Welcome to the Moore-Morris History and Culture Center, where every exhibit tells a story, and every artifact holds a piece of history waiting to be uncovered. As you ascend our Center’s grand staircase, you are immediately greeted by the Managing Townscapes room, a captivating space that encapsulates the rise and fall of local businesses following the Second World War, shaping the very fabric of Franklin’s Main Street and its neighboring towns in Middle Tennessee.

Nestled within this room are echoes of a bygone era, where the hustle and bustle of small-town life thrived amidst the winds of change. One can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia of Gray’s Pharmacy (now GRAYS on Main, a favorite downtown restaurant offering Southern fare, craft cocktails, and live music), a once-vibrant establishment that served as a cornerstone of the community. Its weathered sign stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of entrepreneurship that fueled the small town’s growth in the post-war era.

Adjacent to Gray’s Pharmacy, the Walter Pyle Hospital sign evokes memories of a time when healthcare was deeply intertwined with the fabric of local life. Many visitors to our center pause in front of this artifact, reminiscing about their own birth or the births of loved ones within the walls of this historic institution that was located on Church Street. It serves as a poignant reminder of the pivotal role played by such establishments in shaping the health and well-being of the community.

Yet, perhaps the most iconic feature of the Managing Townscapes room is a replica of the majestic Franklin Theatre marquee, proudly centered as the staple of the exhibit. Its vibrant lights and bold lettering harken back to a golden age of cinema, where families and friends gathered to experience the magic of the silver screen. Today, The Franklin Theatre stands not only as a symbol of entertainment but also as a beacon of cultural heritage, preserving the rich legacy of performing arts in our town.

As you wander through the Managing Townscapes room, you can’t help but marvel at the interconnectedness of these seemingly disparate elements. Each sign, each artifact, tells a story of resilience, adaptation, and community spirit. They remind us that while the landscape of Franklin may have changed over the years, its essence remains rooted in the collective memories and experiences of its inhabitants.

Along with the signs that hang proudly above the Managing Townscapes room, you will also find a black and white video montage revealing distinct times of Franklin’s past, with real-time footage of the people and places that made up the fabric of the community.

Over the years, countless memories have been made on our historic Main Street. And those memories don’t stop there! The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County will be hosting the 40th Annual Main Street Festival at the end of this month. Make plans to make your own #MainStreetMemories, and come on out to downtown Franklin April 27th and 28th (10AM – 6PM) to enjoy eclectic arts and crafts vendors, superb entertainment, great food & drink, and fun for the entire family! After you’re done exploring all the amazing vendors and grabbing a bite to eat, stop on by our Center to experience our Managing Townscapes room for yourself! PRO TIP: For those visiting the Center during festival weekend, solve our top-secret crime and turn it in to the soda jerk at the bar for a FREE root beer float to celebrate 40 memorable years of Main Street Festival!

At the Moore-Morris History and Culture Center, we invite you to embark on a journey through time, to explore the layers of history that shape our understanding of the present. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or a curious visitor, there’s always something new to discover within the walls of our center. Join us as we continue to preserve and celebrate the vibrant tapestry of Williamson County’s past, present, and future.

PLAN YOUR VISIT to the Moore-Morris History and Culture Center today!
Address: 108 Bridge Street, Franklin, TN
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (10AM – 4 PM)