After our delightful time at Blackberry Farm, we spent several days at our daughter’s farm in Franklin, Tennessee. Always when I am there, I find it uncanny that this is where she has chosen to live as in some ways it is a continuation of my family’s history.
Sometime early in the twentieth century my daddy’s family bought property there to access, I was told, better schools for him and his siblings. Though I don’t know much about their early history, there are surviving documents relating to property purchases and bank loans that tell some of the story.
Now, here’s where it gets a little crazy. I was born in Franklin. All that I knew of that was from a photo of my mother standing on the steps of a stone building with a baby that was me in her arms.
Fast forward to when my daughter was attending Vanderbilt University in Nashville and going to church in Franklin. On a visit there, my first since I was a very young child, we walked by a building that triggered some distant memory. It was a nursing home, but something about it kept nagging at me so after church, I had to stop and inquire about its history. Several people had no clue, but there was one person there who remembered it used to be known as Dan German Hospital. It gave me the shivers to know that I was standing in the place of my beginning, and my daughter was totally flabbergasted.
Since that time the building has served several purposes, but it has been properly identified and labeled a historical landmark. I can’t resist going by there any time I am in Franklin as it puts me in touch with my own history.
For some time after my birth, the parents and I shared a family home with my grandfather and great grandmother, the two in the middle of the photo. Funny, but I don’t know the story of that and have no memory of those early days. With there being no one left to ask, the answers will remain a mystery. I have, however, located the old place and kindly been admitted by the now owners. While there are many improvements, the original moldings and woodwork are still there, and as I walked through the old rooms many memories came flooding back.
I combed my great grandmother’s hair in the parlor. My brother and I loved pumping the old organ that was in the front room and having it bellow its dusty sounds. We and our cousins played hide and seek in the house, and one of my favorite hiding places was in a linen chest at the end of the hall. Eventually, it was passed to my parents and now it sits in my house where there will always be a place for it.
Franklin was a sleepy little town, but that is no longer true. Most of the original buildings stand, but today they are trendy boutiques and crowded restaurants.
What hasn’t changed is the confederate soldier who stands in the public square as tribute to those who gave their life during the Civil War.
Away from town are beautiful horse farms, many owned by well known folks associated with Nashville’s music scene.
I love the countryside with its fences and rock walls, its narrow curving roads and historical markers. Each one of those images evokes a sense of where I came from and there is great comfort in that which I’m not likely to have experienced had the daughter not chosen to live in Franklin. Isn’t it funny how things happen?
i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind