40 in stock


Richly blessed with gems and minerals, the small North Carolina town of Franklin is touted as the “Gem Capital of the World.”

40 in stock


Franklin sits on a hill above the Little Tennessee River. The surveyors who chose the site in 1820 admired its beauty, laying out the town with Main Street facing the Cowee Mountains to the east and the Nantahala Range to the west. Though ringed by rugged summits, Franklin was linked to population centers by well-worn trails. It soon developed into the market center of southwestern North Carolina, a role it retains today, especially for the building trades, furniture, and jewelry. Richly blessed with gems and minerals, the town was once touted as the “Gem Capital of the World.” Franklin is also justly proud of its crafters, including quilters, woodworkers, potters, basket makers, and glass artists. The Franklin Press, founded in 1886, is the oldest business in the county. The Macon County Historical Society, operating in the old Pendergrass Store, and the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum are perennial favorites with tourists. Franklin is also a gateway town for the Appalachian Trail, which passes nearby, attracting hikers almost year-round. Franklin showcases the rich commercial and community history of this North Carolina mountain town.

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Barbara McRae and Cherry Jackson

Author Info

Coauthors Barbara McRae and Cherry Jackson share a long-standing interest in the community. McRae retired as editor of the Franklin Press and has published eight works of local history and genealogy. Jackson is a former executive director of the Macon County Historical Museum. Many of the photographs in Franklin come from the museum's rich collection.

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9.3 in H, 6.5 in W, 0.3 in T, 0.04 lb Wt


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