Come visit us and sit a spell

Posted by: Gail Richards, president and CEO on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

For more than 25 years, the Johnson County Community Foundation has prided itself on providing the best possible environment for our donors. We provide a solid financial foundation so our donors feel confident that their wishes will be carried out for the long-term support of Johnson County. 

But if you haven’t visited our physical “foundation” – our historic home – I invite you to drop by and sit a spell. Visit and take a tour. If you have visited, stop by again anytime Monday through Friday until 5:00 p.m. We stock the frig with soft drinks and water and the kitchen with snacks. 

Here is a little about our foundation home at 398 S. Main Street in Franklin.

In 1903, Walter Washington Aikens, the founder and publisher of the Franklin Evening Star, built and purchased the home. The house itself is a mix of classical revival and craftsman-style architecture. You can still see evidence of original stained and leaded glass, as well as original gas and electrical fixtures. As you look at the glass framing at the main entrance, you will find that W.W. Aikens worked his initials into the windows. The floors are all original hardwood work hammered together with the original nails still intact. The main dining room hall hosted the marriage of Aikens’ daughter, Esther, in November 1921. The house remained in the Aikens family until the death of Esther in 1971.

In 1979, Carl and Beatrice Payton purchased and operated a seafood restaurant, the Manor House, from 1984-1996. In 1996, Tim and Patty Kegley, purchased the Manor and operated Heiskell’s Country Manor Restaurant. The Kegley family lived upstairs. The Kegley’s sold the property to JCCF on December 27, 2001, and it has been our home “foundation” ever since. 

So please drop in anytime to learn more about the house, the homeowners and what the Johnson County Community Foundation does in the county!