Everywhere’s a sign: Franklin looking to improve battlefield markers


Everywhere’s a sign: Franklin looking to improve battlefield markers

By EMILY R. WEST

With an eclectic display of signs throughout Franklin, battlefield enthusiasts want to make sure what’s popped up throughout the years makes sense.

Members of the city’s Battlefield Commission on Tuesday morning flipped through photos of the various markers from downtown Franklin to the Mack Hatcher intersection.

In glancing through photos, members weren’t necessarily sure where all of the signs originated. Some came from the City of Franklin or the state, while others could have been the creation of long-ago Eagle Scout projects or nonprofits. They range from metallic signs in the right-of-ways to wooden posts in the ground that mark where generals might have died in the Battle of Franklin.

Some have disappeared, getting lost when the area changed or in the course of development.

City of Franklin Preservation Planner Amanda Rose said the Battlefield Commission has just started to look at the nearly 100 signs displayed.

“They fall into categories of 15 well-intentioned programs that lose their meaning if not maintained,” Rose said. “I don’t want anyone get the impression we are out to just get rid of signs. We just want to make sure they stay current and are well maintained. We want to make sure they help our visitors and citizens. We are in a good position we can help do that.”

Rose said it’s easy for signage to become as just a piece of the landscape for those who live here, but it’s different for the eye of a tourist.

A sign can be as helpful as it is confusing,” she said. “People come up, and they sometimes ask what some of this signage is, and we don’t have the information any more.”

Battlefield commissioners also want to keep this in mind as new signage will emerge with pieces of land they save, like portions of the newly formed Carter Hill Battlefield Park.

“We want it to look like it’s done cohesively rather than it being owned by several organizations,” she said. “We want it to look seamless.”

Emily West covers the City of Franklin, education and the state legislature for the Franklin Home Page. Contact her at emily@franklinhomepage.com. Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22.

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