7. The Campbell School (1014 West Main Street)
ABOUT THE CAMPBELL SCHOOL:
This may not be among the showiest homes on West Main Street, but the Campbell School certainly has an illustrious past. There is some disagreement about when the structure was built, but estimates range from 1858 to 1867. Brothers Andrew and Patrick Campbell operated the Franklin Male Academy in this building until the 1890s. The four youngest Campbell brothers had immigrated to Franklin from Ireland, but their family was originally from Scotland. Andrew and Patrick had been hired as principals at Harpeth Academy and successfully managed the school until 1856 when the Know-Nothing party declared that no one of foreign birth could hold a position of honor or responsibility. After resigning from Harpeth Academy and each opening their own private school, the brothers reunited and established the Franklin Male Academy on property that Patrick had purchased before the Civil War.
The Campbell School is now a private residence, but traces of its past as a schoolhouse remain. In 1956, the new owners found a blackboard scrawled with equations behind some old wallpaper, and the names of four sneaky students can still be seen scratched into a front windowpane.
WHY I LOVE THIS HOUSE:
The Campbell School seems to have a bit of pluck, this modest school holding its own among the grand mansions of West Main Street. The building’s unique backstory makes it stand out, proving that bigger isn’t necessarily better. I love the thought of a living room or parlor filled with the past echoes of young students working toward their futures, one assignment at a time.