About Franklin, Tennessee

Where is Franklin, Tennessee?

Franklin is located about 20 miles south of Nashville and serves as the seat of Williamson County. Depending on traffic, it’s a 20-to-40-minute drive into the Nashville city center via I-65.

The city of Franklin borders Brentwood on its north, Nolensville to its east, Peytonsville to its south, and the community of Kingfield to its west.

The Harpeth River winds through the middle of Franklin, giving it the feel of a cleaner, scaled-down Nashville.

Franklin Quick Facts:

  • Founded: 1799
  • Population: About 80,000 people
  • Franklin Trivia: The city is named after Founding Father Benjamin Franklin
  • Elevation: 643 feet

What is Franklin Known For?

  • Franklin has been Williamson County seat since Middle Tennessee was first settled
  • Franklin was the site of two Civil War battles and has deep connections to the antebellum South
  • The Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival is held in the city each September, and Franklin hosts a variety of street fairs and other downtown activities in the summer
  • A wide variety of housing options, from old Southern mansions to traditional apartments

Things to Do in Franklin, TN:

Why People Love Franklin:

  • Franklin offers a great balance between the city living of Nashville and the rural, residential beauty of Williamson County.
  • Franklin is the perfect hub for travel throughout Tennessee and the region, as it’s highway adjacent and driving distance from Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Huntsville, Birmingham, and even Memphis
  • There is ample space for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and kayaking but also great shopping and fantastic restaurants

The History of Franklin:

A variety of Native American tribes inhabited Middle Tennessee before the arrival of white settlers. Many of those tribes were part of the greater Mississippian culture, who built dirt mounds in the area that you can still visit today.

Like most of Middle Tennessee, Franklin was carved out of land grants to Revolutionary War soldiers from North Carolina. The city was established as the planned seat for the new Williamson County.

In the first half of the 19th century, Franklin was a thriving but controversial city, as its positioning between Nashville and Birmingham made it a key part of the Southern economy. Unfortunately, though, it was also the site of a great deal of racial violence.

Two Civil War battles were fought in Franklin, including a strategic victory for the North in 1864, which set up another major Northern win in the Battle of Nashville just two weeks later.

Between the Civil War and the late 20th century, Franklin’s population and local importance shrunk as a result of population migration to the north, east, and west.

In the 1980s and ‘90s, however, Franklin experienced a major turnaround, as its population doubled over a 20-year period and people who had previously moved to Nashville rediscovered the beauty and charm of Williamson County. Now, Franklin is one of the area’s brightest and most exciting communities.

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