5 Reasons You Need to Check Out Franklin’s Amazing New History & Culture Center

They don’t call it “historic Franklin” for nothing—the city and its surrounding suburbs have a long timeline of historic significance that includes everything from infamous residents to an important Civil War battle. These stories have been preserved through museums and walking tours, landmarks, and biographies over the years, but a new dedicated destination is focused on the complete history of Williamson County starting at the very beginning with its indigenous inhabitants. 

The new Moore-Morris History & Culture Center of Williamson County debuted in January 2024 inside Franklin’s old city jail. The spectacular immersive experience is filled with stories both inspiring and challenging, told through innovative technology and rotating exhibits. 

Whether you’re just visiting or are an area local, it’s a must-see in order to appreciate all the things that make the county what it is today. Here are five interesting insights into the new History & Culture Center. 

1. It has an immersive 4-D experience.

At the beginning of your visit, make sure to stop inside White’s Tavern, which was a real-life hotel and bar built on the same plot of land around 1803. During the experience, watch a historic conversation unfold between projections and live photographs, complete with a crackling fire and relevant scents. 

2. It’s a pioneer in technology. 

All throughout the history center are paintings of prominent figures on the walls. But these are no ordinary paintings – when you stand in front of them they come to life and begin sharing their unique stories. This technology is on the cutting edge; the only other program like it is at the Boston Tea Party Museum in Massachusetts. 

3. It’s a private event space.

Corporations, wedding planners, and party animals alike may be interested to learn that the history center is available to rent for private events. The historic building totals 6,000 square feet and features preserved brick, hardwood floors, fireplaces and more, with the added allure of memorabilia and local nods—including a replica of the Franklin Theatre marquee and a Gray’s Pharmacy sign. Capacity reaches up to 120 guests. 

4. Historic exhibits date back to 15,000 years ago. 

Much of the county’s historic destinations revolve around the Civil War, but the History & Culture Center does a complete deep dive into the area’s past, dating back to when it all began. There’s a dedicated indigenous peoples room and exhibits move through time periods and impactful events, ranging from agricultural booms to infrastructure, industrialization and modern development. 

5. You can record your own oral history.

In partnership with Vanderbilt University, a special storytellers studio was added for individuals to record their own personal stories related to the area. There are step-by-step instructions on how to record and share the files, which will help further analyze and understand our area’s rich history. 

The museum is located at 108 Bridge Street and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For tickets and additional info, visit williamsonhistorycenter.org