Soon after the county was established, the first courthouse was built on land owned by Francis Evick, who soon platted forty-six and one-half acres as a town. The settlement was first called Frankford, but in December 1794, it was established as Franklin to honor Benjamin Franklin. A disastrous fire in 1924 destroyed the town core but spared buildings on the outskirts. Most of the town is included in the Franklin Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. John O'Brien's At Home in the Heart of Appalachia, published in 2001, provides a charming account of life in this small town.
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