Monday, December 31, 2007

Barn #6

This barn sits at the intersection of a country road and a highway. There are a few small houses down the road and not much of anything on the highway. I'm afraid one strong wind may one day take this poor barn.

Starting Wednesday, we'll drive down to Leiper's Fork, a small town just south of Nashville.
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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Barn #5

Compared to the other abandoned barns I've encountered in Middle Tennessee, this one is quite small. Like most of the others, it sits alone behind a fence. There seemed to be a small shed behind it, and I wondered if the shed was once a chicken coop.
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Saturday, December 29, 2007


This silo is missing its barn. Located east of Nashville, it sits on a dirt road that's clost to a pretty busy intersection and across from a plaza and fast food restaurants.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Barns of Middle TN #3

This barn is located in Cheatham County, just north of Nashville. It's not too far from the barn I posted yesterday. What I found interesting about this barn is that, while most of the abandoned barns sit isolated on overgrown property, this one is very close to a house, and most of the land around it is grass. I moved a little to my left to take the photo shown at right so that you can see the house in the background.

Another thing that I found odd was that I don't remember seeing a fence on the property. Usually the barns that are falling down are fenced to keep people out.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Barn #2

While driving through the countryside on a grey day, we found this grey barn. It sits in the middle of a field, and there is not another building close to it. I wonder why the owner abandoned it.
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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Barns of Middle TN

For some reason, I love barns. I like the way they sit majestically amid trees and rolling hills, adding color to the landscape.

Over the next few days, I'll show you to a few of the barns. . .old, new and decrepit. . . I've found in the Nashville area. The red barn shown above, is in Williamson County, just south of the Davidson County (Nashville) line. It is still in use on what I believe is a horse farm.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays!

What is Christmas?
It is tenderness for the past,

courage for the present,

hope for the future.

It is a fervent wish that every cup

may overflow with blessings
rich and eternal
and that
every path may lead to peace.

- Agnes M. Pharo

To each and everyone of you, rich and eternal blessings,
joy and peace in all things.

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through Nashville International Airport, travelers were waiting for their flights, their luggage (above) or their loved ones. While weather played havoc with on-time departures and arrivals, at least most of us made it home in time for Christmas Eve celebrations.
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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Lights

During the holiday season, decorations adorn the yards and homes of our neighborhood. Many people put the nets of lights on bushes and strands of lights on the trees. Others have the lighted deer (which we have) or Santas or other characters, while some have a Nativity or blow-up characters. The icicle lights, which were very popular a few years ago, are no longer "in." That's too bad because I really liked those.

We noticed while driving around this year that there aren't as many decorated houses. Businesses have cut back on decorations, too. The power company, which usually has a huge tree made of electric lights on top of its downtown headquarters, doesn't have it this year.

Are there as many decorations where you live?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Emailing Santa

At Opryland, they have a place where kids can go and email Santa (above). Hmmmmm.

For some reason, I am not too wild about the fact that kids can now email Santa. I know that time marches on, and technology marches with it. BUT!! Is nothing sacred?

What do you think?

Up, Up and Away!

One of the many huge decorations floating about the indoor gardens at the Opryland Hotel is this hot air balloon. The balloons are suspended from the ceiling and don't move except when the slight breezes blow through the huge, open area.

Oh, Christmas Tree

I keep thinking about Christmas trees and how they have changed over the years.

When I was little, the lightbulbs were huge and always multi-colored. Ornaments were made of glass, and they were usually multi-colored. Tinsel adorned most trees, and if you had garland, it was shiny and thick, almost like little boas of tinsel. The tree toppers were usually stars or angels, and they always had a white bulb in them. And, of course, we all had mangers.

The metallic silver trees became popular, and people put silver bulbs on them. On the floor sat a light with a rotating "color wheel" on it. When turned on, the wheel would rotate, and the color of the tree would change.

At some point, the mini lights became popular, and people started using white lights instead of the multi-color lights. The ornaments went from being glass balls to being shapes and vignettes and snowflakes and more. Ribbons replaced tinsel and garland. Tree toppers were everything from stars to Santas to bows to bouquets.

Monochromatic trees became popular. You can find trees with all red or green (even lime green!) or blue or or silver or gold or purple or even BROWN bulbs, embellishments and lights (or white lights, of course!).

