Tour 8 of Franklin’s Most Charming Historic Homes

historic watson house, franklin tn
Photo: Katie Shands










Glimpses into the past can be found nearly everywhere in Franklin, Tennessee—from the bullet-riddled buildings that bore witness to the Battle of Franklin to the old churches and homes that testify to a bygone way of life—but the battle to preserve these historic structures was hard-won. After Franklin lost several significant properties, a group of citizens founded the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County in 1967 “to conserve the best of the past and to plan for the benefit of the future.” Since then, numerous buildings have been saved and preserved (including The Franklin Theatre and the Old, Old Jail), and the 15-block downtown district has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

An award-winning, new novel Finding Franklin celebrates the rich history of this town while weaving a modern tale of mystery and romance. The author Katie Shands has compiled a list of her favorite Franklin historic homes, one of which makes an appearance in her book. Read on—or even better, print out this list and take a walking tour—for a personal peek into Franklin’s fascinating past.

Katie Shands began writing professionally as a broadcast journalist, but now focuses on fiction. Her first novel Finding Franklin won a Janice Keck Literary Award; to purchase a signed copy, visit, Landmark Booksellers, Handy Hardware, or Bound Booksellers. Katie makes her home in Franklin with her husband and three children.