New Director of Preservation will tackle O’More and Lee-Buckner School projects

New Director of Preservation will tackle O’More and Lee-Buckner School projects


The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN has hired Arkansas preservationist and scholar Blake Wintory as director of preservation, according to an announcement posted Nov. 30.

Wintory will assist the Heritage Foundation in growing the non-profit’s education and advocacy efforts, as well as lead new and longstanding preservation projects.

“We are eager to have Dr. Blake Wintory join our team as the new director of preservation,” said Bari Beasley, CEO of the Heritage Foundation. “With an extensive education, numerous pieces of published literature and years of experience in Southern history, Wintory will be the backbone of our mission to protect and preserve Williamson County’s historic, architectural and geographic resources.”

Wintory received his PhD from the University of Arkansas in 2005. Since 2008, he has been the on-site director at the 1859 Lakeport Plantation, an Arkansas State University heritage site. He is on the board of Preserve Arkansas and the Friends of the Arkansas State Archives.

In addition to his previous roles, Wintory is the author of several published pieces including “African-American Legislators in the Arkansas General Assembly, 1868-1893: Another Look,” published in A Confused and Confusing Affair: Arkansas and ReconstructionImages of Chicot County and “The House that Cotton Built: Recovering African American History at Lakeport Plantation,” published in Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies.

“I am truly excited about joining the team at the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County as the Director of Preservation,” Wintory said. “The Foundation’s half-century of work has helped maintain a real sense of place and history in Franklin and Williamson County. I look forward to protecting and promoting all the places, big and small, that make Williamson County a great place to live, work and visit.”

Historic preservation has an important economic impact on the region and aids in luring new businesses to Franklin. President and CEO of Williamson Inc. Matt Largen said, “I am thrilled the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County continues to grow its organization in a thoughtful and intentional way. Dr. Wintory brings a wealth of experience and expertise to an already strong team. I look forward to partnership opportunities with the Heritage Foundation. Their great work in preserving the places that matter provide unique experiences for our residents and members of the business community. The Heritage Foundation is truly the caretaker of Williamson County’s heart and soul.”

Wintory will be integral in several upcoming projects, including the Lee-Buckner School House east of Spring Hill, and the O’More College of Design property in downtown Franklin.

Beginning Jan. 7, 2019, Wintory can be reached at

About The Author

Kelly Gilfillan is the owner-publisher of Home Page Media Group which has been publishing hyperlocal news since 2009.

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