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Our Work

What makes Williamson County one of the most charming and inspiring places in the world?

Williamson County is an enviable destination because of our historic sites, turn-of-the-century neighborhoods, timeless main streets, and breathtaking natural landscapes. The people who made these places and forged their history here established a community so alluring that the draw to experience our southern oasis is undeniable.

And there lies the tension...

Williamson County’s population is projected to double by 2040. Without careful stewardship of the County’s historic resources and stories – the very essence of Williamson County’s appeal – they risk extinction due to erosion and encroachment. This is why the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County exists...our mandate is to protect and promote our history, places, community traditions, and cultural heritage for generations to come.

Join us and give to sustain what you love about Williamson County.

AREAS OF ADVOCACY

Community. History. Preservation. Development.

Supporting Vibrant Communities

The “livability” of a community rests in addressing the needs of its citizens while upholding a legacy of togetherness through its events, places, and stories. Familiar neighbors, trusted merchants, vital nonprofit networks, a dynamic workforce, burgeoning arts scene, and picturesque places to gather are threads of a community tapestry that The Heritage Foundation helps sew within Williamson County.

Examples of our work that enhance the community include:

Discovering and Sharing History 

The stories of yesteryear are uncovered through exhaustive research and reflective interpretation. We dig through archives, examine crawlspaces, gather oral histories, review artifacts and more to accurately present the full histories of the people, places and culture of our community. This knowledge gives us all a clearer understanding of our world today through the lens of our past. 

Examples of our work in furthering historic discovery include:

  • LEE-BUCKNER ROSENWALD SCHOOL: Locating the historic African American schoolhouse and interpreting its stories as a museum at Franklin Grove
  • HISTORY & CULTURE CENTER: Repurposing a National Registry building into a new History & Culture Center of Williamson County museum.
  • FREE CLASSES & LECTURES: Bringing thought leaders to the community to share histories and insights free of charge via our Warwick Lecture Series and Practical Preservation Series.
  • G.I.S. COUNTY SURVEY: Conducting a thorough (soon-to-begin) Geographic Information System survey of the county's historic places and making the information available online for all to reference.
  • PROPERTY HISTORY CONSULTATION: Our team of experts conducts a few property history assessments per year as a part of our Sites to Save initiative or from curious property owners who contact us. 
  • HISTORIC INFO & RESOURCES: Via the Foundation's social channels, we routinely share stories, facts, photos, etc. from our past and also produce detailed articles from our blog

Safeguarding Our Past for the Future

History can only live on through dedicated efforts to safeguard architectural, geographic, and cultural resources – and their associated stories – that are at risk of being lost due to time and neglect. The Heritage Foundation seeds public interest and sparks preservation advocacy for the historical significance of Williamson County both now and in the future. 

A few of the ways we advance preservation are:

  • SEMINARS: Our Preservation Symposium is an annual one-day seminar featuring national and local thought leaders showcasing best practices in historic preservation.
  • RECOGNITION: Our Preservation Awards annually celebrate the projects and individuals who made significant contributions within the field of historic preservation.
  • CLASSES: The free quarterly Practical Preservation Series shares information about pragmatic ways to apply preservation practices in your own life 
  • YOUTH EDUCATION:  Via our Jr. Heritage program, and internships, we connect the next generation of preservationists with the work of uncovering and sharing our history.
  • PRESERVATION COMMITTEE: A group of committed citizens speaking into the priorities of our preservation work.

Champions for Sympathetic Development

Growth and preservation can coexistIt takes passionate citizens and practical developers to collaborate toward a place where historic charm with modern amenities align. We are the bridge between these worlds – advocating for and protecting that which cannot be replaced, while championing preservation-minded concerns to all who wish to add to this community. 

Just a few examples of our work in sympathetic development include:

  • ADVOCACY: We work to collaborate with and connect preservation-minded developers and property owners (Merrill-Williamson House, Owen Primm House), rally public support for green spaces (Ropers Knob, Holly Tree Gap Farm), and annually shine a spotlight on at-risk properties via Sites to Save.
  • BUILDING "AMERICA'S FAVORITE MAIN STREET": Our work in downtown Franklin's Streetscape project brought charm, personality, and walkability to Downtown Franklin and it is sustained today through the small business resourcing and membership efforts of our Downtown Franklin Association.
  • SAVING AT-RISK PLACES: We have a long history of repurposing historic properties for their highest and best use for the community (i.e. The Franklin Theatre, The History & Culture Center, Franklin Grove, the Old Old Jail, etc.)
  • CELEBRATING PEER SUCCESS: Our Preservation Awards annually celebrate the projects and individuals who made significant contributions within the field of historic preservation.
  • ENGAGING CIVIC INSTITUTIONS: We attend public meetings, speak on behalf of preservation causes, and work to be a resource regarding historic overlays, historic tourism, etc.

