The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN announced May 7th at the 5th annual Preservation Symposium the properties it considers the most at risk in the county and efforts to help preserve them. The preservation advocacy program, Sites to Save, is designed as a tool to help the community partner with the Heritage Foundation in its efforts to raise awareness of Williamson County’s significant at-risk historic, cultural, geographical, and archaeological resources. These resources may include buildings, structures, cemeteries, historic districts, archaeological sites, natural and cultural landscapes.
To compile the list, the Heritage Foundation accepted online nominations this spring. Individuals, preservation organizations, downtown and neighborhood revitalization organizations, historical societies, historic road associations, local governments and other interested parties were all eligible to submit nominations, which were then reviewed by the organization’s preservation and advocacy committee and staff preservationists. Properties will remain on the list each year until the threat is lessened or the property is preserved. The primary benefit of the endangered list is public awareness, advocacy, and action.
The properties on the 2022 Sites to Save list are:
- Historic Franklin Masonic Hall, Franklin, TN
- Old Natchez Trace – Vaughn Road Segment, Franklin, TN
- Burns Farm, Arrington, TN
- Natchez Historic District, Franklin, TN
- Gaylor House, Franklin, TN
- Creekside Property, Franklin, TN
- Beard’s Grocery & Market, Franklin, TN
- Frierson-Voorhies Cemetery, Brentwood, TN
- Daniel McMahon House, Franklin, TN
- Nolensville Historic Corridor, Nolensville, TN
For each of the sites on the list, staff at the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County plan to:
- Attend relevant public meetings that involve the sites on the list.
- Consult with willing property owners and municipalities about the history of the property and offer insight on preservation and restoration.
- Connect willing property owners with construction and preservation experts related to the needs of the site.
In addition to the Sites to Save, the Heritage Foundation has also compiled an “honorable mention” list of Sites to Watch, which are locations that are not in imminent danger of demolition but are on the radar to be monitored because of uncertain funding resources or threat of development. They include:
- Historic Brentvale – In early May 2022, the city of Brentwood announced plans to raze the historic Brentvale log cabin, due to its structural instability. Constructed in 1830 for William Temple Sneed at Old Smyrna Road, the structure was moved to Crockett Park in 1930 and enlarged by combining two log cabins.
- McCord-Patton Cemetery – Located in Arrington, this cemetery holds the final resting places of some the county’s earliest settlers and is threatened by the development of a subdivision off Cox Road. Its stone walls are said to contain the burial of David McCord (1745 – 1819) who served in the Revolutionary War, among other family members.
- Pointer Cemetery – Throughout Williamson County, historic cemeteries, like Pointer Cemetery in Spring Hill, are threatened by new subdivisions in once rural parts of the county. Early pioneer families, including Henry Pointer (1785-1864), and Civil War veterans are among those buried in the historic Pointer Cemetery.
- The Civil War earthworks off Spanntown Road in Triune spread across 500 acres and multiple private tracts is a Civil War fortification one preservation expert called “one of the most intact and unaltered set of Civil War earthworks in the U.S.” The earthworks provided protection as well as a crucial signaling station for U.S. soldiers to communicate between Franklin and Murfreesboro.
Two sites from the 2021 Sites to Save list (Merrill-Williams House, Natchez Trace in Franklin; and the Williamson Iron Works located along Caney Fork Road in Fariview) have subsequently been saved through preservation advocacy and community led support.
The Heritage Foundation hopes the Sites to Save list will help make locals aware of the historic sites around them, as well as educate newcomers to the area. Learn more about the sites and how to get involved! Announcement of the 2022 Sites to Save coincides with National Preservation Month, a time to engage with and show appreciation for the places we cherish throughout our nation. Honor our local history by donating to the Foundation’s preservation efforts.