Franklin, Tennessee has a unique blend of history and new growth. One of the bloodiest wars in the Civil War took place here, bringing thousands of historic tourists each year to visit the site of the Battle of Franklin, Carnton Plantation, the Carter House, and many other historic locations throughout the City.   In 2009, The National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded Franklin the prestigious title of Distinctive Destination for offering an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture and a strong commitment to historic preservation. In the same year the American Planning Association named the downtown Franklin area a Top Ten Great Neighborhood  for the Downtown Franklin’s outstanding historic character and architecture, and meaningful protection measures the City has adopted to ensure Franklin’s unique sense of place is not compromised by future growth and development.

Approximately 62,000 people live in Franklin. The Cool Springs area is a business, dining and shopping hub with many Fortune 500 companies located here. Business Week Magazine named Franklin one of the Top 50 Cities to Start a Small Business. Some of the other awards Franklin has received recently include:

  • The National Trust for Historic Preservation has given Franklin the prestigious title of Distinctive Destination for offering an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture and a strong commitment to historic preservation.
  • 2010 Most Romantic Main Street-National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • 2010 One of the Best Cities for Startups-Zoom Businessweek
  • 2012 Best Places to Live, 52th-Money Magazine
  • 2009 Top 50 City to Start a Small Business-Business Week Online
  • 2009 Best Neighborhood-American Planning Association
  • Money Magazine’s Top 10 Places to Retire
  • Great American Main Street Award
  • Number One Small Town in Tennessee
  • Five National Register Historic Districts
  • #10 for new jobs created in America and projected to be 3rd in America for new jobs over the next twenty years.
  • One of Five Best Places in America to Antique Shop


The City of Franklin was founded October 26, 1799 and was named after Benjamin Franklin, a close friend of Dr. Hugh Williamson, a member of the Continental Congress for whom Williamson County was named. For most of its first 180 years, Franklin was a tranquil, small county seat. In the years prior to the Civil War, Williamson County was one of the wealthiest counties in Tennessee and Franklin the center of plantation economy. Two Presidents made visits to Franklin and three Secretaries of War were from the immediate area.

However, the Civil War devastated the economy. Union troops occupied the area for nearly three years. The Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864, and was one of the war’s bloodiest battles, costing more than 8,000 casualties and turning every home and building in town into a hospital. It took 120 years for the county’s economy to reach pre-war levels. For more than a century, Franklin seemed remote, not only from Nashville, but from the rest of the world as well.

Today, Franklin is one of the wealthiest cities in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. The 2010 Census lists the City’s population at 62,487. This makes us the 9th largest city in Tennessee and one of the fastest growing.

Franklin is a unique blend of history and progress. You’ll find the best of both worlds here: small-town charm and big-city sophistication. There are fascinating Civil War sites and museums, magnificent Antebellum and Victorian homes – plus our thriving downtown shopping area and the Cool Springs Galleria, unique dining and entertainment, and wonderful festivals. Franklin has grown from a very small, agricultural community into a strong blend of residential, commercial and corporate citizens.

Annual Events & Festivals

 franklin events

There are eight annual events in historic downtown Franklin:

Franklin Main Street Brewfest 
(Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day)
A free Irish street festival with a ticketed beer and Irish whiskey tasting in Main Street area shops

Main Street Festival
(Fourth full weekend in April)
This annual festival brings more than 200 artisans & crafters, three stages of entertainment, two carnivals and two food courts to the historic Public Square and Downtown District.

Franklin on the Fourth  
Patriotic festival in Downtown Franklin with arts, crafts, food, and entertainment.

Bluegrass Along the Harpeth
(Fourth weekend in July)
Musical festival featuring Bluegrass music, fiddling, buck dancing, crafts, food and more.

Franklin Jazz Festival
(Labor Day Weekend)
A celebration of Jazz in historic downtown Franklin.

(Saturday before Halloween)
An annual fall festival for the entire family featuring entertainment, a children’s play zone, and the annual chili cook-off.

Wine Down Main Street
(1st Saturday in November)
A unique wine-tasting event in historic downtown Franklin that benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Franklin/Williamson County.

Dickens of a Christmas 
(Second weekend in December)
Downtown Franklin is transformed in to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with over 250 costumed characters, street performers, Victorian food, and horse-drawn carriage rides.

Historic Downtown Franklin

The area of downtown Franklin is built around a town square located at 3rd Avenue and Main Street (US Route #31). Located at the center of the square there is a Civil War Monument. The monument is a lone Confederate soldier standing guard on top of a pillar overlooking the center of town. The monument, nicknamed “Chip” was erected November 30, 1899 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. “Chip” gets his nickname from the chipped brim of his hat which was caused the day the monument was erected. “Chip” is a popular landmark of Franklin and continues to stand guard. There are also several historic homes located in this area.

In addition to the historical sites located in downtown Franklin, many businesses make this area their home. Main Street is filled with boutiques and a variety of eateries.


As of the census of 2010, there were 62,487 people (Williamson County’s population was 193,595), 16,128 households, and 11,225 families residing in the city. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 38.1% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 7.4% who were 65 years of age or older.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $75,871, and the median income for a family was $91,931. Less than 5.0% of the eligible workforce was unemployed