Supporting Vibrant Communities

The “livability” of a community rests in addressing the needs of its citizens while upholding a legacy of togetherness through its events, places, and stories. Familiar neighbors, trusted merchants, vital nonprofit networks, a dynamic workforce, burgeoning arts scene, and picturesque places to gather are threads of a community tapestry that The Heritage Foundation helps sew within Williamson County.

Examples of our work that enhance the community include:

Discovering and Sharing History 

The stories of yesteryear are uncovered through exhaustive research and reflective interpretation. We dig through archives, examine crawlspaces, gather oral histories, review artifacts and more to accurately present the full histories of the people, places and culture of our community. This knowledge gives us all a clearer understanding of our world today through the lens of our past. 

Examples of our work in furthering historic discovery include:

  • LEE-BUCKNER ROSENWALD SCHOOL: Locating the historic African American schoolhouse and interpreting its stories as a museum at Franklin Grove
  • HISTORY & CULTURE CENTER: Repurposing a National Registry building into a new History & Culture Center of Williamson County museum.
  • FREE CLASSES & LECTURES: Bringing thought leaders to the community to share histories and insights free of charge via our Warwick Lecture Series and Practical Preservation Series.
  • G.I.S. COUNTY SURVEY: Conducting a thorough (soon-to-begin) Geographic Information System survey of the county's historic places and making the information available online for all to reference.
  • PROPERTY HISTORY CONSULTATION: Our team of experts conducts a few property history assessments per year as a part of our Sites to Save initiative or from curious property owners who contact us. 
  • HISTORIC INFO & RESOURCES: Via the Foundation's social channels, we routinely share stories, facts, photos, etc. from our past and also produce detailed articles from our blog

Safeguarding Our Past for the Future

History can only live on through dedicated efforts to safeguard architectural, geographic, and cultural resources – and their associated stories – that are at risk of being lost due to time and neglect. The Heritage Foundation seeds public interest and sparks preservation advocacy for the historical significance of Williamson County both now and in the future. 

A few of the ways we advance preservation are:

  • SEMINARS: Our Preservation Symposium is an annual one-day seminar featuring national and local thought leaders showcasing best practices in historic preservation.
  • RECOGNITION: Our Preservation Awards annually celebrate the projects and individuals who made significant contributions within the field of historic preservation.
  • CLASSES: The free quarterly Practical Preservation Series shares information about pragmatic ways to apply preservation practices in your own life 
  • YOUTH EDUCATION:  Via our Jr. Heritage program, and internships, we connect the next generation of preservationists with the work of uncovering and sharing our history.
  • PRESERVATION COMMITTEE: A group of committed citizens speaking into the priorities of our preservation work.

Champions for Sympathetic Development

Growth and preservation can coexistIt takes passionate citizens and practical developers to collaborate toward a place where historic charm with modern amenities align. We are the bridge between these worlds – advocating for and protecting that which cannot be replaced, while championing preservation-minded concerns to all who wish to add to this community. 

Just a few examples of our work in sympathetic development include:

  • ADVOCACY: We work to collaborate with and connect preservation-minded developers and property owners (Merrill-Williamson House, Owen Primm House), rally public support for green spaces (Ropers Knob, Holly Tree Gap Farm), and annually shine a spotlight on at-risk properties via Sites to Save.
  • BUILDING "AMERICA'S FAVORITE MAIN STREET": Our work in downtown Franklin's Streetscape project brought charm, personality, and walkability to Downtown Franklin and it is sustained today through the small business resourcing and membership efforts of our Downtown Franklin Association.
  • SAVING AT-RISK PLACES: We have a long history of repurposing historic properties for their highest and best use for the community (i.e. The Franklin Theatre, The History & Culture Center, Franklin Grove, the Old Old Jail, etc.)
  • CELEBRATING PEER SUCCESS: Our Preservation Awards annually celebrate the projects and individuals who made significant contributions within the field of historic preservation.
  • ENGAGING CIVIC INSTITUTIONS: We attend public meetings, speak on behalf of preservation causes, and work to be a resource regarding historic overlays, historic tourism, etc.

Get involved with us.

Donate

Make a tax-deductible gift to support our nonprofit mission. Any amount helps.

Get the News

Sign-up to our e-newsletter and get the latest news about historic preservation events and resources.

Volunteer

Volunteer your time and meet new people while giving back to the community.

Join Us

Become a member for as little as $50 per year. Individuals or businesses can connect with others while giving back to your community.