In the early 1800s, Randal and Sarah McGavock built a home and farm that we know as Carnton. So easily forgotten in today’s world is that settlers in those days needed to locate a fresh water source because it was not always easily available. Randal McGavock found such a source just east of where he built his first house around 1815.
The springhouse at Carnton was likely constructed at this same time. It was used for decades by the family, by the slaves, and during the Battle of Franklin. The cool, fresh water was used by some of the wounded Confederates from Gen. William Loring’s Division.
Then in early 2010, during the epic flood which struck Middle Tennessee, the springhouse was flooded. Although damaged, it is a wonder the building was not destroyed. Luckily, we were able to stabilize it, and now we have started work on a full-scale restoration.