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Lee-Buckner School Alumni Reconnect at Franklin Grove

Lee-Buckner School Alumni Reconnect at Franklin Grove

FRANKLIN, TN (March 22, 2022) – On Saturday, March 19, 2022, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN welcomed former students of the historic Lee-Buckner School located in Spring Hill, Tennessee to the future home of the Franklin Grove Estate and Gardens. The occasion reunited the students while permitting the Preservation and Education team of the Heritage Foundation to share information about the plans to relocate and restore the school onto the grounds of Franklin Grove alongside an art museum, natural gardens, and the existing Franklin Innovation Center.

The students and their families reminisced and learned more about the process of interpreting their experiences for historical documentation and exhibition at the historic school in the future. They also shared memories of how the school was constructed and verified the accuracy of the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU Ph.D. Candidate Amanda Floyd Hamilton’s architectural drawings of the school.

“Today was a great opportunity to build deeper relationships with the former Lee-Buckner students and their families,” said Rachael Finch, Senior Director of Education and Preservation at the Heritage Foundation. “When the school is a part of Franklin Grove and accessible to everyone, we want their personal stories to be reflected accurately and with historical integrity for the betterment of the community.”

Originally the site of a post-Civil War Freedmen Bureau school, Franklin Grove is steeped in African American history. This historical thread is tied to more recent history through the circa 1927 historic Lee-Buckner Rosenwald School. Following its relocation from Spring Hill, TN to Franklin Grove, this immersive experience will allow guests to sit at desks, look at artifacts, discover stories from students, and reveal the lasting impact educational pursuits have had on Williamson County.

The Rosenwald Fund, which supported the efforts to build Rosenwald Schools to educate African American children across the rural, segregated South, was established through a unique partnership between Booker T. Washington (Founder of the Tuskegee Institute) and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald (CEO of Sears & Roebuck). The effort has been called the most important initiative to advance Black education in the early 20th century.

Today, only 10% of the 5,357 schools constructed between 1917-1932 have survived, and The National Trust for Historic Preservation lists Rosenwald Schools on its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list. Lee-Buckner is the last remaining Rosenwald School in Williamson County.

For more information about the Franklin Grove Estate and Gardens project, and how to get involved, visit Anyone with personal experiences or historical artifacts tied to any Rosenwald School is encouraged to contact Rachael Finch, Sr. Director of Education and Preservation at or 615-591-8500.

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Since 1967, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County has been dedicated to preserving Williamson County’s architectural, geographic and cultural heritage as well as 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. 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 downtown Franklin each year. The Heritage Foundation owns and operates The Franklin Theatre, the Downtown Franklin Association, and the organization’s newest division and current restoration project, Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens. For more information about the Heritage Foundation, visit