A History of Franklin, North Carolina

Dixie Hall - Franklin, North Carolina

In 1860, Julius T. Siler built a fine home - "Dixie Hall" - on Franklin's Main Street. Its unusual architecture was inspired by the Sourth Carolina Sea Islands. The home was a landmark in the town and remained in the family for many years. It fell to make way for the new Macon County Courthouse in the early 1970s.


The early county court was a one-stop local government, providing both administrative and judicial services. It elected most county officials, approved road requests, awarded liqour licenses, oversaw the administration of estates, the conduct of state elections and the collection of taxes, took care of orphaned or destitute children, and conducted jury trials.

The first Macon County court met in a borrowed log cabin in Franklin, NC, with 33 justices in attendance, representing communities as distant as Toxaway and Deep Creek. The area covered includes most of present Macon and Swain, about half of present Jackson, and even a part of present Transylvania counties.

Nikwasi Mound in Franklin, NC, marks the site of the old Cherokee town of Nikwasi — a place rich in history and legend. It is the largest and best-preserved mound in western North Carolina, and the only one that is publicly owned.


Scottish Tartans Museum - Franklin, North Carolina

A visit to the Scottish Tartans Museum and Gift Shop in the Smoky Mountains is a stroll through the history and culture of Scotland. The 4,800 square-foot location on Main Street in downtown Franklin, NC, showcases a large Museum area as well as an expansive Gift Shop. The Museum was founded by Scottish Tartans Society, formed in Scotland in 1963 to “study the origins, history and development of tartans.” The Society has two museums - one in Keith, Scotland, and one in Franklin, NC.

The Franklin Museum not only displays Scottish Tartans, but covers various aspects of the Scottish experience - culture, history, dress, migration, and military. Visitors are invited to view their family tartan, connect with their clan, and learn about the history of Highland Dress.


Franklin is located along the Little Tennessee River, in the central part of Macon County North Carolina. The site for Franklin was chosen in 1820 by a survey party lead by Captain Robert Love and was named for Jesse Franklin a well-known North Carolina statesman and one of the commissioners assigned to organizing the new territory. The Cherokee called it "Nikwasi," meaning "The Center."


© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved