Sunday, June 25, 2017

HISTORY OF FRANKLIN ROAD ANIMAL HOSPITAL BUILDING

Franklin Road Animal Hospital –Holistic Pet Care is located in a pre-civil war building. What is now US HWY 31 started off as a path that followed a branch off the Little Harpeth River to the east of the building. Later it became a wagon road that went up the hill to Holley Tree Gap. We in our automobiles zoom up and down this road today with no concept of what it would have been in a heavy laden wagon pulled by a team of oxen or mules toiling to cross those hills between Brentwood and Franklin. To avoid those hills a toll road was built between what is now Moores Lane and Franklin Road and it crossed the stream near an ever running spring east of the building. There is evidence of a bridge still present and logs of the bridge were still in place when I bought the property in 1971. It is believed that this building was the toll house for the road. During the war between the states the area was used as a campground, a stack of mini balls was found recently on the property next door to the north. I found a brass handle from an artillery sword on the other side of the stream in an old road bed. Because of the water which was in short supply in northern Williamson County this was probably a popular site. The construction of the original ceiling of the upper floor dates between 1870 and 1890. When Franklin Road was moved from what is now the back of the building to the front where the railroad track of the interurban railroad was the toll house was raised another story and the back of the building became the front as it is today and a more colorful past began.


The once toll house became a popular road house. In the 1920's it was known as The Silver Moon and in 1934 it changed hands and the name was changed to The Rendezvous which it kept til the 1960's. It was then bought by a group of business men one of which was Eddy Arnold. In the early 1970's it was the office for the Brentwood Water Company, Charlie Mosely’s real estate and accounting office, and a businessman name Jack Corn. There are still some old asbestos pipes on the property that belonged to the Brentwood Water Company. As mentioned before, northern Williamson County was very dry and would not support development until water was made available.

The building was known to have the best dance floor on the strip which was verified by a long-time client . Davidson County was dry and Williamson and Sumner Counties were wet and provided the party areas for those of a bit more rowdy nature. One of my early clients when I first opened the clinic had been the attorney for the owner of the nightclub. He told me that the sherif was out here most every weekend. Several have told me that there was gambling downstairs. We recently had a visitor stop in and tell about a man from the Chicago area that brought in roulette wheels on a regular basis. He described a shoot out one weekend in which four patrons were killed. The attorney told me that he came in one day and the parking lot was full of cars but there were only two people sitting in a corner drinking beer. He told the bartender to go downstairs and get the owner and have him send a number of people back upstairs. He asked how could he defend him in court if it was so obvious that the main activity was gambling downstairs. For years after opening the clinic around 5:00 p.m. we would have working gentlemen burst through the door, look startled, say nothing, then turn around with a disappointed look on their face and leave.