Welcome to the Moore-Morris History and Culture Center, where history breathes new life into every visitor’s experience. Step into our White’s Tavern experience room and prepare to be transported back to the early 19th century, to a time when this very establishment buzzed with the tales of travelers, Civil War soldiers, and esteemed leaders of our nation. 


The Legacy of White’s Tavern

Located on the grounds of what is now the Moore-Morris History and Culture Center, White’s Tavern holds a significant place in the history of Franklin, Tennessee. Established in 1803 by Benjamin White, it was not only the town’s first hotel but also a hub for locals and weary travelers alike. Little remains known about the physical structure of the original tavern, but its cultural impact resonates through the ages.

Benjamin White Inn, built in 1803. Photo credits to Rick Warwick.

Benjamin White, a pioneer who migrated to Nashville and eventually settled in Franklin, opened his doors to guests seeking shelter, sustenance, and conversation. His tavern hosted a diverse array of patrons, from Presidents Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk to Tennessee congressman Felix Grundy and the future U.S. Senator Thomas Hart Benton. These luminaries were not mere visitors; they shaped the political and social fabric of their time, and White’s Tavern was witness to their discussions and decisions.

Photo credits to Darcy Ferris.

A Glimpse into the Past

Imagine stepping into our recreated tavern room: the air thick with the aroma of whiskey, the sound of glasses clinking in camaraderie. You can almost feel the presence of those who once sought refuge here, their stories etched into the walls of this historic space. For travelers of the early 1800s, amenities were sparse; a meal might be as humble as bacon and eggs, and a night’s rest often meant improvising with a blanket and a saddle for a pillow.


In 1819, the construction of a nearby bridge over the Harpeth River further elevated White’s Tavern’s importance as a waypoint for travelers, facilitating easier access for wagons and increasing its traffic and influence in the region.

Photo credits to Kris Rae.

Bringing History Alive

Today, at the Moore-Morris History and Culture Center, we invite you to relive this rich tapestry of history through our White’s Tavern experience among many others in our space. Our dedicated exhibit not only recreates the ambiance of this historic inn but also introduces you to the personalities and narratives that shaped its legacy. Sit at the bar and listen as our knowledgeable guides share tales of yesteryears, from the daily lives of early settlers to the political discourse that unfolded within these walls.


Whether you are a local history enthusiast, a student of American culture, or simply curious about the roots of our wonderful community, White’s Tavern offers a unique glimpse into a bygone era. Join us at the Moore-Morris History and Culture Center and embark on a journey through time—one that celebrates the resilience, camaraderie, and spirit of early Franklin and Williamson County.


Discover more about our exhibits and PLAN YOUR VISIT at Moore-Morris History and Culture Center.