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Heritage Foundation to support National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “This Place Matters” Campaign

April 30, 2019 (FRANKLIN, Tenn.) – May is National Preservation Month and the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County is making every effort to raise awareness about places that matter throughout the county.

“This Place Matters” is the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s national campaign during Preservation Month that encourages people to celebrate the places that are meaningful to them and to their communities. Through the campaign, the Heritage Foundation hopes to encourage and inspire an ongoing dialogue about the importance of place and preservation. In honor of Preservation Month, the Heritage Foundation is celebrating by hosting several events.

The festivities kick off in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday, May 2nd with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Big Payback initiative. The Big Payback is a community-wide giving day that celebrates Middle Tennessee’s spirit of generosity and supports the life-changing work of area nonprofits. The public can support many of their favorite nonprofits through this initiative. The Heritage Foundation is fundraising to support their day-to-day operations, including its divisions, the Downtown Franklin Association (nationally accredited Main Street program), The Franklin Theatre and the new Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens. The funds will also help the Foundation continue its support of County Historian Rick Warwick, its 30-year old Heritage Classroom education program and more.  Gifts made to participating organizations during The Big Payback are amplified by incentives and awards and may help the Heritage Foundation qualify for special prizes and bonuses throughout the day. For more information or to donate, visit

As a division of the Heritage Foundation, the Downtown Franklin Association (DFA) is taking part in Preservation Month and celebrating the places that matter by hosting Shop Local Week in downtown Franklin from May 5th – 11th. Participating downtown merchants will be offering special discounts, pop-ups and exclusive offerings.

During Shop Local Week, the DFA, in partnership with Williamson, Inc., will also be hosting the historic Dr. McPhail Office building open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on May 7th. From 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. DFA supporters can stop by the little brick building on East Main Street and get a glimpse of one of downtown Franklin’s oldest structures during this open house event. Built in 1815, the Dr. McPhail Office has served as a doctor’s office, Union army headquarters and law office. It also has housed the visitors’ center and Early’s Honey Stand. It is now home to the Downtown Franklin Association and the office of Executive Director of the Main Street Program Jill Burgin.

On Tuesday, May 14th, at 5:30 p.m., the Heritage Foundation will host its annual meeting and preservation awards at The Franklin Theatre, sponsored by Franklin Synergy Bank and appetizers provided by Taziki’s. During this meeting, organization members and community supporters will celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of the Heritage Foundation and its divisions from the previous year.

The Foundation will also honor the nominees and announce the winners of the 2018-2019 Preservation Awards. In addition, the Foundation will be making some key announcements and unveiling some major elements in regard to its new division, Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens (former O’More College of Design Campus in downtown Franklin). New this year, the meeting and awards program is open to the public for $20/person. To register for the event, visit Members and organization VIPs will receive a promo code for complementary tickets.

Closing out the Preservation Month events is the 2nd annual cornhole tournament, produced by Next Generation Heritage Foundation and Leiper’s Fork Distillery and sponsored by Frost Brown Todd Attorneys on May 18. From 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. a two-tier bracket cornhole tournament will take place on the grounds of Leiper’s Fork Distillery. In addition to the tournament, there will be live music, a kids’ area, food trucks, tours of Leiper’s Fork Distillery and whiskey tastings. True to the Heritage Foundation’s mission, guests who go on the tour will learn about the historic cabin on the property, built by James Daniel from Yellow Creek (VanLeer) in Tennessee circa 1820-1825, which currently houses the distillery gift shop, tasting room and offices.

The cornhole tournament serves as a family-friendly community event and an opportunity for the Heritage Foundation’s Next Generation membership group to engage community members, ages 21 to 40. The winning team of the tournament will receive a $250 cash prize. Registration is open through May 11th. Two-person teams can register for $50 at Distillery tours must be booked in advance through Leiper’s Fork Distillery’s website: If you would like to volunteer at the cornhole tournament, visit

For more information about the Heritage Foundation Preservation Month events, visit


About the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN

Since 1967, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN has been dedicated to protecting and preserving Williamson County’s architectural, geographic and cultural heritage and promoting the ongoing revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation. Notable projects include The Franklin Theatre, Roper’s Knob, parts of the Franklin battlefield and the Old, Old Jail. The Foundation brings county history to about 3,000 public, private and homeschooled children each year through the Heritage Classroom program and walking tours of downtown Franklin. Events and festivals produced by the Heritage Foundation such as Main Street Festival, the Heritage Ball, Pumpkinfest and Dickens of a Christmas bring hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors to the county each year. The Heritage Foundation owns and operates the “home of first kisses,” The Franklin Theatre, the area’s nationally accredited Main Street Program through the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Downtown Franklin Association, and the organization’s newest division and current restoration and rehabilitation project, Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens. For more information about the Heritage Foundation, visit

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