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Explore Franklin History

Franklin is an amazing destination for history buffs! From incredible historic homes at the center of the Battle of Franklin to the iconic Franklin Theatre built in 1937, you’ll love exploring our historic town. Check out our top historic attractions and itineraries below!

Carnton & Carter House

Franklin History Itineraries

Visitors and locals alike love exploring the amazing history we have here in Franklin. From guided battlefield tours to parks with history, there’s something for everyone!

One Day in Franklin

Only have one day to explore Franklin’s history? No problem! We’ve rounded up our most visited historic stops to offer a great overview of the Battle of Franklin and beyond.

• Visit Carnton and Carter House, two unique homes that played a role in the Battle of Franklin. Each tour offers fascinating stories of the battle and moving accounts of that fateful day from the families that lived at both homes. Pick up tickets for both homes for only $30 from the downtown Franklin visitor center!
• Stroll down historic Main Street to see beautiful architecture ranging from the pre-Civil War era to the early 1900s. Be sure to visit Public Square to see the old courthouse and the Fuller Story markers to learn about African-American experiences throughout Franklin history.
• Don’t miss the iconic Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge! Located about 15 minutes from downtown Franklin on the historic Natchez Trace Parkway(milepost 438), the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge boasts gorgeous views all year long. The Natchez Trace Parkway is part of the National Park Service and follows a historic travel corridor used by American Indians, settlers, and more. If you have time, take the Natchez Trace to Leiper’s Fork, a quaint village with great shopping and local food.

Two or More Days in Franklin

If you have more than one day to explore Franklin’s history, here are a few spots to add to your list in addition to the places listed above!

•  The Historic Masonic Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Franklin. Completed in 1826, this building served many purposes over its nearly 200-year history beyond a Masonic Hall, including Civil War military barracks, President Andrew Jackson’s relocation treaty negotiation with the Chickasaw Nation, church meetings, the Williamson County fair, and much more. Plan a guided tour on your visit!

• The McLemore House is a museum that serves to preserve the heritage of African-American culture in Franklin. Former slave Harvey McLemore purchased four lots in the Hard Bargain neighborhood and built one of the first homes in the subdivision. Take a tour to learn more about this important historic site!

• Another home that stood witness to the Battle of Franklin is the Lotz House. German immigrant Johann Albert Lotz was a master carpenter by trade and his home served as a “show house” for this craftsmanship. During the Battle of Franklin, the Lotz family took shelter in the basement of Carter House. Visitors can still see battle scars in the house, including where a cannonball flew through the roof and second story before landing on the first floor.

• Take a self-guided walking tour with our free digital passport, Historic Homes of Hincheyville! Explore one of Franklin’s oldest neighborhoods as you stroll past incredible historic homes and learn about each unique home. When you’ve completed the walking tour, stop by the downtown Franklin visitor center for a prize!

Fun Historic Stops

Franklin on Foot is a fantastic way to learn about the incredible stories and sites around Franklin. Choose between a variety of tours, including Classic Franklin, Haunted Franklin, and more.

• If you’re in the mood to explore the outdoor Battle of Franklin sites, stop by Winstead Hill Park to see the vantage point used by General John Bell Hood or enjoy scenic views of the Harpeth River as you walk through Fort Granger.

• Want a side of history with your meal? Try Biscuit Love in the historic Corn House, Gray’s on Main (a former pharmacy), or Mojo’s Tacos at The Factory at Franklin!

• For more Southern history to take home with you, stop by Landmark Booksellers and browse their great Franklin section! Ask about their building dating back to the 1820s and its famous visitors.

Historic Spots Around Franklin

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