Franklin Special School District holds artifact drive to showcase history

Items will be displayed in the new Performing Arts Center
Posted at 5:19 PM, Nov 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-14 19:14:02-05

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Normally it's the students that ask for help with a project -- but the roles have reversed in Franklin. The Franklin Special School District is asking their families and retired teachers to bring in any "artifacts" from schools in their district, for a history display that they're building.

"This city thrives on its history, this community thrives on its history," said Susannah Gentry, Communications Specialist for FSSD. "Our kids deserve to know the past that their parents and grandparents came from. What school was like back then compared to what school is like now."

The old Franklin Grammar School burned to the ground decades ago, which is why the district is hoping families and retired teachers can help fill their historical void.

Retired teacher Joy Smith dropped off old library books, newspaper clippings and notes from students. "And then these were letters that the children wrote me when they got off the story bus," said Smith.

Another former teacher brought in a family heirloom with the inscribed date June 22, 1917. "A beautiful sketchbook that a teacher created to teach art to her kids in 1917," explained Gentry.

These treasures of the past will be displayed at the future home of the Franklin Special School District's Performing Arts Center in an interactive display. "Our mission is to try to uncover out of people’s basements, attics, storage facilities, some of that early history that is so rich," said Gentry.

Since the center won't be completed until 2022, the search is far from over. "We’re looking for desks or grade books or planning books, period clothing," said Gentry.

If you have an item you'd like to donate, you can sent them an email at or call Central Office at 615-794-6624