March 29, 2019

Preservation Personals: The Grand Dame of Middle Tennessee

  • By: Emma Sarappo
The exterior of Meeting of the Waters in Franklin, Tennessee.

photo by: Joe Cashia

Franklin, Tennessee 37069.

Since the turn of the 19th century, I’ve been standing south of Nashville, Tennessee, near the spot where two rivers—the Harpeth and the West Harpeth—flow into one. Understandably, they call me Meeting of the Waters.

My 18 acres sat along the Old Natchez Trace, an important trade and travel route created first by migrating prehistoric animals and maintained by Native Americans. It wound from Natchez, Mississippi, up to Nashville through the heart of Choctaw and Chickasaw land.

I stand just minutes away from the award-winning, 155-foot, double-arched concrete bridge on the modern Natchez Trace Parkway. I’m also just a few miles from the heart of downtown Franklin, a preservation success story. In short, my history is intimately tied to the area’s: my third owner’s wife Martha Thomas Maury was the granddaughter of Abram Maury, Franklin’s founder.

But my location isn’t my only selling point. In fact, I would be just as impressive without it. I am an impressively intact two-story Federal house built between 1800 and 1809, and I remain one of the oldest and grandest houses in the county. I was carefully renovated around a decade ago and combine historic integrity with all the creature comforts of the 21st century, like updated plumbing, HVAC, and electric. My beautifully designed gardens and outbuildings, including a guest cabin and wine cellar, invite you to stroll in the warm Southern summers, and my back porch practically begs for you to sit and watch the river flow. All I need now is another preservation-minded owner to see me into the next century.

If you’re ready to meet me where the waters cross, see my listing here. Looking for a property with a bit less acreage? Browse our other historic real estate listings.

The entrance of Meeting of the Waters.

photo by: Joe Cashia

My builder and first owner, Thomas Hardin Perkins, was given my acreage for his service in the Revolutionary War.

The kitchen in Meeting of the Waters.

photo by: Joe Cashia

Downtown Franklin, Tennessee, is a model for main street revitalization and won a Great American Main Street Award from the National Main Street Center in 1995.

Emma Sarappo is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She can be found writing or in the kitchen of her century-old DC rowhouse.

Announcing the 2019 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

See the List