Franklin has 3 great areas
Downtown: Main Street and all the fifteen block area, the somewhat grid-like
development of houses surrounding, the commerce and industry that grew along roads radiating
out of downtown like spokes, all constrained by the river (which required bridges) and the
railroad (which required an overpass or an at-grade crossing)
Cool Springs: the economic heart, the money maker with the shopping and dining, the
center of employment and corporate headquarters, and home to big multifamily developments
The subdivisions: heart of the growth and vitality that makes Franklin different now from
the town of 7,000 that I moved to in 1968
Williamson County had a population of approximately 25000 each of the censuses between 1850
and 1960. Franklin had a larger proportion of the 25,000 toward the end of
Then National Life (a Nashville insurance company) built a water line from
the Cumberland River into the county to provide water for development. Prior to that time the
development that grew out of Metro Nashville had occurred in Sumner County where Old
Hickory Lake had waterfront property as well as plenty of water for houses. The early
subdivisions in the 1960s developed in the unincorporated areas of the county, including several
that are now inside the city. Growth was on its way.
Franklin with the quaint and charming Main Street and pre-Civil War and Victorian homes was
also a factory town in the 1950s and 60s. Industry and commerce supplied money for the city
coffers, which always had extra funds for any project desired by those city officials in the know,
except for extremely large projects like the by-pass (now the partially built Mack Hatcher
Franklin now has a wonderful mix of old and new. Old buildings in the downtown area and out
in the countryside are mixed with new office buildings, new shopping, and new subdivision
homes. Natives of Franklin and long time residents are mixed with newcomers.
Franklin needs to thrive and grow responsibly. We need to ensure that services such as water,
sewer, and roads are adequate for the present residents and for those who will come later. Police
and fire protection and solid waste pickup should continue to deliver a high level of service. The
city needs to prioritize the spending on big ticket items, whether for new facilities for police and
city hall, for expansion of programs and facilities to existing and newly acquired parks, or for
infrastructure for water, sewer, and roads. Funding does have limits, even in Franklin. The next
years will require analysis of what can reasonably and responsibly be accomplished by Franklin
to ensure that present residents and those who come later will have a city that they can proudly
The concept of home is important to people who move to Franklin. They like the downtown that
has an identity. They like the good schools their children attend. They like the friendliness.
They like the convenience of local shopping and restaurants. There is a bond in the community and in the
kinship with fellow residents in all parts of the city. People feel at home here, whether they are newcomers
or lifelong residents.
On trips over the years, when asked where we lived (or in the south "Where are you from?" ), my
husband would answer that we were from the Nashville Tennessee area. Often, in the ensuing
conversation, we would say that we were from Franklin, just outside of Nashville. The response
surprisingly often was "We know Franklin." "What a lovely area." "We visited Franklin when
we were in Nashville."
We have been fortunate that dedicated people have worked diligently over the years to preserve
structures and guide the appearance of new construction. Franklin for the most part is quite
attractive. But it must also function smoothly. It must provide adequate infrastructure in water,
sewer, and roads. It must plan for responsible use of its money. There is more to a first rate city than
an attractive appearance.
We want to keep Franklin a desirable place to live and work. It is important not only for the
enjoyment of our daily lives, for the preservation of our property values, but for the future of
What is your opinion about Franklin? Send an email to Ann by clicking the link below.
This page last updated 09/05/2011