Save The Tartans

Thank you for your interest in our Building Fund Capital Campaign!

Since its inception in 1988, the story of the Scottish Tartans Museum and Heritage Center has been one of steady growth and expansion. What began in a small corner of the Highland Inn in Highlands, NC now occupies several stories of an historic building in Downtown Franklin, and – once again – the Museum is poised for growth.

But all that progress is in danger, if the building is sold to a third party who does not wish to continue with the Museum as a tenant. Being able to purchase the building means security, stability, and justification for further improvements and expanded exhibits and member services for years to come.

The Museum belongs to, and is at the service of, everyone of Scottish ancestry and those interested in the history of the Highland way of life. If we all come together to #SaveTheTartans, we can ensure a permanent home for our history and heritage.

Please make your tax-deductible donation TODAY and help spread the word by sharing this page with your friends, family, and fellow Scots!

The Tartans Museum is located in historic Downtown Franklin, NC

Give today, hoist the Saltire, and unlock historical snippets of the town, the building, and the Museum!
Every $2500 raised between now and January 1st reveals a new piece of the story.

Follow us on Facebook to keep up with the fundraising progress and all the exciting things happening at the Museum!

Stock Image. Late 19th century village bucket brigade with volunteer fire fighters.

Historical Snippet #1 – UNLOCKED!

"Swept By Flames!"

The earliest record of the town lot on the south block of Main Street dates back to 1881, and included the store front now housing the Museum along with four others including a stables, hotel, and drug store with residential spaces above the street level.

Around midnight on March 28, 1894 a young townsman by the name of Tom Porter discovered flames coming out of the building and sounded the alarm. D.L. Garland, the proprietor of the drugstore, escaped from his upstairs apartment, along with his wife and brother, all in their night clothes.

The Franklin Press reported, "Soon the town was aroused and ladders and buckets brought into service, and by almost superhuman efforts a more extensive conflagration was prevented."

No lives were lost, but the fire damage was extensive, and the material losses amounted to several thousand dollars.

Special thanks to Council Member Barbara McRae for the historical documents that contributed to this story.

Woodcutting of a rat, 1545, Cyriacus Jacob, Frankfurt printer.

Historical Snippet #2 – UNLOCKED!

"The Damage, Assessed"

Lost in the fire were the three storefronts on the South Block of Main Street currently housing the Museum. At the time, they were offices and storerooms occupied by the Franklin Investment Company, E. A. Frank's Store, the office of Dr. S.H. Lyle, Palmer and Phillips Undertaking Room, D.C. Cunningham's Livery Stables, the Franklin Library Club; and Franklin House, a hotel and store belonging to R.H. Jarrett & Sons, in addition to Dr. Garland’s drug store and living quarters. The upper floor above the storeroom was rented out as a dormitory to students of the Pendergrass School, but they were all away visiting family the night of the fire.

The total loss in goods, furnishings, stock, and personal possessions among all those affected was estimated to be around $17,000. Nothing was insured. Fortunately, no lives were lost including the eleven horses in the stables, and the fire was contained when it reached the first brick building between the hotel and Public Square.

The wind was calm that night, otherwise the fire may have spread to the north side of the street as well. Some buildings were scorched and their windows broken by the heat, but through luck and constant drenching with water, they were saved.

Much speculation centered around the cause of the fire, and history has recorded only this conjecture – that it was rats chewing on matches.

Special thanks to Council Member Barbara McRae for the historical documents that contributed to this story.

We're just $2200 away from unlocking our next bit of history.

Donate TODAY to find out what happened next to the denizens of the South Block of Main Street - who rebuilt, who sold out, and who moved away.

(828) 524-7472
86 E Main St. Franklin, NC, 28734

Museum Hours
Tuesday - Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM
Closed Sunday & Monday
Adult $4.00 plus tax
12 and under $2.00 plus tax - 6 and under free

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