Historic Property Once Owned By Hank Williams At Risk Of Being Demolished

(Left) Fridrich & Clark via Fridrichandclark.com / (Right) Getty Images

A beloved historic property in Franklin, Tennessee with deep roots in country music history is at risk of being destroyed.

According to Lovely Franklin, Beechwood Hall was completed by H.G.W. Mayberry and his wife Sophronia Hunter Mayberry in 1860. The home withstood the Civil War, and became known as as one of the most important intact Civil War-era properties.

The home is 6,856 square feet and rests on 200+ acres. It features stunning Greek Revival and Italianate design.

Beechwood Hall gained a country music connection when the legendary Hank Williams purchased it in 1951. Though Williams never lived there, and he died just two years later in 1953.

It’s worth noting that Williams released a song in 1948 titled “A Mansion on the Hill.” The song may have inspired Williams to purchase a real-life mansion, and that mansion ended up being Beechwood Hall.

Beechwood Hall’s ties to the country music world weren’t severed after Williams’ death. The property was later purchased by country music power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

McGraw and Hill owned the property for several years. McGraw recorded his music video for “My Little Girl” in the foyer of Beechwood Hall. He and Hill also recorded their music video for their Grammy-nominated duet “I Need You” in the home.

According to Lovely Franklin, Beechwood Hall was recently purchased by new owners from an investment group. The new owner planned to restore the home, but eventually changed their mind. They declared the property to be unsalvageable, and made plans to tear it down and erect a new home in its place.

So far, Beechwood Hall’s floating staircase has been dismantled and the rear addition was removed. The home has been left open to the elements, with no protection to cover it.

All of this is occurring even though Beechwood Hall is on the National Register of Historic Properties. Unfortunately, that is not enough to protect the property from being destroyed.

Lovely Franklin writes:

In Williamson County, there is no process for tearing down an historic resource…You do not even have to get a demolition permit. There is a misconception that just because a property is on the National Historic Register, that it is safe. It is NOT protected from being torn down. We rely heavily on homeowners to be good stewards of these historic properties and safeguard them.

A new website has been established to help save Beechwood Hall from being demolished. The website describes its three-part mission as such:

  1. To support the community’s effort to stop the demolition immediately and encourage its new owners to restore it properly or sell it to a preservation buyer that will.
  2. To consolidate a call to action to our political leaders for a change in the laws that would allow these behaviors.”
  3. To provide a long-term platform for information and updates regarding this important part of American history.”

When you visit the website here, you can sign a petition to save Beechwood Hall.

The purpose of the petition is to “stop all demolition, make efforts to protect the property from further deterioration and commit to a preservation solution that preserves Historic Beechwood Hall for future generations.”

Those behind the drive to save Beechwood Hall are also calling on elected official to pass new laws that would require a demolition permit and a 120-day waiting period in relation to historic properties such as Beechwood Hall that are within Williamson County.

Again, if you’d like to voice your support for saving Beechwood Hall, visit this website to read all of its information and sign the petition.

Head below to watch another music video filmed at Beechwood Hall. This music video is for Holly Williams‘ song “Sometimes.” She is the granddaughter of Hank Sr. and the daughter of Hank Jr. It just goes to show how strong Beechwood Hall’s ties are to the Williams family…and to the entire country music community.

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