Tennessee Preservation Trust

Historic Franklin Masonic Hall to Hold A Civil War Trails Marker Dedication

Posted: 06/06/2016

Franklin, TN (June 1, 2016) – The Historic Franklin Masonic Hall in Franklin, Tennessee will hold a special Civil War Trails marker dedication on Friday, June 10, 2016 at 10 o’clock. The Historic Franklin Masonic Hall cordially invite the public to attend the dedication. Following the dedication, community leaders, preservationists and partners will hold a special ribbon cutting around the marker.

The Historic Franklin Masonic Hall is honored to have a distinguished line up of speakers including City of Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore, Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson, Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County historian Rick Warwick, Preservation Consultant for the Masonic Hall and Research Historian for the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area Rachael Finch, and keynote speaker, Tennessee Tourism Legislative Liaison Lee Curtis. Following the ceremony, tours of the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall will be available to the public.

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On the eve of the Civil War, Masons across the United States urged peace. James McCullum, Grand Master of Tennessee, hoped that if war came, “the brethren engaged in the lawful contest to remember that a fallen foe is a brother, and as such is entitled to warmest sympathies and kindliest attention.” In the spring of 1861, local women including Carrie McGavock of Carnton Plantation and her slave Mariah, gathered at the Masonic Hall in Franklin, to sew Confederate uniforms. During Union occupation in 1863, the Hall became quartermaster offices and barracks for the 14th Michigan and 2nd Michigan Cavalry regiments. Their presence encouraged Masons Dr. Daniel Cliffe, Dr. Samuel Henderson, Frank Hardeman, and non-Masons W.S. Campbell and A.J. Pinkston to meet here and prepare for the first Unionist rally in Franklin Saturday, August 22, 1863. The Hall served as a field hospital after the Battle of Franklin on November 30th 1864. The Lodge later received reparations for damage sustained during the war. In 1865, newly freed African Americans settled nearby along present-day 2nd Avenue. On July 6, 1867, a riot occurred downtown as the primarily African American Union League clashed with former Confederate sympathizers, shuttering the Masonic meeting that night.