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Family of Butler-Brayne Franklin donates 28 acres for Fredericksburg park
Fredericksburg City Manager Bev Cameron just announced that it has received a gift of 28.12 acres from Jenny-Lynn Franklin Guth of Orange, Texas.
The land includes three parcels that abut the Rappahannock River on the north and Fall Hill Avenue on the south.
The land was given by Guth in honor of her mother, Butler–Brayne Thornton Robinson Franklin, so that it could be preserved and developed into a public park. The park will be named “Butler Brayne Park.”
The land has been owned by Guth’s family since the early 18th century, and was farmed as an apple orchard for many years, the city announced. The city described the parcels as “undeveloped and wooded, with a natural surface trail crossing the north end of the property, along the shoreline of the Rappahannock River. Natural features of the property include upland woodlands, minor streams, and steep river bluffs.
On Dec. 10, the City Council honored the late Butler–Brayne Thornton Robinson Franklin by placing her name on its Wall of Honor.
The Wall of Honor, located in the Council Chambers of City Hall, was established in 2000 to honor people who made significant contributions to the Fredericksburg community in their lifetime.
Below are a few highlights from that article.
Butler–Brayne Thornton Robinson Franklin died in 2003 at age 104 after a life of worldwide travel, activism for women’s rights, and an appreciation for Fredericksburg history.
Though born in Nebraska, Franklin had deep roots in Fredericksburg and spent much of her life at Fall Hill, the Georgian estate overlooking the Rappahannock River built by her family in 1736.
She and her husband, Lynn Franklin, retired to Fall Hill in 1949, after his 25-year career in the American foreign service.
Preserving the 135-acre property was possibly Franklin’s “greatest single feat as a preservationist,” Memorials Advisory Commission member James M. Pates wrote in nominating her for the Wall of Honor.
Through her efforts, the house was designated a state historic landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.
She later sold 44 acres of the property to the city and the Fredericksburg–Stafford Park Authority, which became Old Mill Park.
Franklin also was among the founding directors of Historic Fredericksburg Inc., which was the precursor to the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation.