart explained. “And with major development plans on the horizon for the Bridge Street corridor, we believe we can be a part of the revitalization of the entire north side of downtown Franklin.”

While the Foundation will purchase the property for $25,000, that number represents a small percentage of the restoration cost. The environmental impact study alone is expected to cost $15,000, before remediation. Heritage Foundation Executive Director Mary Pearce says she expects the total project cost to be around $1.5 million.

“It’s a daunting task that will take an entire community to pull off, but this is our mission… This is an integral part what we do,” Pearce said. “Together, we’ll find a way to get it done, and it will enhance the legacy of downtown Franklin for generations to come.”

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.