Preservationists and Franklin officials gathered Tuesday with Franklin residents Reid and Brenda Lovell to sign a $2.8 million contract that will have the Lovells' property located just south of The Carter House on Columbia Avenue become part of the protected battlefield lands. Franklin Homepage has a lot more info.
The contract allows Franklin’s Charge and the Battle of Franklin Trust one year to raise the necessary funds to complete the transaction. This acquisition brings a total of 20 acres in downtown Franklin that have been saved as Civil War battlefield sites. They collectively represent one of the largest urban public Civil War attractions in the nation.
The Battle of Franklin Trust has tapped longtime employee Eric Jacobson to be its CEO. Previously the Trust’s COO, Jacobson has been with the organization since 2006. He oversees operations of The Carter House and Carnton Plantation and is the author of three books, For Cause & For Country, The McGavock Confederate Cemetery and Baptism of Fire.
“This was a unanimous decision from the board,” said Marianne Schroer, the Trust's board chairman. “Eric’s guiding hand has led the Trust to record attendance and national recognition. He is truly a visionary and we look forward to continued growth in our charitable and educational missions.”
Franklin developer and entrepreneur Calvin LeHew — the man behind the restoration and reuse of The Factory — has cut a $200,000 check to Franklin's Charge, the group seeking to assemble a number of parcels off Columbia Avenue and recreate some of the land where the fiercest fighting during the Battle of Franklin took place in late 1864. The gift gets Franklin's Charge to within $100,000 of its goal, but the clock is ticking.
“Our focus is to have the Cotton Gin Park in place by the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Franklin in November of 2014,” Pearce said. “Completing the acquisition of the land is the first step, and it is critically important that we meet this May 30 deadline.”