Franklin, NC – Gem Capital of the World

The above picture is of the clock tower that was on the original Macon County Courthouse that was demolished and a new courthouse was built.

Franklin was named for Jesse Franklin he served as a senator and Governor of North Carolina. The city of Franklin was not formally incorporated until 1855.  The Franklin area is rich in gems and minerals and is known locally as the “Gem Capital of the World’

Franklin is a lovely town with the city parks and shops.   Downtown has 3 blocks of stores, parks and 3 museums on both sides of the street.  The town has historic markers about the Civil War, a granite monument about the “Battle of Echoe” and a statue in memory of fallen soldiersThere is a lot to see and do in Franklin.

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In memory of soldiers that have died
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Battle of Echoe
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Historic marker about the Civil War

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Scottish Tartans Museum

The museum features kilts dating back to 1800.  Over 500 tartan samples are on display, including tartans for clans, families and districts.  Their computer database, courtesy of the Scottish Tartans Authority, contains thousands of unique tartan designs, both historic and modern.  86 East Main St.

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Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum

The museum is located in the old jail, there are 6 rooms of gems and minerals from all over the world. They have on display a ruby that weighs 2 ¼ pounds.  The museum has been open since 1974.  Free admission. 25 Phillips St.

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Macon County Historical Museum

The museum is located in the historic J R Pendergrass building that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  They have a fascinating display of photographs and artifacts of Macon County’s past.  The museum is open year round.

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Macon County Historical Museum

Nikwasi Mound

A large platform mound is still visible in Franklin. In the Cherokee period, a townhouse stood there. The mound has remained intact.  There is also a historical marker at the site. – the mound is on Nikwasi lane

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Lazy Hiker Brewing

they produce beer on a 2 vessel 15-barrel system. Total production time takes about 4 weeks depending on the particular beer.  188 W. Main St.

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Lazy Hiker Brewing Co.

Visitor Center – 425 Porter St

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Mason’s Ruby & Sapphire Mine

The mine was originally prospected in 1895 by the American Mining and Prospecting of New York.  The mine operated till 1928 when the shaft collapsed.  In 1942 the Mason family bought the property, by 1958 they started operating it as a tourist mine.  The Klatt family owns it now.  They have 4 flumes capable of holding 100 people. 6961 Upper Burningtown Rd.  past the airport

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