What kind of tree do you like?
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007


The windows of the State Office Tower in downtown Nashville glow with a message of "Peace" during the holiday season. Note the the lights are on in all of the offices, but that the workers draw shades in certain offices to darken the windows that are part of the message.

I cropped this photo closely because there were light poles between the building and where I was standing, and they're pretty distracting. The "P" actually extends down a few more floors, as you can see in the photo to the right. I didn't use a tripod.

When we first moved to Nashville in 1995, the tower "broadcast" a daily message or design via the windows. In 1996 or so, they stopped doing it to save energy, but during the holidays, the messages return.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And Lighting Up the City

At this time of year, one of the nice things about living in the state capital is that we get to see trees decorated for both the state and local government. A few blocks away from the state capitol's tree sits the 2008 Metro Nashville Christmas tree. Standing in front of the Metro Courthouse on Public Square, the 35-ft. blue spruce twinkles with more than 2,000 lights.

A couple of side notes: A local resident also donated this tree to the city for use.
Unlike the state tree, which is behind ropes, the city tree is quite accessible.

Just after I finished shooting this photo, three college-age guys came by and sang, "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" to my husband and me. Had it not started raining hard, I would have taken their photo.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lighting Up the Capitol

Each year, members of the state's horticultural staff keep an eye out for a tree that will become the state's holiday tree. This year, they chose a 55-year old blue spruce from a yard right in Davidson County. (Note: The owner of the tree did agree to let the state cut it down.)
Gov. Phil Bredesen and his wife, Andrea Conte, lit the the thousands of lights on November 29.

Workers had to use a crane to lift the more than 40-ft. tree to its perch in front of the capitol. If you'd like to see more photos of how they did it, click here.

Tomorrow, we'll take a walk down the street to see the city tree.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Light Show

The trees and shrubs outside the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center are not the only things decorated for the holiday season. Strings of lights, huge lighted ornaments and snowflakes (right) hang from the ceiling in the atriums, too.

And, yes, there are a number of atriums in the hotel. In addition to more than 2,880 guest rooms, there are nine acres of indoor gardens, a 44-ft. waterfall, a delta, complete with flatboats from which one can take "tour" the hotel, and the requisite shops and restaurants . If you listen to WSM radio (Home of the Grand Ol' Opry), you might remember that it broadcasts from the hotel.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


During the holiday season, more than two-million lights adorn over 1,000 trees and bushes on the Opryland Hotel property in Nashville. The front entrance and lobby of the hotel are behind the pond and waterfall shown above. If you look closely at the hotel's dormers, you'll note lighted wreaths in those windows, too. Believe it or not, over 1,000,000 people travel to see the lights annually.

Tomorrow, we'll go inside for a peek.

PS. Happy Birthday, Jason!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tripping the LIGHT Fantastic

Oh the first day of Christmas, my true love took me to see
A huge, lighted Opryland tree.

Every year, the Opryland Hotel festoons the trees, shrubs - and poles - around the main entrance to the property with a light display like no other. In July, the horticulturists start hanging the more-than-two-million lights in preparation for Country Christmas. The lights above turn an ordinary flag pole into a twinkling holiday tree.

Tomorrow I'll show you another view and tell you a little more of what goes on at Opryland.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

March of the Shoppers

Unlike the airport, the malls are packed with holiday shoppers even early in the morning.

While this is not the best shot in the world, it does give you an idea of the sea of humanity looking for bargains at Opry Mills Mall during the holiday shopping season. Before I opened my store in 1998, I used to have my holiday shopping done by early November to avoid the crowds. I have a lot of friends, though, who love it.

Opry Mills Mall, by the way, is the largest outlet mall in the area. Ten years ago, Opryland Amusement Park closed, and Opry Mills Mall sprouted up on the property. There was a lot of debate over that decision, but developers said the mall would bring more tourists to Nashville than Opryland did. Since the mall opened, a lot of businesses (restaurants and gift shops) in downtown Nashville have suffered and closed due to a decrease in tourist trade.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Not A Creature Was Stirring

Well, maybe about five creatures were stirring!

I had to fly out of town last week, and at 5 AM, Nashville International Airport is not particularly busy! I counted about 10 passengers between the security screening area and my gate. Of course, as my flight time approached an hour later, the halls were busy. However, not as busy as. . . . .But, that's for tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In the Spirit

A few of the merchants get into the spirit of the holidays during Franklin's Dickens Christmas by displaying vignettes in their front windows. The Mercantile added live women to their vignettes. Dressed in period costume, the two ladies were busy crafting. One did charcoal portraits while the other, shown above, knitted beaded purses. One of her creations is on the table behind her. The Patchwork Pantry had a harpist (left) entertain the crowds from the sidewalk in front of their store.

