History of the Trust
In 1974 Kentucky established a Bicentennial Commission to plan activities in celebrate the 200th anniversary of the State. From this many local organizations were chartered to help secure the historic places and history associated with Kentucky’s development. Frankfort citizens came together to form the local Bicentennial Task Force which became the Franklin County Trust for Historic Preservation in 1974. Within the year, members designated the historic Glen Willis House restoration as their Bicentennial Celebration project for Franklin County.
In July, 1975, it came to the attention of the Trust that the c1815 historic Glen Willis was to be put up for auction to settle an estate. The Trust held several public meetings and started a fundraising drive to save the historic landmark that was being considered for a strip mall development. At the August 23 1975 auction, Ms. Martha Moore purchased the Glen Willis house for $60,000.00. Even though the Trust had yet raised funds to purchase the home, Ms Moore and members felt that due to the importance of the house they had to purchase and protect it from demolition. Ms. Moore backed a personal loan to cover the mortgage and the Trust began more than a two decade long project to raise funds to pay a mortgage and restore the historic home. Preservation work continued for years, but a complete restoration proved a larger task than the Trust was able to accomplish. After completing much restoration work including stabilization efforts after the flood of 1978, the Trust the began searching for a permanent tenant to occupy the Glen Willis and finish its rehabilitation. In the 1990’s the house was sold to a State agency that finished the restoration and use home for office space for more than 20 years.
Due to the work of the Trust through its loyal members, the Glen Willis and many other historic places in Franklin County have been preserved for the prosperity of current and future generations. Over the years the trust has contributed to the preservation of the Sullivan Log house which now rests on Fort Hill, the Old Capitol Fountain, the War Mothers Memorial Bridge, the African American Civil War Soldiers Monument at Greenhill Cemetery, and a marker at Lebanon Cemetery in Bald Knob. The Trust has sponsored innumerable cultural enrichment programs including contributions to publications of about Franklin County, preservation of cemeteries, and grants to local non-profit organizations. Today we continue our work to preserve the historic places of Franklin Counties that make our community unique. We invite you join us in our efforts and earn the satisfaction of knowing you are helping preserve our shared heritage for future generations.
Martha Moore; Chairman of the Board
Eric Whisman; President
Layne Wilkerson; Vice-President
Tom Midkiff; Treasurer
Jen Spangler Williamson; Secretary
Ed Conner; Emeritus
Joe Johnson, Emeritus
Members please consider joining one of our committees.