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Harris-McEwen House: Bunch of Franklin history

Located at 612 Fair Street in downtown Franklin, Carey Allen Harris, Sr. (1805-1842) built the home in 1830 on 11 acres.

Image from Visit Franklin site

Harris had married Martha Fontaine Maury (1807-1882), the daughter of Franklin founder Abram Maury, Jr. in 1829. Cary was a printer and founded the Nashville Republican in 1824 with Maury. In 1826, they sold the newspaper, and about 1830 the Harris family moved to Washington, DC. but kept ownership of the home. Kerry was chief clerk of the War Department under President Andrew Jackson.

John Brown McEwen (1820-1903), a successful business and lawyer, and Cynthia Graham (1820-1894) wed, purchased the property and remodeled it with Italianate style in 1842. The same year, he started his law practice, Campbell and McEwen. John served 2 terms as Franklin mayor, and for a number of years was the attorney for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The house served as a hospital during the Battle of Franklin. The McEwen family lived there for about 90 years (1842-1932). Later a bank foreclosed on the property and it was vacant for years.

The next owners (unknown) used the home as an investment and turned it into apartments. It was called the Magnolia Apartments in the 1950s-60s. About 2010, Mel and Cheryl Thompson bought the property with 1 acre, restored it, and won an award for their rehabilitation work from the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County in 2014. Mel is an entrepreneur involved with several businesses - Data Management Resources, Towne Creek Realty.

By 2018, J. Michael and Ann Bodnar were owners. He is founding partner of Fresh Hospitality, an investment company with many restaurant partners including Biscuit Love, Jim & Nick’s BBQ, and Tazikis. See Everbright


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