Checking out local historic sites might sound boring to you, but I stumbled upon a few real finds that were worth my time.
There are a few that I drive by almost every day on my usual rounds, but have never stopped to look at them. I had a little bit of free time one afternoon and I packed a quick lunch and decided to check them out.
The first site was right across from the library where I usually go anyway. All I knew this as before was “the stack of cannon balls.” It is a monument to the Assault of the Cotton Gin during the Battle of Franklin in 1864.
It’s a nice little fenced area where you can take the kids. We did actually visit this one weekend but I was chasing little ones and didn’t really get the full effect, so I stopped by again on my own.
I’m not much of a history buff, but I’m willing to learn. And there’s a wicked cool stack of cannon balls in the middle of the park.
The kids found the cannon balls to be quite cool too. I mean, who doesn’t like a big fat stack of cannon balls? And no worries, they are all welded together so it isn’t possible to knock them over.
There are also several stone benches to sit and hang out on or eat your lunch if you want to.
Just down the road on my way home, there is another monument area, and I’ve never known what it was. It is right next to a very busy intersection and shopping area, so it’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking. I am SO glad I stopped here, there are hidden treasures that I didn’t expect to find.
It’s Winstead Hill Park. One part of it is a Confederate Army Civil War memorial.
There are steep steps to get to it, and the terrain isn’t stroller friendly but it doesn’t cover a huge area and it is really worth seeing.
It’s a hilly area, but it isn’t a tough climb, and there are two small trails that don’t lead too far.
Watch your step! The big highlight of this place for me was the lookout point at the top. It was a very pleasant surprise. Inside a small shelter, there is a huge, engraved historical map of the Battle of Franklin that overlooks the city.
The view was impressive. It was a beautiful day and I hung out for quite a bit up here. I regretted eating my lunch in the car on the way over, what a waste! It’s a great little spot though. Now I know.
I walked over to the other section of Winstead Hill Park to find a beautiful paved walking trail that wraps around through a wooded area. The trail is 3/4 of a mile long and there were several folks out for a morning walk.
One walker saw me taking pictures and said “Welcome to Franklin’s best kept secret!” I agree with her. I have driven by this place a million times and never knew what I was missing. I can’t wait to grab the fam and bring them back here with me!
The price of admission to visit the Cotton Gin and Winstead Hill memorials was absolutely free. Audio tours are available by cell phone, and instructions for dialing in are posted at both parks. There are several other stops on the audio tour as well.
These are places that you can also enjoy a picnic lunch and leisure time outside, and Winstead even had real bathrooms!
I am a fan of staycations. Going out and finding something new doesn’t have to cost anything. I want to try a variety of new things, and the budget is always in mind! You never know what you might find right where you are. You just have to look!
And please share about any neat sites you have found in your area!