Oaklawn Manor Circa 1837   
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The Founding Years
Le Grande Tour
History of Franklin
Visitor Information
The Renaissance

The glory days of Oaklawn Manor seemed long forgotten. Sadly, she had relinquished her beautiful furnishings from all over the globe and no longer had a loving master to keep her in good repair. She was bought and sold repeatedly, all the time deteriorating in beauty and grace.

Fortunately, in 1925 a local financier came to Oaklawn's rescue determined to return her splendor. Captain Clyde Arthur Barbour had admired the manor for more than twenty-five years. As a young man, he had often dreamed of the day when he would be able to have Oaklawn as a home for him and his wife, Jennie. When that dream was realized, Captain Barbour set about restoring Oaklawn manor to her former days of glory.

Two years later, after carefully recreating the gardens and refurbishing the manor, the Barbours opened to the public a restored and newly resplendent Oaklawn Manor.  In September of 1926, the Barbours hosted an Open House and invited all those living nearby to visit with them in their beautiful home.  The Barbours continued to play hosts for many friends throughout the years and there was no more perfect setting for southern hospitality than Oaklawn.  With the addition of a swimming pool and small golf course, Oaklawn Manor held all the luxuries that vacationing friends could desire.

The Barbours also understood the importance of the oak trees which spread over the estate but had been long suffering from years of neglect.  With the help of laborers, the family planted over one hundred twelve-year-old live oaks in the 1930's and brought in tree surgeons to revive the older, ailing trees.  By chaining the limbs together to withstand the strong winds of hurricane seasons and carefully pruning away the dead limbs, the tree surgeons were able to save many of the beautiful old trees which had been standing for well over a hundred years.

Unfortunately, Captain Barbour passed away in 1930; but his widow continued to live there for nearly thirty years.  The Barbours' daughter, Lucile married a man from Chicago, Illinois, who fell in love with Oaklawn Manor, and the two returned to live there permanently in the 1950's.

Lucile and Thomas J. Holmes, II, devoted their life to continuing the restoration of their beloved Oaklawn, opening the manor to the public and educating visitors about the history of their home.  Often, the visitors were delighted to find the family and staff in antebellum dress, fully re-enacting the early days of Oaklawn.  Tom and Lucie felt a duty to preserve Oaklawn and all her treasures.  They carefully guarded the beautiful pieces imported from Europe and tended to the grounds immaculately.


The Renaissance
The Preservation
A Thriving Manor

What's New! 

Oaklawn Manor is looking festive for the Christmas season. Everything is decorated beautifully. Come visit us and see how nice it looks.

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