The land inspires. The buildings teach. And through these experiences, illuminates our timeless stories. The road to understanding why historic preservation matters begins with how we tell our collective stories: stories of Native Americans who once inhabited the land. Stories of 19th century early settlement. Stories of African Americans, free and enslaved, who through their impeccable craftsmanship, buildings constructed prior to the Civil War still stand. Stories of commitment, community, and courage of African Americans, creating lives for themselves and their families in a time of trials and triumphs in the latter half of the 19th and into the 20thcenturies. Stories of how historic homes within downtown Franklin, and even Main Street, became unrecognizable, and many close to being a near ghostly ruin. Sadly, some even were lost to time and progress. Erasure does and continues to happen. While preservation advocacy does not save every site, the power contained within ground and the stories that spring up, means we all have an obligation to learn more and serve our collective history and culture well.

All our historic and cultural resources are fragile. And we can lose them one by one if we do not continually advocate for saving places and sharing our collective history with each other. Williamson County has a robust culture for stewarding historic and cultural resources and valuing historic preservation. For nearly six decades, many people in our community have worked together toward these goals and the common good, creating momentum that galvanized and established the Heritage Foundation to save places and share our richly diverse stories. Whether you are a student, local citizen, heritage tourist reading this for the first time, or someone who is simply interested in saving places, we invite you to take the journey with us. Today, we have an opportunity to create the next generation of stories grounded in our time connected to architecture, preservation, ecology, history, and culture. Whether you are a current member of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County or not, we encourage everyone to learn more by becoming an informed preservation advocate.

While we cannot fully predict the future, we are resolute in our commitment to work with all community partners, property owners, and city and county officials and municipalities to present viable solutions for preserving our resources, securing additional green spaces, and tell the whole story of Williamson County, now and for future generations.