Thirty minutes outside of Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee sits one of two temples in the state. Both the Nashville and Memphis temples were dedicated in 2000. The gospel had a rough start in the south, and hard times continued as opposition for a temple in Nashville ended with denied zoning on several tracts of land. A battle that lasted over five years. Finally, Franklin was selected and approved for construction of a temple in 1998. The first baptisms in Tennessee are thought to be in 1834. Wilford Woodruff was put in charge of overseeing the missionary work in the area and membership grew rapidly. The first mission, headquartered in Nashville, was created officially in 1875. In 1884, massacres left several missionaries and family members dead and mobs lashed out against Mormons in numerous hate crimes. It was a very trying time for members in Tennessee and many had to flee their homes for safety. By the mid 1890's, religious freedom was somewhat more tolerable and missionary work continued and is still going strong today.
Tennessee has seen it's share of battles and wars on it's journey to becoming the 16th state and beyond. The French & Indian War, the Revolutionary War and the American Civil War, in which the Battle of Franklin took thousands of lives. You can learn all about the battle and see several homes that were at the center of the battle that later served as hospitals for the wounded. See battle damage and cemeteries at the Lotz House Museum and Historic Carnton Plantation. Many issues have plagued Tennessee and the south through the years; yellow fever, slavery, political unrest, cotton farming and many more. Despite it's hardships, Tennessee has always been strong and able to withstand and grow, even in the face of diverse challenges. A place with great history and stories of survival. Downtown Franklin is a great way to see some of the states history as you walk down the brick sidewalks admiring the Victorian architecture and the quaint shops. Of course you know that Nashville is famous for it's blues and country music. We would be totally remiss, if music wasn't mentioned. Today, it's pretty much the heart and soul of this town as many budding artists move to the area to feed their musical passions. See some of these budding artists at Music City Roots, which has live concerts and interviews on Wednesday nights. To catch a superstar performance or see and learn the history of country music you need to visit either the Ryman Auditorium or the Grand Ole Opry.
The dining scene is superb and offers many choices for Southern cuisine and feel-good, comfort food. The Loveless Cafe serves made-from-scratch Southern cooking. Go to try their famous hot biscuits and homemade jams. Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant also offers Southern favorites like their fried chicken. You can also catch live music on most evenings. Saffire has a more unique menu, but still offers favorites with flavorful twists. Fish & Grits and Chicken Fried Chicken are favorites. Sopapillas serves authentic sopapillas (puffy scone type dough) with honey and other Southwestern and Mexican cuisine. A family-friendly and affordable meal can be found at Demos' Steak & Spaghetti House. They specialize in steaks and of course about 15 different types of spaghetti dishes. And, for the ultimate dessert, you can't miss Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Truly the most unique ice cream you will ever taste. As weird as some of the combinations sound, you won't be able to get past the rich, creamy textures and symphony and layers of flavors.