Franklin North Carolina
“Home Base To Western North Carolina”
Town of Franklin NC
Franklin North Carolina is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, offering breathtaking beauty and plenty of opportunities for relaxation, adventure and fun. This southwestern North Carolina town offers a change of pace and activities for a romantic getaway, camping trips, family vacations or weekend getaways. Franklin was recently featured in Where to Retire Magazine and named one of Retirement Lifestyles Magazine’s Top 10 places to retire. The Franklin and Nantahala communities offer you outdoor activities such as gem mining, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, canoeing, tubing, rafting, kayaking, and boating.
Franklin, NC is known as the “Gem Capital of the World” for Franklin has a rich tradition, of gem mining for years in the historic Cowee Valley. Franklin was mined for its native rubies and sapphires and garnets. The area is a favorite spot for rockhounds of all ages. The famous Cowee Valley north of Franklin lures thousands each year to its mines which yield valuable stones to lucky miners annually. You’ll also find other gem mines located throughout the area. Most mines are open from spring through autumn.
Downtown Franklin is home to an active Gem & Mineral Society, which operates the charming Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum in a 19th Century jailhouse. The museum displays local and state specimens, Indian artifacts, fossils and more. Franklin is also home to one of the country’s best known gem shows, the Macon County Gemboree.
History of Franklin NC
The area of Franklin was home to the Cherokee Indian Nation and was called the “Nikwasi” or “center of activity”. Nikwasi was an ancient and important Cherokee town for trade and was a spiritual area among the Indians. A Council House, at the top of the Indian mound was used for councils, religious ceremonies, and general meetings. The was an ever-burning sacred fire, which the Cherokee had kept burning since the beginning of their culture located there. The remains of Nikwasi Mound are still visible in downtown Franklin.
The town of Frnaklin was named in honor of Jesse Franklin, who was to become governor of North Carolina. The town of Franklin was incorporated, just before the Civil War in 1855.
The Civil War brought hardship to Franklin as the war took most the male population to fight; approximately 3,000 soldiers joined the Confederate army. The Confederate Memorial on Main Street honors their service.
The Tallulah Falls Railroad came into Franklin in 1907 and remained until 1962. Another interested fact is that Walt Disney shot a movie in Macon County called The Great Locomotive Chase in 1956.
While visiting Franklin be sure to visit the Cowee West’s Mill Historic District to discover man-made structures dating back more than 1,400 year. The Macon County Historical Museum displays Franklin’s Civil War connections.
- Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum
- Macon County Gemboree
- Franklin Folk Festival
- Dry Falls
- Cullasaja Falls
- Bridal Veil Falls
- Appalachian Trail
- Wesser Bald Lookout Tower
- Wayah Bald Lookout Tower
- Nantahala National Forest