Friday, December 23, 2011

Franklin’s Charge Retires Note On Key Cotton Gin Park Property

Private Donations Cover Final $125,000 Installment on Holt Property.

Franklin's Charge President Paul Gaddis (left) and Treasurer Tom Powell burn the note for the Holt Property on Columbia Avenue in Franklin, Tennessee.

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Carter Cotton Gin Park has come one step closer to reality, as the battlefield preservation organization Franklin's Charge, Inc. has raised through private donations the final $125,000 required to pay off the mortgage on the parcel known as the Holt Property. A note-burning ceremony was held on Thursday, Dec. 22 at Stites & Harbison in Downtown Franklin.

Franklin's Charge purchased the property in 2008 and paid off the loan this month. The property is a key parcel in what will become the five-acre Carter Cotton Gin Interpretive Park.

“This property could have been condominiums, and instead it will be part of a world-class interpretive Civil War battlefield park in time for the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Franklin,” said Franklin’s Charge President Paul Gaddis. “None of us could have imagined the success we’ve had in reclaiming hallowed ground from underneath development, and so many individuals and organizations have believed in the vision, understood the importance of it and put their financial support behind it. We are one step closer to making that vision a reality.”

The parcel was purchased in 2008 from the Holt family, as the first of four properties that will make up the five-acre Carter Cotton Gin Interpretive Park on Columbia Avenue, across the street from the Carter House. The second parcel, already owned by the Heritage Foundation, contains the foundation of the Carter cotton gin. The third property was purchased by the Civil War Trust and will soon be conveyed to Franklin's Charge.

The fourth parcel is where a strip mall and Domino's currently sit on Columbia Avenue.

Having paid off the note for the Holt property, Franklin's Charge can now focus all of its fundraising efforts on the Domino's and strip mall parcel. Two weeks ago, they received word of a matching gift from the Civil War Trust of $500,000. Half of the gift is from an anonymous donor from outside of Tennessee. All of the $500,000 in matching monies must be raised by May of 2012.

The rendering by Franklin artist Ben Johnson depicts the future Carter Cotton Gin Interpretive Park on Columbia Avenue in Franklin, Tennessee

Organized in 2005, Franklin’s Charge is a 501(c)(3) Tennessee nonprofit corporation dedicated to preserving America’s threatened Civil War battlefields in Williamson County, Tennessee. Its membership consists of representatives of the African-American Heritage Society, the Battle of Franklin Trust, Carter House Association, the Civil War Trust, the Franklin-Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, the Harpeth River Watershed Association, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, Historic Carnton, Inc., the Land Trust for Tennessee, Inc., Save the Franklin Battlefield Association, the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, the Tennessee National Civil War Heritage Area, the Tennessee Preservation Trust, and the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information, visit

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