The McLemore House

The McLemore House is a property in Franklin, Tennessee that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

It is also known as the Harvey McLemore House, as it was the home of former slave Harvey McLemore, who became a successful farmer. The McLemore House dates from 1880 and includes Colonial Revival architecture. For generations, from 1880 to 1997, it was owned by the McLemore family.

The House is now a museum, the McLemore House African-American Museum.

The museum, located at 446 11th Ave. N. in Franklin will open to the public on Saturday, December 11th, from 10:00- 2:00.  AAHS will kick off the opening and will have some very fun and added elements that day! Enactors will be at the museum to give the tours and tell the story. Tourists will be able to see Harvey McLemore and hear his story, Mag Matthews, who had her beauty shop business in the front foyer of the home, will be there and Bethunia Atkins, Harvey’s former slave owner. This is a one-day event. Regular hours for the museum will resume in the spring.

Cost is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and children 12 and under. Light refreshments will be available to the guests.

The Merrill-Williams Home

Help preserve this important part of African American culture in Williamson County
The Historic Merrill-Williams home at 264 Natchez St.

The Merrill-Williams property speaks to very important truths in the history of Franklin, Tennessee, rising as it did from the very ashes of the Civil War to the transformations of the Civil Rights Movement. It rests on a prominent corner within the National Register-listed Natchez Street Historic District, a street that developed as an African American enclave during the terrible times of Jim Crow America and a place that still serves as a foundation for African American identity and culture for Franklin in the twenty-first century. Its potential to tell stories of trial, triumph, and transformation is unrivaled—not only would its preservation help to elevate a larger public understanding of Black history but it also would serve as a lasting sign of commitment by all to recognize and protect the fuller story of this remarkable town.

The Vision

  • The community, the African American Heritage Society (AAHS), and its partners will raise $610,000 by May 1, 2022, to purchase the Merrill-Williams House.
  • The House will be retained in ownership by AAHS.
  • AAHS and its partners will rehabilitate the Merrill-Williams House.
  • AAHS will partner with MTSU Center for Historic Preservation to create the first-ever Heritage Center in Franklin.
  • The Heritage Center for the Natchez neighborhood will serve as a place for visitors and locals to learn of the City’s rich history –  from the Civil War to Reconstruction, from “Jim Crow” south to Civil Rights, to the present day.
  • The Heritage Center at Natchez will provide a place for study, a space for a repository, and a shared place to learn about the rich past and present of our Natchez neighbors.

An agreement was reached with the Fred Williams family to give our community a year to raise $610,000 to purchase the Merrill-Williams House. It is easy to see the historic architectural fabric of Natchez Street disappearing. Be a part of saving this legacy through your support of this National treasure!

The African American Experience in Franklin

Take a virtual tour of Franklin’s Black History then come see it in person. To learn more, click and watch this video.

To Become Involved
or for more information, please contact:

Alma Mclemore, President, African American Heritage Society
615.305.0904 |


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