Old Franklin from 1942-1952 in Vintage Film “Franklin on Parade”

Take a step back in time with these fabulous videos of “Old Franklin”. You will enjoy the 1947 “Franklin on Parade” (Part 1) and 1942-1952 (Part 2) footage of historic Franklin courtesy of Spence Culberson, Loy Hardcastle, and donated by Ernest Martin and Mr. and Mrs. Walter Etheridge. This compilation was re-edited and put on DVD as a fundraiser for the J.L. Clay Senior Center with narration by Director Fred Isaacs and Assistant Director Leverne Graham in 1987 and 1988. These videos are full of vintage charm, especially with the narration by Fred and Leverne.

Franklin Theatre Manager Herbert Bowen and Marcus Whitaker originally filmed this amazing footage in 1947. They were used as commercials at the Franklin Theatre to help promote these downtown-sponsored businesses in the city of Franklin, Tennessee.

Franklin on Parade (Part 1)

Part 1 video features the following businesses: Loveless & Dale, Quality Bakery, McGee Company, Polly’s Shop, Victory Cleaners, Shamrock Grill, Pat’s Cafe, Gray Drug Store, City Service, National Store, Franklin Laundry, Harpeth National Bank, Log Court, Rose’s 5 & 10, Alley Service Station, Jennette Market, Clair D. Regen Co., Little Dairy, South Side Cafe, Brittain & Fristoe, Ben Franklin, Williamson County Bank, Sanitary Cleaners, Quality Recappers.

You will also see the downtown post office, courthouse, public square, Franklin High School, Harlinsdale Farm, Fourth Avenue Church of Christ, Franklin United Methodist Church, Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church, Franklin Baptist Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the July 4th Parade and the Franklin High School Band.

Franklin on Parade (Part 2)

Part 2 video features the following businesses: Harpeth Motor Company, Battleground Academy, Thurman & Edgmon Food Store, Lion’s Club, Bethurum, Henry, & Robinson Funeral Home, Truett Flowers, Franklin Grammar School, Moody’s Quality Recappers, Sanitary Cleaners, Methodist Women’s Club, Franklin Laundry, Rotary Club, Carroll’s Used Car Lot, Little’s Dairy, John Deere Tractor Co., Franklin High School, Hardcastle Motor Co., Pigg’s Men’s Store, The Coffee Cup Cafe, Franklin Motor Court, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Franklin Presbyterian Church, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Franklin United Methodist Church, Franklin Baptist Church, Fourth Avenue Church of Christ, Warren Funeral Home, Dorothy’s Flowers, and Franklin Theatre.

Herbert Bowen – Franklin Theatre Manager and Franklin Promoter

Herbert Bowen ran the Frankin Theatre for many years, and his wife Ruth McMahon Bowen ran the concession stand. Interestingly, the Bowen’s were the uncle and aunt to Franklin’s First Lady Linda Moore. Read our feature on Mayor Ken and Linda Moore’s here.

Herbert Bowen, Franklin Theatre Manager (photo by Rick Warwick)

Herbert was an extraordinary promoter of Franklin. Long before social media promotion existed, Herbert has the genius idea to promote Franklin’s businesses in these sponsored commercial reels above.

Co-Narrator Fred Isaacs

Co-Narrator Fred Isaacs at Jennette’s Market (photo by Rick Warwick)

The film’s co-narrator Fred Isaacs worked at Jennette’s Market back in 1946. This was his sister Julia Isaacs Jennette’s grocery store with her husband Percy “Perk” Jennette. Later, he served as Director at J.L. Clay Senior Center.

You’ll enjoy reading Fred’s legacy from his obituary above. He was one of Franklin’s finest citizens.

Co-Narrator Leverne Graham

The film’s co-narrator Leverne Graham served with Fred Isaacs at J.L. Clay Senior Center as the Assistant Director.

Co-Narrator Leverne Graham

We are so honored to be able to share this vintage footage with you. Special thanks to Spence Culberson and Loy Hardcastle for helping with this project. Please share your memories of Franklin in the comments below.

Sharing the backstories of Franklin with love,

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