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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Williamson County Courthouse - Franklin, TN

Williamson County Courthouse

Williamson County's first two courthouses (one log and the second of brick) were located in the center of Franklin's town square. This one is the third, completed in 1858 at a cost of $20,000. There are about 7 antebellum courthouses still in use in Tennessee.

The Four iron columns were strip-mined from deposits along the Caney Fork Creek, smelted in nearby Fernvale and cast at a Franklin foundry. The brick walls are 24 inches thick and the doors are of quarter inch sheets of wrought iron.

During the Civil War, it served as the federal headquarters. Then, after the Battle of Franklin it served as a hospital.

In 1880, a lynch mob hung a man from the railing of the second floor balcony while forcibly restraining the judge and sheriff.

The interior was remodeled in 1937, 1964 and 1976. An annex was added in 1976. A photo of the building from the mid 1970's shows the entire exterior was painted white, although I'm not sure when that was first done, or when the original brick was restored. Today, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the center of the town square today is a confederate statue and four cannons, one at each corner.

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