Late on a Friday morning, we drove to Nashville from our home in East Tennessee and picked Dawn up after she dropped off her rental car. Then we headed over to our hotel in Brentwood Tennessee and checked in… We had a dinner reservation in Franklin and I made the fateful decision just to drive on down to the town and explore a bit…
There is a lot of history to explore in Franklin! This is the Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church. The Presbyterian Church was first organized in Franklin in 1811. The first church built in this location was completed in 1842. During the Civil War the church was used as a hospital by the Union Forces during the Battle of Franklin and it was severely damaged. A second church was built here in 1888 but it was destroyed in a fire in 1905. In 1908, this church replaced the one lost in the fire.
As mentioned above, Franklin is a history buff’s delight… After all, the town was founded in October of 1799. It was named after Benjamin Franklin, a close friend of Dr. Hugh Williamson, a member of the Continental Congress after whom Williamson County was named. Franklin is the county seat. The first house built in Franklin was constructed in 1768 by Ewen Cameron who came from Balgalkan, Ferintosh, Scotland. He lived in the same log house for 48 years. His descendants have lived in Franklin continuously ever since…that’s 245 years!
The Battle of Franklin was fought in the city on November 30, 1864, resulting in almost 10,000 casualties (killed, wounded, captured and missing) and turning forty-four buildings, including the 1st Presbyterian Church, into field hospitals.
There is only one problem with the history bit… We had a limited amount of time to spend in town during business hours… For Laurie and Dawn Marie, sightseeing was in direct competition with a wide variety of shopping options. I must admit that the stores…the boutiques…in Franklin are more than a cut above the average.
This, as you can see, is the Franklin Theater in historic downtown Franklin Tennessee. It first opened to Middle Tennesseans back in 1937…hence the art deco look. It continued to operate as a theater until 2007. It could no longer compete with the multiple screen mega-theaters. However, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County stepped in, purchasing and rehabilitating this historic landmark. It took 3 years and $8,000,000 and now it’s better than ever.
While the theater still shows movies, it now also features live music! In addition to old standbys like Judy Collins and Don McLean, there will be an upcoming free concert by the Tennessee 129th Army Band, as well as concerts by Lee Roy Parnell, Ricky Lee Jones and, for you American Idol fans, Crystal Bowersox. For more about the Theater and its upcoming movies and event, go to http://www.franklintheatre.com/.
Two big screen movies have had their premiers here at the Franklin Theater. They were ‘Friday Night Lights’ and ‘Elizabethtown’. Parts of 4 other movies have been shot here in Franklin.
Laurie had Dawn Marie and I pose in front of Merridee’s Breadbasket. Merridee’s is a local hangout with great baked goods, good coffee and good food. We had a snack here before the shopping got started. Laurie and I have been here once before a couple of years ago and we can recommend Merridee’s to any travelers who pass this way… For more information regarding Merridee’s Breadbasket, just go to http://www.merridees.com/.
This is one of the many shops along the main street in downtown Franklin. As I mentioned earlier, the great majority of them were definitely upscale. Note the table and chairs…this was one of my wait and watch stops along the shopping route. There were benches outside of many, if not all, of the stores and I spent most of my time people watching…
Franklin and Williamson County are well positioned near the wealthier southern Nashville metropolitan suburbs. In addition, the Median Household Income in the county is $86,962. This means that Williamson County is the 17th wealthiest county in the entire United States! (There are 3,141 counties among our 50 states)
One more street view of downtown Franklin Tennessee… Williamson County has an unemployment rate of less than 5%...not too bad when compared to the National unemployment rate of 7.6% or Tennessee’s unemployment rate of 8.3%!
Other than shopping and restaurants, Williamson County and the city of Franklin have a number of attractions/points of interest for their visitors… Just to mention a few things to see or do, there is the McGavock Confederate Cemetery, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGavock_Confederate_Cemetery); Carnton Plantation and the Carter House, (http://www.battleoffranklintrust.org/); the Lotz House Civil War Museum, (http://www.lotzhouse.com/), a winery/vineyard, (http://www.arringtonvineyards.com/), and several ghost related tours… (http://www.franklinonfoot.com/)
This was the store window that almost caused me to stroke out! I won’t name the retailer…but I will tell you that if you were to enter this store in downtown Franklin, you’d better be very well off…or have your medications with you… Laurie and Dawn Marie priced out these ‘Ann Gish’ bed sets…which include 3 shams, a duvet, a coverlet, 2 headboard pillows and a bedskirt. The total cost for the King bed set with tax totaled $6,325.58! I was somewhat relieved to learn that the Queen set only cost $5,637.30! It’s crazy…unless you have lots of spare cash lying around.
Of course, in this neighborhood, many of the households do indeed have what it takes to shop in stores like this one. Some of the current and/or former residents include Kenny Chesney, Miley Cyrus and family, Lee Greenwood, Kirk Herbstreit, Ashley Judd, the Kings of Leon, Darrell Waltrip and Carrie Underwood, as well as Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. Of course a few other notables, such as Trace Atkins, Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton live just north of Franklin in the Brentwood area as well.
That’s about it for now… The next blog will feature a restaurant in Franklin that serves some pretty darn good food!
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave