Friday marked a significant step forward for the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall Foundation. The Foundation officially announced their Trust agreement with Hiram Lodge No. 7, becoming the managing, operating entity for the rehabilitation of the Franklin Masonic Hall and as stakeholders for transforming the iconic landmark into a museum and cultural center. At a press conference, the Foundation and Hiram Lodge No. 7 gathered to symbolically mark this occasion by publically signing the document.
“Signing the Trust Agreement is truly a remarkable achievement for both organizations,” said Executive Director of the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall Foundation, Rachael Finch. “Our partnership with Hiram Lodge No. 7 ensures the rehabilitation of one of our nation’s oldest Masonic Halls, but will also transform the Hall into an innovative museum and cultural center of learning that will serve as a catalyst for how we share, teach, and inspire audiences to recognize its extraordinary history.”
The Foundation’s Chair Colonel James Patterson (ret) PhD, announced the Board of Directors and Advisory Board of Trustees, “who collectively provide remarkable community leadership, advocacy, and input to bring about the rehabilitation of the historic Hall.
Board of Directors
Chair – Colonel James Patterson, PhD USAF (ret) Entrepreneur and author
Vice Chair – The Earl of Eglinton and Winton
Secretary – Rebecca Purington, Entrepreneur
Treasurer – Mark Eddy, Vice President of Internal Audits, Hospital Corporation of America
Brian Beathard, Williamson County Commissioner, 11th District
Pearl Bransford, Alderman at Large, City of Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen
Billy Hyatt, CEO Cicayda Technologies
H. Edward Phillips, Attorney at Law
Will Powell, Vice President of Franklin Synergy Bank
Aimee Saunders, Williamson County Archivist
Alan Smith, Certified Public Accountant and Partner with Lewis, Smith and Associates
Ellie Westman-Chin, President and CEO of the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Blake Wintory, PhD, Director of Preservation, Heritage Foundation of Williamson County
Advisory Board of Directors
Bari Watson Beasley, CEO Heritage Foundation of Williamson County
Brady Davis, Director of Homeland Affairs, Division of Heritage Preservation of the Chickasaw Nation
Eleanor Fleming M.D., U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington D.C. Charter member of the Smithsonian African American Museum of History and Culture
Alma McLemore, President of the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County
Patrick McIntyre, State Historic Preservation Officer and Executive Director, Tennessee Historical Commission.
Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors James Patterson, went on to say, “With a multi-year, multi-million dollar rehabilitation project on such a diversely rich National Historic Landmark, it is vital we have board members who embrace a passion for preservation and a willingness to serve with the Foundation’s mission and vision in mind.”
The Foundation also announced its plans to transform the historic Hall into a museum and cultural center, focused on preservation, research, educational programming and events. The goal is to complete the rehabilitation by 2023 for the Hall’s 200th anniversary. Through it all, Hiram Lodge No. 7 will remain the owners of the historic Hall and is the oldest, continually occupied lodge in the state of Tennessee. With the generous anonymous donors and in particular, a sizeable gift from Hiram Lodge No. 7, the first phase of rehabilitation work is slated to begin later this summer.
To support the rehabilitation of the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall with a lead gift or donation, please contact Executive Director Rachael Finch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall Foundation
The Historic Franklin Masonic Hall Foundation is dedicated to restoring one of our nation’s most historic Masonic and public landmarks, educating the public on its diverse historic complexities of all people and events forever connected to it, and transforming the site into a museum and cultural center that will positively impact our community and country.