Alicia King Marshall has a very pointed reason for starting her own walking tour in downtown Franklin.
“I’m a history nerd,” she said. “I just love history. It’s easy to be excited about your hometown and history, and this is a perfect way to combine the two.”
After years of serving as a tour guide for Franklin on Foot, Marshall decided earlier this year to open her own company and offer a variety of tours from those centered on Franklin’s history to others with a more ghostly essence. She founded Franklin Walking Tours in early May, and held a recent grand opening and ribbon cutting at Landmark Booksellers, where each of her tours will originate.
“They invited me, and I jumped at the chance,” Marshall said of Joel and Carol Tomlin, owners of Landmark Booksellers.
To accommodate Marshall’s tour times, the Tomlins adjusted their store hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We were honored when she wanted to [start her tours] from here,” Joel Tomlin said. “We’ve known her for some time and she does an unbelievable job on tours, so we were tickled to death when she wanted to start them from here.”
Marshall’s tours include Franklin Charm, Grim & Ghostly and Picture Perfect, among others. The latter gives guests the opportunity to come away with high-quality photos from some of Franklin’s iconic locations, and a professional photographer can even be added on to capture those special moments.
“That’s become very popular,” Marshall said of Picture Perfect. “People want a nice photo as a souvenir or from their date or proposal or special get-together.”
In the month since opening Franklin Walking Tours, Marshall said she has been pleased with the feedback she has received.
“About half of our guests are local and half are visiting,” she said. “So for the locals, it’s nice when they learn something that they didn’t know or they get another glimpse at places opening up, and maybe there are some parts of our history they have forgotten or missed. And for folks from out of town, it’s nice to take a tour and get an overview so they’ll know where they want to return during the rest of the visit.
“I’m just very proud to be an ambassador for Franklin.”
Visit the website for Franklin Walking Tours for more information.