African American Heritage Society closes on Merrill-Williams house

The African American Heritage Society of Williamson County announced in November it has raised funds needed to purchase the Merrill-Williams home in Franklin, according to AAHS President Alma McLemore (right). (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
The African American Heritage Society of Williamson County announced in November it has raised funds needed to purchase the Merrill-Williams home in Franklin, according to AAHS President Alma McLemore (right). (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

The African American Heritage Society of Williamson County announced in November it has raised funds needed to purchase the Merrill-Williams home in Franklin, according to AAHS President Alma McLemore (right). (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

Members of the African American Heritage of Williamson County gathered with community members and local leaders Nov. 12 to celebrate the purchase of the Merrill-Williams House, located at 264 Natchez St., for historical preservation.

The nonprofit announced in April it had launched a fundraising campaign to purchase and save the home, which was built in 1881 by Moses Merrill, an emancipated enslaved person, according to the AAHS. Since then, the organization has raised more than $1.2 million to purchase the home. The home is intended to become the Center for Historic Preservation and Study of African American History, which will be open to the public, according to the AAHS.

"This is the Williamson County community and others who are so supportive of our organization and we cannot say thank you enough," AAHS President Alma McLemore said during the event.

The property was passed from Merrill to Thomas Williams in the 1920s and has remained in the Williams family ever since. The property has also since become a part of the Natchez Historic District as listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Other speakers during the event included Franklin Mayor Ken Moore; Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson; Carroll Van West, a historian at Middle Tennessee State University; and Cassandra Taylor, a descendant of the Williams family and former owner of the property.


"The home that [my parents] love will not only remain a part of the Natchez Street community, but will forever be a part of the history of Franklin, Tennessee, for generations to come," Taylor said.

Read more about the project here.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


MOST RECENT

Barrels & Brews, a liquor store, opened Nov. 10 at 1306 Murfreesboro Road, Franklin. The store offers hand-selected single-barrel spirits and a curated list of wines. (Martin Cassidy/Community Impact Newspaper)
IMPACT ROUNDUP: Barrels & Brews comes to Franklin, and other business and dining news from November

Here is a recap of November’s business openings in the Franklin and Brentwood area.

Boundary map of annexation
Franklin leaders vote to expand boundary for development near Clovercroft Road

Franklin leaders voted Nov. 23 to add a sprawl of nearly 300 acres into Franklin’s city limits and rezone it

Chase opened a new bank branch in Franklin on Nov. 3.
Chase Bank now open in Cool Springs in Franklin

A new Chase Bank branch is now open in Cool Springs in Franklin.

A new Dunkin' location is expected to open by the end of the year at 500 Cool Springs Blvd. (Martin Cassidy/Community Impact Newspaper)
New Dunkin' location coming to Franklin

A new Dunkin' location is expected to open by the end of the year.

Columbia Sportswear will open at 330 Franklin Road in Brentwood on Nov. 24. From Nov. 26 to Nov. 28 the store will offer discounts and other promotions on sportswear and other products. (Martin Cassidy/Community Impact Newspaper)
Columbia Sportswear to open Nov. 24 in Brentwood

Columbia Sportswear will open this week in Brentwood.

A bottle of Old Elk Straight Whiskey Bourbon on the shelves of Barrels & Brews at Murfreesboro Road. The bottle is an example of the store's focus on hand selected single barrel spirits. (Martin Cassidy/Community Impact Newspaper)
Barrels & Brews now open in Franklin

Barrels & Brews now has a Franklin location offering single barrel spirits and a curated selection of wines.

Photo of a Moderna vaccine vial
FDA, CDC expand Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster authorizations to all adults

Booster shots could be available to all adults ahead of the holiday season.

The Williamson County Schools Board of Education voted to remove the district's mask requirement Nov. 15. (Courtesy Pexels)
Williamson County Schools votes to end mask requirement, OKs 2022-23 calendar and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Franklin and Brentwood areas.

The Franklin Fire Department will host its annual toy and clothing drive through Dec. 5. (Courtesy city of Franklin)
Franklin Fire Department accepting toy, clothes donations through Dec. 5

Those interested in donating can choose a gift request card from one of several locations throughout Franklin. 

Williamson County Schools approved the 2022-23 academic calendar at its Nov. 15 meeting. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Williamson County Schools approves 2022-23 calendar

The board voted in favor of the calendar during its Nov. 15 meeting.

The Williamson County Schools Board of Education voted to remove the district's mask requirement Nov. 15. (Courtesy Pexels)
Williamson County Schools board votes to end mask requirement

In a 7-5 vote, the district voted on a measure that would end a mask mandate that had been in effect for the past several weeks.