Saturday, January 9, 2010

News from Franklin, a little late.

This is from the Dec 24, 2009 The Tennessean by Kevin Walters

FRANKLIN — The story of the Battle of Franklin is bringing historian Jennifer Esler here to lead the city's two main museums.
The story and love, that is. Esler, 53, has been named the first chief executive officer of the Battle of Franklin Trust, the organization that oversees the Carter House and Carnton Plantation. She will start work in Franklin on March 1. For years, she has been the executive director of the $20 million Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va. But she's had ties to Nashville since November 2008, when her husband, Howard Kittell, became president and chief executive officer of The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson in Nashville.
Esler's job in Franklin will give her a chance to follow her husband to Middle Tennessee and help spread the message of Franklin's past to new visitors.
She wants more people coming to Franklin to learn what the Battle of Franklin meant to the city and the Civil War.
"It needs to be told," Esler said. "It's a national story. It's a story of extraordinary human courage and extraordinary human kindness. These two historic houses tell that story."
The Battle of Franklin erupted between Union and Confederate troops the afternoon of Nov. 30, 1864. It left 8,000 casualties in just a few hours' time. The Carter House was the site on what is now Columbia Avenue, where troops fought in bloody hand-to-hand combat; Carnton Mansion was later a field hospital.
Coordination aimed at attracting visitors. Esler is joining the trust at what could be a propitious time for the city and the two museums. In October, Franklin again drew national attention for preservation work with the reburial of an unknown Civil War soldier that drew thousands of visitors. That comes just a few months after leaders at Carter House and Carnton Plantation created the Battle of Franklin trust to help both sites work more in concert with one another, improving the visits by tourists and raising more money. Trust leaders saw Esler's experience as the selling point to hire her. She will help lead the planning, development and construction of a newly planned Carter House interpretative center.
"While we were impressed with many of the candidates, Jenny stood out as the ideal candidate to lead us in our aggressive efforts to further enhance the visitors' experience of the historic Battle of Franklin and the sites related to the Battle," said Marianne Schroer, trust chairwoman in a prepared statement. Schroer is the wife of Franklin Mayor John Schroer. Esler said her first task will be to talk to staff and community leaders about what they want for both sites. "I'm big on building a team and so I'm hoping that we can create a sense of team between both organizations and both boards," Esler said.

1 comment:

MSimons said...

I must say they surely need to do more. I was disappointed in my Franklin visit since I have been to many better preserved battle fields. It was shameful to have to walk through peoples yards to see key points of the battlefield.