The culture and history of Franklin TN


The first thing that catches your eye as soon as you come to Franklin Tennessee is the stylish homes that line the streets of their communities. The closer you come to the heart of Franklin you will be greeted with some of the most beautiful Victorian-style homes along the streets of downtown. Franklin's architectural wonders paired with some of the most breathtaking natural landscape is truly a pleasant sight.

Not to mention that shopping, dining, and recreational activities can be found at every step. The city of Franklin TN is truly a complete city that has everything you are looking for. It is known for its friendly communities and for being a kid-friendly environment with lots of parks and playgrounds. Also, the culture of history surrounding the area is mind-blowing and something you should look into if you are here for the first time.

But, how did Franklin Tennessee get to where it is today? Who are the people that impacted the history of this city and what made the city of Franklin TN such a great place to live in? Let's find out.

Franklin's population growth

Franklin Tennessee has a population of about 81,000 people and since 1980 the population has witnessed a growth of about 500% which is quite impressive. What are the events that led to such an impressive population growth for the city of Franklin TN? Throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, Franklin was mainly an agricultural community and tobacco was the main crop focus that was bringing a lot of cash flow to the city.

By the 1960s, the construction of highways from Nashville would bring new development to the region especially with the construction of the Interstate 65. Slowly Franklin turned from a farming community into one that is more oriented towards real estate and commercial development. The construction of highways also sparked the initiative for a historical preservation movement that would protect and preserve the architectural and cultural heritage.

This movement came to life as The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County in 1967. They have the responsibility to sponsor educational programs, buy or sell historic buildings, nominate properties to the National Register of Historic Places, and survey historic resources.

The Foundation led a downtown revitalization program through which they replaced broken sidewalks and curbs as well as marked buildings to investors who renovated them into shops, offices, and restaurants. Franklin became an official Tennessee Main Street Town in 1984 as a result of their efforts to restore and preserve the area.

With the survey of architectural resources completed and resurveyed in 1999, the result came in the form of an expansion of Franklin's Historic District, and several other properties were listed on the National Register. This is how Franklin gradually became an active suburb of Nashville, thus attracting more investors to the area and more people eager to live there.

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The origin of Franklin's name and the founders

Franklin Tennessee was named after Benjamin Franklin and he was a close friend of Dr. Hugh Williamson. Hugh Williamson was a member of the Continental Congress and Williamson County was named after him. The Town of Franklin was established in 1799 by Adam Maury but was later incorporated in 1815.

It was named the County seat of Williamson and Adam laid out Franklin using a grid system around a public square. Many of Franklin's homes along with it's surrounding countryside was built prior to the Civil War which made agriculture their main focus at the time. One of the first subdivisions of Franklin TN was Hincheyville named after Hinchey Petway.

Hinchey was a wealthy merchant who purchased land with the purpose of forming a subdivision and later on, resold it. Even though the land was there since 1819, construction took place only later in the 19th century.

One of the first important buildings in Franklin Tennessee was the first courthouse in Williamson County built-in 1800 in the center of Franklin. Later, there would be another courthouse completed in 1858 and it would serve as the Federal headquarters during the Civil War.

Franklin TN and the Civil War

With the beginning of the Civil War, major changes would occur to the city as the war would unfold and Franklin would play a huge role in the war. The Civil War placed the city of Franklin TN in the middle of the conflict. Franklin Tennessee would soon become a military outpost after the fall of Nashville in 1862.

During the late summer of 1864, Confederate forces under the command of General John Bell Hood crossed Georgia and Alabama and were about to enter Tennessee. November 1864 marked the beginning for the Battle of Franklin on the banks of Harpeth River and it was marked in history as "the bloodiest hours of the American Civil War".

It was one of the few night battles during the Civil War and it was a small battlefield stretching for about two miles long and one and a half-mile wide. The battle lasted five hours and there were about 2,500 casualties on the Federal side and 7,000 on the Confederate side.

The nearby Carter House was used as Federal Headquarters during the battle and the Carnton Plantation was used by the Confederate as a field hospital during and after the battle. The Courthouse, St. Paul's Episcopal Church and the First Presbyterian Church were also used as hospitals during and after the battle.

The statue of a Confederate infantryman and the cemetery remain a constant reminder of the Battle of Franklin and many losses were counted on both sides.


Franklin Tennessee stands on a ground that is rich in history. The city was marked by the Civil War and its casualties. However, the astonishing work that was put into preserving the history paid off and the city has witnessed a massive economical and demographic change. There is so much more than meets the eye when it comes to the city of Franklin TN and you are going to be very excited to explore it. You will be enticed into moving here and by contacting one of the local real estate agents in Franklin TN you are sure to find a great house amongst the historic remnants that make the city such a special place.

Don't forget to share the history you learned about Franklin TN with your family and friends by sharing this article on your social media profiles.

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