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Homestead Manor reopens rich history to community

For more than 150 years, Homestead Manor has seen many faces gazing up at its façade which has served as shelter during war, a target during battle, a home and now a historic treasure still standing to see its future fulfilled.

The property that served as a battlefield in the Battle of Thompson’s Station in 1863 will now serve as a private-event venue and site for community activities, according to owners Jay and Marcia Franks.

A grand re-opening of the manor will take place May 2 from 6 to 11 p.m. Champagne and appetizers will be complimentary with dancing and music. Guest speakers, history re-enactors, and musical entertainment will be on-site as well as bourbon and cigars served on the front porch with games such as poker. Pour Taste, Java Breeze, Puckett’s Trolley and Lipman Bros. will offer food and refreshments. A portion of the proceeds will go toward the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and Thompson Station Parks.

“Marcia and I are thrilled to care for this beautiful and historic manor for the betterment of the town of Thompson’s Station and Williamson County,” said Jay Franks, president of Enterprise Construction, Inc. “We look forward to hosting private events in the near future and inviting the public to community-wide celebrations as well. This historic home is a symbol of the community’s history, and we are happy to reintroduce it as a venue that the community can enjoy.”

Built by the Giddens family between 1809 and 1816 the home sits as a preserved oasis surrounded by 47-acres of lush green grass, mature trees with hanging branches that shade the property and gentle hills that define the horizon.

“The property has seen a lot of change. It was built only two or three years after Franklin was founded in 1799. It’s seen the birth of the community, seen war and now sees a community that loves it and wants to preserve its history,” said Monty McInturff, who is a member of the Thompson’s Station Economic Development Committee which is involved in historic preservation.

A reenactment of the Battle of Thompson’s Station held in March drew a crowd of about 6,000 from surrounding areas.

During the Battle, a teenager named Alice Thompson hid in the basement of Homestead Manor watching the battle through a small window. McInturff said that on March 5, 1863, a sixpound, solid-shot cannonball burst through the roof of the family home, during the battle, prompting the clan to flee to the basement.

When Alice witnessed the flag bearer drop the flag when he was shot, she ran onto the battlefield to reclaim it, raising it into the air.

When the field commander saw Alice with the flag, he recalled his retreating troops back to battle, which they eventually won. Alice is the only woman recorded during the Civil War to have carried a battle flag on a battlefield.

According to McInturff, about 6,000 Confederates fought 2,000 Union soldiers in a battle that left about 600 dead and wounded on both sides. At the reenactment last month, McInturff said that he met a member of the Giddens family, who he believes to be in possession of the cannonball shot through the roof on the day of battle.

“It’s important to teach kids about those who came before us,” McInturff said. “They gave their lives in battle and helped to settle our land and grew their families just like we are doing today.” McInturff will be a speaker at the re-opening event in May.

The property is managed by Puckett’s Events. For more information, please contact Jill Begin, events coordinator, at 615-440-0113 or


Posted on: 4/19/2013


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