Women’s History Trail project to place plaques at sites around town...

Women’s History Trail project to place plaques at sites around town honoring Franklin women

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Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer

A plaque honoring Women in Hospitality will be placed on the grounds of the Franklin Terrace on Harrison Avenue.

Franklin Town Council member Barbara McRae opened a discussion at last Tuesday’s town council meeting about the next phase of establishing a Women’s History Trail. The council agreed to place several bronze plaques throughout the town – the first of which will honor Eloise Potts who was the Town of Franklin’s first female mayor.  Her plaque will be placed by Town Hall. 

Here is an excerpt of what will be inscribed on her plaque.

 “Teacher, administrator, and community leader, Eloise Griffin Franks Potts (1889-1996) served Franklin and Macon County selflessly through a long career in public service. She headed the county’s welfare department for 23 years as its first superintendent and later become the first female mayor of Franklin. The example of her remarkable life both inspired other women to follow and smoothed their way forward.”

Among the eight plaques chosen along with Potts to be permanently placed near significant buildings include:

• Dess Pendergrass, representing women in retail, which will be placed by the Historical Museum.   

• Agnes Zachery Higgins, musician, will be located by Crabtree General Store.

• Ruby Beshears, who ran a boarding house, will be placed by the Sutton Residence.  

• The Mica Workers plaque will be located by the Bryant Building. 

• The Main Street Milliners will be near the Blush Building.  

• The Early Social workers plaque will be exhibited by the Corbin Building. 

• The Women in Hospitality Industry will be represented by a plaque near Franklin Terrace.

Each plaque will have a bit of history about the honoree.  The opening of the trail is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27. Plans to have docents, or guides, at each site are under way. They will guide people and answer questions, and will have handouts that give more historical details.  Some of the sites will have displays and/or refreshments.  These plaques are said to be very durable and able to withstand the elements due  to quality craftsmanship and materials. More details will be forthcoming as the event draws near.

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