Community rallies to save Franklin's historic Merrill-Williams house

10P SEENA- WILLIAMSON CO HOUSE PKG.transfer_frame_2065.jpeg
Posted at 9:02 PM, Aug 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-15 11:46:15-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Saturday the Franklin community gathered at Limestone Baptist Church for a good cause.

Franklin natives Moe Pope, owner of Moe Better BBQ & Fish, and Fred Curll, owner of So Smooth Soul Food, teamed up to host a fundraiser for the Merrill-Williams house in Franklin.

All of the proceeds went to the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County (AAHS) as they try to raise enough money to buy the 264 Natchez Street home.

The African American Heritage Society of Williamson County must raise $610,000 before May 1, 2022, in order to save the historic home.

After the Civil War, former slave Moses Merrill bought the property and built the home. The property was later transferred to Tom Williams, the son of Franklin’s first Black business owner.

The AAHS said they would love to buy the house and turn it into a heritage center.

"Being a community development center means the whole community can come and learn about the history of Natchez and Franklin," Pope said.

Along with food, there was a silent auction and bake sale.

"We cannot do it without the community," said Alma McLemore, the president of AAHS. "Moral support, financial support, coming together is how we're able to do this."

If you didn't make it out on Saturday but want to support the house, you can give a tax-deductible donation made payable to the African American Heritage Society and mailed to P.O. Box 1053, Franklin, TN, 37065. You can also donate by visiting