PS. Dog lovers, click here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Watered-down Jingle Bells

Street performers are a part of Dickens Christmas in Franklin, and this guy attracted a lot of attention. He was playing Jingle Bells at the time I snapped this photo. . .and he was quite good!

Some of you may not be aware of how he's creating music. He has crystal wine goblets of different sizes and shapes, and he's filled them with different amounts of water. He wets the tips of his fingers and then rubs them over the rims which creates a beautiful, musical sound.

It was beginning to sound a lot like Christmas yesterday!
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Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Dickens Christmas

This weekend, Franklin, which I featured a few weeks ago, held its annual Dickens Christmas on Main Street through downtown. Some vendors dress in period costumes, and one can take an
old-fashioned carriage ride (above) around the square. The dog, Cage, is a big hit as are the two horses that pull the carriage (right).

In addition to the carriage ride, the festival features artisan booths as well as a variety of foods, and there are a number of street performers. The shop owners on Main Street also decorate and participate in the festivities. While it was rainy and quite warm (70 degrees today!), the crowd did seem to be in the holiday spirit.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Welcome to the Fish Camp

This white, picket bridge goes over a small creek and leads one into the "Fish Camp." Middle Tennessee is ripe with rivers, lakes and streams, and fishing is very popular. I grew up in NE Ohio, and my late father used to fish as often as he could, sometimes two-three times per week. While I did go with him occasionally, I was never too wild about it.

Do you fish?
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Friday, December 7, 2007

Bridge over Tennessee River

A little more than an hour north of Nashville you'll find one of the largest, man-made bodies of water, Land Between the Lakes. The impounding of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers formed Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. They, in turn, created the largest inland peninsula (believe it or not) in the USA. In 1963, President Kennedy named the area a National Recreation Site to show that land with limited resources could actually be an asset. LBL continues to be a natural asset to the US.

LBL has over 170,000 acres of land, over 200,000 surface acres (water), 200 miles of hiking/biking trails, 100 miles of horseback riding trails, over 950 campsites, 1300 plant species, over 240 bird and 50 mammal species, and three sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, LBL has over 90 bridges, including the one shown above.

I took this photo from the Turkey Bay vehicle area. The water on the south side of the bridge (where I'm standing) is part of the Tennessee River. The water on the north side is part of Kentucky Lake. There are a number of campgrounds and fishing docks in the area. In addition, there's also the elk and bison prairie (created to restore their natural habitat) and Golden Pond Visitor Center.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

View from Natchez Trace Bridge

A few people asked me if one is able to walk across the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge which I featured the other day. Yes! The 150-ft. high bridge doesn't have a sidewalk, but the shoulder is wide enough for one to walk safely along the bridge. While we were on the bridge, there were several families up there, also. (One was taking a family photo to use in the holiday card.) And, as one would imagine, wildlife abounds in the area.

The road running under the bridge is Hwy. 96. The bridge and most of the road visible in my photo are in Williamson County (Franklin). However, not too far from where you see the white barn roof on the left is the Davidson County line (Nashville).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Farm Bridge

Today I thought I would show you this pretty interesting bridge. It's built over a creek that flows through farmland not too far from my house. It's actually on private property and is part of the driveway that approaches the house. Very nice, no?

I apologize that it didn't get posted yesterday. I'm out of town until tomorrow and have had limited internet access.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

The Natchez Trace originally linked Nashville with Natchez, Mississippi. The current Natchez Trace Parkway also links the two, but does not follow the exact route.

In the early 1990s. construction of the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge (above) began. Stretching over 1600 feet, the arched bridge spans Hwy 96 between Nashville and Franklin and is over 150 feet high. It's interesting to note that it was the first bridge in North America to be constructed of precast concrete segments.

Opened to traffic in 1994, the bridge has won over 15 design awards.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge

The Shelby Street Pedestrian bridge opened to traffic in 1909. The first bridge in North American to have trusses, it connected east Nashville with the downtown area. Over the years, the bridge underwent repairs to alleviate erosion of surface concrete. In 1998, the city closed the bridge to vehicular traffic due to the poor condition it was in. The Korean War Memorial Bridge replaced this bridge it.

