Heritage Foundation supporters enable us to Keep It Going!
As we at the Heritage Foundation have embarked on our #KeepItGoing campaign these last few weeks, we’ve taken a deeper look at The Franklin Theatre, downtown Franklin merchants and our ongoing historic preservation efforts.
So we thought it was a good time to step back and reflect on our organization, maybe share some things about the Heritage Foundation you might not have known and hear from some people who have been not only supporters of what we do, but have been all-out champions of our cause.
Ed Silva, attorney and longtime Heritage Foundation supporter, moved to Franklin 45 years ago when the foundation was not even 10 years into its mission, but recognized it as an important vehicle to save historic Franklin and beyond.
“My introduction to the Heritage Foundation was back in the late 70s when they purchased and began restoration of the McEwen-German building built in 1870 on Fifth & Fair,” Silva said. “I became a tenant, and 10 years later purchased this building, and cannot thank the Heritage Foundation enough for saving this beautiful historic site.”
Started 53 years ago by a group of concerned citizens who saw a historic home torn down and replaced with a gas station, the Heritage Foundation was formed with the mission of saving places and stories that matter – and ultimately the character of this wonderful county.
And that’s what we continue to do today. Did you know the Heritage Foundation is behind the restoration of The Franklin Theatre? And the historic old jail in downtown Franklin? As well as The McLemore House museum? We are also the organization that puts on the three major festivals in downtown Franklin: Main Street Festival, Pumpkinfest and Dickens of a Christmas.
All of those events are fundraisers that help fuel our mission. We are blessed with an amazing group of employees, board members, volunteers, sponsors and individual and corporate supporters.
“Having an organization like the Heritage Foundation means that someone is proactively looking at Williamson County’s past and how to not only preserve and protect it, but also share the stories that shaped our county into what it is today,” said Heritage Foundation supporter Tom Atema Jr.
“Having a professional, organized group that brings together the entire community (elected officials, historians, businesses, citizens, tourists) is so important,” he continued. “As a current resident of Williamson County, I believe we have a responsibility to save, preserve, and educate so our history can not only be remembered but we can learn from it.”
“The Heritage Foundation is a much bigger spirit and organization than just a handful of supporters and a few preserved historic sites. It is a blending of all types of interests and different kinds of people, backgrounds and walks of life and it’s the hard work of the Foundation staff, the local shopkeepers, the volunteers, and the citizens of this community that keeps the spirit of Franklin alive and vibrant for our generation, and for those to come.”
— Heritage Foundation supporter, Ed Silva
The Heritage Foundation’s newest project, Franklin Grove, will restore and repurpose the former campus of O’More College of Design. The plan calls to preserve the two historic mansions on the property, while enhancing the surrounding grounds with gardens and the addition of the Lee-Buckner Rosenwald school, which is the last school of its kind in Williamson County. This building has to be dismantled, moved from its current site in Spring Hill to the Franklin Grove campus and restored. Once in its new resting place, the old schoolhouse will continue to be used for educational purposes.
Supporter Sondra Morris says Franklin Grove may be her favorite Heritage Foundation project to date.
“It is exciting to be a part of a growing and vibrant organization that makes projects like Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens happen,” she said. “Just imagine the beauty of the estate and gardens where people can celebrate art, education and preservation and history—all in downtown Franklin!”
If you would like to get involved with the Heritage Foundation and be on the front lines of helping us #KeepItGoing, there are a number of ways to do that. We invite you to make a tax-deductible donation HERE, become a member HERE or sign up to volunteer with us HERE.
“The Heritage Foundation is a much bigger spirit and organization than just a handful of supporters and a few preserved historic sites,” Ed Silva said. “It is a blending of all types of interests and different kinds of people, backgrounds and walks of life and it’s the hard work of the Foundation staff, the local shopkeepers, the volunteers, and the citizens of this community that keeps the spirit of Franklin alive and vibrant for our generation, and for those to come.”
Want to hear more from our supporters? Click the links below for more short testimonial videos!