With tourists flocking to our area more and more each year, Williamson County has become a hub of fascinated inquirers either hoping to catch sight of a celebrity, view historic battlefields, or simply shop for local goodies on Main Street.
Williamson County is loaded with treasures that are just waiting to be discovered by a newcomer and history buff. One of those treasures is the Williamson County Archives, located right in the heart of historic downtown Franklin.
The Williamson County Archives serves as residence for all official records of Williamson County, dating back close to the origin of the county in 1799. Beyond that, the priceless riches of our history are located in the museum within the same property. The collection houses items such as clothing, furniture, a moonshine still, farm equipment, and so much more. While the collection is impressive, it continues to grow, ensuring the preservation of the Williamson County culture existing long before the tourists started flooding Main Street.
The Williamson County Archives and Museum was named in honor of Williamson County’s first Archivist, Louise G. Lynch, and was therefore aptly given the name The Louise G. Lynch Archives and Museum.
Any seasoned historian or even novice visitor can’t help but be awestruck at the treasures found in the museum. This includes artifacts used by both Confederate and Union soldiers during the Battle of Franklin, numerous pieces of ammunition, medical saddle bags, and even a Bible with Williamson County ties. Another collection located in the Archives, known as the Battle Ground Academy Collection, features cavalry swords, and canteens that were discovered on the Franklin battlefield, the Colonel James Welborn Starnes banner, and the First Corps battle flag used during Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk’s command. Other attention-grabbing items include three Confederate veteran uniforms along with the thirty-four-star United States flag dating between 1861 and 1863.
“Anyone interested in conducting historical or genealogical research is invited to stop by our Reading Room where we can introduce you to our collection of historical resources. Our county record collection contains documents dating back to 1800. Historical county records provide some of the best evidence of what life was like in nineteenth century Williamson County,” says Bradley Boshers, Archives Director.
Williamson County Archives and Museum is generally open Monday through Friday from 8-4:30 p.m and from 9-5:30 p.m during the months of May through October. You can find the Archives located at 611 West Main Street at Five Points in Franklin, adjacent to the Williamson County Veterans Park.
“We invite anyone and everyone to come on by and visit us. We are open to the public, and admission to the Archives and Museum is always free,” states Boshers. Furthermore, the Archives and Museum often opens its doors in conjunction with local events such as Main Street Festival, Pumpkinfest, and Dickens of a Christmas along with the Franklin Art Scene the first Friday of every month.