Battle of Franklin Trust donors and historic preservationists wait in line to see the interior of the newly renovated Carter House farm office/ Photo by Brooke Wanser.
By BROOKE WANSER
On Tuesday morning, dozens gathered in a field outside the Carter House to celebrate the re-opening of the house’s historic farm office and to get a first look inside the building.
Eric Jacobsen, the chief executive officer of the Battle of Franklin Trust, said the office, a visitor center prior to the 1981 construction of the current visitor center, had not been open to the public since the ’80s.
The office, built around 1840, was used by the Carter family during and after the Civil War to conduct business transactions for their family farm.
Once the battle of Franklin Trust decided to renovate the office in the summer of 2016, more than $170,000 was raised by private donors, Jacobsen said, which went towards correcting structural issues involving beams and floor joists.
And, he said, a paint analyst was hired to determine the original color of the building.
“That building was red probably for 40 years, but it was never originally red,” he said.
Now, the office has been restored to its original shade of white.
Executive Director of the Tennessee Historical Commission Patrick McIntyre spoke to the gathering, calling the Carter House, “one of our marquee state historic sites.”
“The dignity of this hallowed place where thousands fell has been reclaimed, and it will be protected from here forward,” McIntyre said. “That’s really something to celebrate.”
McIntyre also spoke of the new visitor center that will be built by 2019. The $3 million project is being funded by the Tennessee General Assembly, he said.
Jacobsen then took the podium to speak about the history of the building, which he said the Moscow Carter, one of the Carter sons, moved to become an addition to the house in 1880.
“I don’t know how he moved it,” Jacobsen chuckled. “It must have been quite a feat in 1880.”
Now back in its original location, Jacobsen said the most striking feature of the building is seeing the bullet holes from the inside.
“If you look at them now, they look like little black holes,” he said. “They don’t look like that from the inside… It is a wow moment.”
After Jacobsen concluded, visitors lined up to file inside the clapboard building.
“Incredible incredible, incredible,” said one woman, stopping to gaze at the dozens of holes in the wall filtering light into the room.