Shelby Street Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 because of the truss design, and officials saved it from demolition by deciding to make it a pedestrian bridge. The bridge, which is part of the Metro Nashville Greenway system, opened as a pedestrian bridge in 2003. The new additions include elevators, ramps, a bike lane down the center, and pedestrian overlooks. (I took yesterday's photo of the Korean War Memorial Bridge from one of them.) The eastern end of the bridge is close to LP Field, home to the Tennessee Titans. The western end is close to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

If you are a fan of the country duo Big & Rich, you might recognize the bridge from their Save a Horse, Ride A Cowboy music video which was shot on the bridge.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Theme Day: Korean War Memorial Bridge at Night

On the first day of every month, a number of City Daily Photo bloggers participate in a theme day. This month's theme is "BRIDGES."

In 2006, Metro-Davidson (Nashville) government passed an ordinance renaming the Gateway Bridge as The Korean War Memorial Bridge to honor the more than 130,000 Tennesseans who served during the Korean Conflict. The bridge, which spans the Cumberland River and connects east Nashville with downtown, opened in 2004, replacing the Shelby Street Bridge.

Tomorrow I'll show you the Shelby Street Bridge and tell you what happened to it.

To see my first entry about - and another view of - the Korean War Memorial Bridge, click here.

The following is a list of all the City Daily Photo blogs participating in today's theme day. Be sure to check out bridges all over the world by visiting their sites!

Boston (MA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Inverness (IL), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Stockholm, Sweden - Setúbal, Portugal - Brussels, Belgium - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Hyde, UK - Manila, Philippines - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - London, England - Austin (TX), USA - Toulouse, France - Weston (FL), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Selma (AL), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - North Bay (ON), Canada - Arradon, France - Paderborn, Germany - Durban, South Africa - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Portland (OR), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Wichita (Ks), USA - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Grenoble, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Arlington (VA), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Miami (FL), USA - Cheltenham, UK - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Saratoga Spgs. (NY), USA - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Nashville (TN), USA - Toruń, Poland - New Orleans (LA), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Melbourne, Australia - Moscow, Russia - Trujillo, Peru - Château-Gontier, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Joplin (MO), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Brookville (OH), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Baziège, France - Auckland, New Zealand - Wellington, New Zealand - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Subang Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Detroit (MI), USA - Riga, Latvia - Nelson, New Zealand - Budapest, Hungary - Cape Town, South Africa - Sydney, Australia - Dunedin (FL), USA - Sofia, Bulgaria - Radonvilliers, France - Turin, Italy - Montpellier, France - Kansas City (MO), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Wailea (HI), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Terrell (TX), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Budapest, Hungary - Montréal (QC), Canada - Sharon (CT), USA - Le Guilvinec, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - London, UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Orlando (FL), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Paris, France - Mainz, Germany - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Darmstadt, Germany - Naples (FL), USA - Torino, Italy - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Bogor, Indonesia - The Hague, Netherlands - Minneapolis (MN), USA

Friday, November 30, 2007

'Tis the Seasoned Bath

As I was walking down Main Street in Franklin, this display in a store window caught my eye. . . holiday packages in a bathtub!

, as its name implies sells bath and body products. Started in 1998 by a transplanted Brit, Paul Barrett, Bathos sells soaps, scrubs, shampoos, rubs, face masks, etc. Paul and his fiance, Stacy, make everything (except the soap dishes and some other accessories) from hand and use only safe, natural ingredients, nor do they test their products on animals.

I like the Hullaballoos which are giant bath fizzies. You throw one in the bath water, and it spins and fizzes while it softens the water (and your skin!). Very, very cool. And, for the name (as well as the smell) I love their Frosty the Soapman.

Tomorrow is theme day!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

First Methodist

Just round the corner from the Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church (shown here) is the First United Methodist Church. When he founded Franklin in 1799, Abram Maury donated land a few blocks away for the building (Church and 1st) of the church, making FUMC the oldest congregation in town. Forty years later, the church relocated to Church and 2nd Avenue. During the Civil War, Union troops occupied the building, and eventually made it a hospital. In 1869, the church purchased - for $300 - the small, triangular piece of land on which it now stands. Completed in 1871, the church had approximately 230 members.

As Franklin has grown, so has membership in the church, now standing at approximately 2,700. The have four services each weekend, two in the church, and two in the church's gymnasium. While there are plans to build a new church on land they purchased outside of the downtown area, FUMC will keep the historic sanctuary to use for special services.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

War Would End

War would end if the dead could return.
- Stanley Baldwin

This Daughters of the Confederacy dedicated this monument to the memory of Confederate soldiers in 1899. The monument stands in the round-about on the square in downtown Franklin.

To answer a question as to whether I have attended the Battle of Franklin Commemoration: I have not, but I plan to go this year and will hopefully have a photo of it this weekend. In 1995, however, I attended a re-enactment of the Battle of Franklin.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Moving away from Carter House and the Battle of Franklin, I thought I would show you some of the beautiful homes in the downtown Franklin area. There are a lot of homes that sit just a few blocks from Main Street, which I think is great. The neighborhoods are charming, and the homes have a lot of character. As I mentioned in the post about Westhaven, developers are trying to bring back that town center feel. Having lived in suburbia most of my life, I really like that idea and would love to try it sometime.

Note: Thanks to all of you who have left comments or emailed me about the Carter House "book" that I've blogged over the past few days. As a student, I hated history because, like most of us, I had to remember names and dates. Fortunately, I've learned that there is much more to history than names and dates.

Tomorrow, we'll take another look at downtown Franklin.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Carter House #4

Franklin is the blackest page in the history of the War of the Lost Cause. It was the bloodiest battle of modern times in any war. It was the finishing stroke to the Independence of the Southern Confederacy.
I was there. I saw it.

–Sam Watkins, 1st Tennessee Infantry

Battle of Franklin, cont'd. (I promise not to be as verbose today!)

As one would imagine, the Carter property did not survive unscathed. The Union had torn down barns and part of the cotton gin to build fortifications. Because the farm office and smoke house were right where the soldiers built the inner breastworks, they received a lot of damage from musket and gun fire. And, after the battle, the main house became a hospital for wounded soldiers.

The farm office (above) has the distinction of having the most bullet holes of any building still standing from the war. The photo above is of the south and west walls of the office. At left is a photo of the south wall of the smoke house. Note the holes left by musket balls. In all, there are over 1,000 bullet and musket holes still visible in the walls of the Carter House buildings. (Click on the photos to enlarge them and get a better look at the damage.)

Unfortunately, damage to their property was not the devastation the family faced. When the Carter family emerged from the cellar at the end of the battle, they found that the Union army had pushed on to Nashville. However, their elation at having survived unscathed and having the Union gone dimmed rather quickly when a Confederate soldier told them that Capt. Theodrick (Tod) Carter, Fountain's 24-year old son, had been wounded in battle.

Moscow Carter, Tod's oldest brother, immediately went out to the fields to find Tod. Soon, Fountain Branch Carter, three of Todd's sisters, a sister-in-law, and neighbors joined in the search. (Keep in mind that it was near midnight at this point, and there were no street lights.) The group carried lanterns and torches and had to wend their way over the fortifications, through the trenches and through the blood and the bodies of wounded and deceased soldiers piled on their property. Just before daybreak, they found Tod about 500 feet from the house and carried him back to the house where he had been born. He died two days later from head wounds.

Called the "Gettysburg of the West," the five-hour Battle of Franklin was one of the bloodiest of the war. Of the 22,000 infantry and 5,000 calvary soldiers fighting for the Union, 2500 were either wounded, captured or killed. Of the Confederacy's 20.100 infantry and 5,000 calvary soldiers, over 7,000 were wounded, captured or killed. Four Confederate generals were killed, while only one Union general was wounded. More soldiers from the Confederate Army of Tennessee were killed (1750+) were killed in that five-hour battle than in the five-day Battle of Shiloh or the three-day Battle of Stones River.

The State of Tennessee bought the Carter House in 1951 and opened it to the public two years later. It is a Registered Historic Landmark and serves as a monument to all the soldiers who fought there.

There is an effort to restore as much of the battlefield as possible. In 2005, the City of Franklin purchased a lot about 100 yards from the Carter House where, for years, a Pizza Hut stood. That was the site of the Carter cotton gin and the Union's main breastworks (fortifications) and was near where Confederate General Patrick Clebourne fell. In addition, last year, the Carter House Association acquired 1/2 acre of land adjacent to the property and a key part of the battlefield.

On the anniversary of the battle every year, volunteers light 10,000 luminaries to commemorate the casualties of the Battle of Franklin.