One if not the best historical place to visit in Franklin.
Octagon Hall is a unique structure and is located in Southern Kentucky. Construction of the house began in 1843 and completed in 1859, a span of 16 years. Andrew Jackson Caldwell, the owner, wanted a house like no other in the area. The house has become a landmark in the area.
The bricks used in construction of the house were shaped and fired on the property from local red clay. The corner bricks are unusual in that they have five corners. This provides strength to the corners and leaves no seam.
The foundation blocks were quarried from natural limestone deposits in the area. These quarries are located less than one mile from the structure and are still producing today. The massive foundation blocks are , on the average, 4 feet by 18 inches by 18 inches and weigh between 1 and 1 1/2 tons.
A significant part of the structure, the cupola or "latern" is no longer in existence . It was struck by lightning and burned prior to 1914. Owner, Dr. Miles Williams, did not rebuild after the fire. The cupola was used to hide Confederate Soldiers, beehives, weapons, and other items, during the Civil War.
The house is composed of 3 floors with 4 rooms to each floor
Completed before the onset of hostilities, Octagon Hall was to become a strategic asset to both sides in the War between the States. Located between the L&N railroad and the Louisville and Nashville Pike, it was and ideal place as a camp area and lookout.
In early February 1862 Fort Donelson, on the Tennessee River, was attacked and captured by General U.S. Grant. Fearing an advancing army from the front and rear, the confederates forces located in Bowling Green evacuated the city and surrounding Countryside.
Approximately 12,000 soldiers camped at the house and surrounding property on February 11, 1862 on their march to Middle Tennessee. Most of the "Orphan Brigade" did not see Kentucky again until the war ended.
The owner, a Southern sympathizer, hid Confederate troops in the building late in the war.