Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sightseeing around Franklin, Kentucky

When we stay for more than a day at a camp, we always try to find out a little of the history of the area. So we did an internet search and found "15 things to do in Franklin, Kentucky." One of those "things" was to visit Octagon Hall. Octagon houses are a real oddity and we actually had one in the small town of Shirley, Indiana, not far from where we once lived. It was a wood framed house and the local preservationists had purchased it and moved it to an area where they began working on restoring it. You can read more about it here: Shirley, Indiana, octagonal house.

So off we went on an adventure to learn more about Franklin's Octagon Hall. As usual, I searched the internet and learned more about the house before our visit. That is a good idea whenever you know you are going to visit because you know what to look for and may have question you can ask the docent. The home was built by Andrew Jackson Caldwell beginning in 1847. It wasn't completed until 1859. It is the only surviving octagonal house in Kentucky and one of only a few in the country that were built of brick. During the Civil War it became an asset to both Confederate and Union forces as both an observation post and a camp. There were many hiding places where troops would hide from the enemy. It was used as a hospital by both Union and Confederate forces at different times. It survived the Civil War without being burned down and has remained a private family residence all these years until it was obtained by The Octagon Hall Foundation which offers tours to help fund the cost of preservation. It is now used primarily as a museum with artifacts from the Civil War including many items recovered from the homestead itself. In addition there is quite a collection of artwork depicting many scenes from the War

Legend has it that the Hall is haunted and it has been a frequent "haunt" by paranormal investigators who confirm that it is indeed haunted. Our guide said they haven't identified any of the ghosts, but they believe them to be family members who have died there.

In addition to the hall, there is an original slave cabin, slave and family cemeteries, a summer kitchen and a well on the property. It has not been restored, so your $5 helps to go toward making improvements and maintaining it so that future generations may have a peak at the past.

We had a thunderstorm while we were there that produced quite a lot of water, so we weren't able to get outside pictures. It was a very informative stop and if you find yourself in the area, you might want to take it in. It is definitely worth the price of admission.

Till next time. . .


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