A dedicated group individuals met to form the Heritage Foundation in 1967. Fifty years later, the Heritage Foundation boasts more than 1000 individual, family and business members. Ever committed to preserving the communities and cultural heritage of Williamson County, we work with our members to continually care for historic spaces, treasured landmarks, and cherished local businesses. In short, we are only to do our work of saving the places that matter in Williamson County with their devoted support.
Join us and make a direct impact on the heart of our community.
Williamson County residents are the backbone of our organization. We rely on our community members to perpetuate our mission throughout our community—and they never let us down. Last year, alone, our membership helped us by:
Our Next Gen members are the future faces of preservation.
Whether you grew up in Williamson County or recently moved here – chances are you love where you landed. The now deep-rooted charm and bustling historic community didn’t just happen; it took passionate people enacting a vision. Now, it’s time for the “Next Generation” to get involved to continue this important work.
Our active Next Gen members host monthly membership mixers, plan socials at local historic homes, help plan events, and fundraise for preservation projects (they raised $100,000 to pay for the marquee at the Franklin Theatre!).
Williamson County businesses play an important role in the success of the Heritage Foundation. By becoming members and supporting our mission, they help to engage their employees and their customers so that together we can continue to create the backdrop for preservation, education and community. A business membership provides an organization, up to 10 employees, the opportunity to get involved in their hometown. Along with our family members, they helped us by:
Since its founding in 1984, the Downtown Franklin Association (DFA) has spearheaded the revitalization of Franklin’s historic downtown core. Working in partnership with property owners, preservationists, city and county government, local businesses and merchants in our historic retail district, the Foundation and the DFA have helped create one of the nation’s Main Street success stories. We’ve earned national recognition as an authentic, eclectic place that offers something for everyone in an atmosphere that reminds locals and visitors alike of a simpler time in our history – a place where community matters.
DFA memberships are $250 per year and are available to businesses located inside the Mack Hatcher Bypass and Leiper’s Fork.
Click on the calendar event below for more information
One of the Heritage Foundation’s greatest assets is its fabulous volunteers. Volunteers play a key role in the Foundation from manning our tent at events, helping with mailings, serving refreshments, greeting guests at events, and so much more! If you’re a member searching for a way to meet people and a fun and rewarding way to serve your community, we could be your ideal volunteer fit! Come join our team!
Become A Volunteer
Each sponsorship is customized to fit the unique needs of your business while aligning your organization with our well-respected nonprofit, placing your company in front of government and community leaders, networking with other local, regional and national brands, and more.
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Historic preservation IS economic development, and no one preserves our history and serves as the caretaker of our unique character like the Heritage Foundation. Access to talent drives economic development decisions, and talent is attracted to Williamson County because of the great work of the Heritage Foundation and their commitment to preserving our historic sites and buildings. Along with our great schools, I credit the Heritage Foundation as one of the primary reasons for our recent economic prosperity.
The Heritage Foundation makes an invaluable contribution to life and community in Williamson County through its determined commitment to protect the best of the past as a foundation for the future. Through its many partnerships it also has contributed mightily to economic growth and opportunity by supporting scores of adaptive reuse projects, finding new lives for properties across the county, and through heritage and cultural tourism.
Thanks to many who laid the groundwork for the Heritage Foundation 50 years ago, Franklin stands out as one of the nation’s top communities today by several measures. It has been a living laboratory for decades proving a preservation ethic makes sense economically. The accomplishments include a thriving downtown, beautifully preserved landscapes, enhanced quality of the more recently built environment, and lots of great stories. There used to be significant conflict between pro-growth versus pro-preservation, but I think the Heritage Foundation finally helped to bridge that gap. There’s a lot of new mixed in with the old, and most of it gets along together just fine. It’s a never-ending process, and not perfect, but the hard work paid off.
One of the greatest tourism draws to Williamson County is the Great American Main Street that runs through the heart of Franklin. Without the Heritage Foundation’s early vision to preserve the multitude of historical gems lining Main Street, the lure for visitors to our area would be a fraction of what it is now. The Heritage Foundation’s commitment to preserving Main Street and the historic homes and buildings across Williamson County allow visitors to get a true glimpse of how we’ve preserved and embraced our past while advancing into the future.
Franklin and Williamson County enjoy a quality of life grounded in the commitment to protecting the places that make this area unique. But this nationally renowned historic preservation success story did not happen by chance. 50 years ago the Heritage Foundation was established by farsighted citizens who recognized the inherent value of their community. A half-century later, this outstanding organization continues to lead by taking an active role to ensure that treasured landmarks, neighborhoods, and landscapes are saved for the enrichment of present and future generations.
The impact of The Heritage Foundation over the past 50 years permanently changed our community for the better. Initially, its motivation was to preserve our historic buildings and landmarks, but over time, its efforts preserved the sense of place all of us enjoy today. The Heritage Foundation led the way in developing a civic culture that places a very high value on historic preservation. Our children and grandchildren will be the beneficiaries of this work.
Your tax-deductible donation supports our preservation efforts in protecting and preserving the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Williamson County.
You can make a direct impact on the county’s future by helping to preserve its past. Monetary contributions make a critical difference: though our organization continuously works to generate needed operating funds through events, products, and fundraisers, donations make an important difference in the Foundation’s preservation efforts.
To make an easy, secure, online donation in any amount, please click below:
The Heritage Foundation preserves the communities and cultural heritage of Williamson County. We work with area leaders to continually care for historic spaces, treasured landmarks, and cherished local businesses. In short, we save the places that matter in Williamson County, Tennessee.