It’s hot. Seriously, have you been outside for more than 10 minutes at a time in the past week? We don’t need the weathermen (and women) to tell us the temperatures are in the 90s and heat indexes are in the upper 90’s and low 100’s. We know it by walking out the door.  I don’t know how the CMA Fest and Bonnaroo attendees managed to survive. I do know, however, how we endure the summer heat at Berry Farms. It’s called The Plunge.

The Plunge is our neighborhood pool and pool house (sorry, it’s only open to Berry Farms residents). It’s a quiet retreat where residents can cool off with friends, have a picnic in the pool house, and enjoy our hot, humid Tennessee summer. We chose the name, The Plunge, as a nostalgic nod to Franklin’s one and only historic Willow Plunge pool.

Willow Plunge pool built in 1924 by Claiborne Kinnard

Willow Plunge was built in 1924 by Claiborne Kinnard on a portion of his property just off Lewisburg Pike near the entrance to what is now Heath Place subdivision. It was reported to be one of the largest pools in the South, holding 750,000 gallons of water, and was named one of the six best-equipped pools in the entire United States in 1932. Unfortunately, more than 40 years later, it closed in 1966. I wasn’t around to enjoy Willow Plunge, but talk to any of the lucky folks who experienced it and you will see their eyes light up and a smile cross their faces as the memories of those special days come back. There was a gentle slope leading down to the pool where sunbathers spread their towels and the community came together to listen to live bands, enjoy homemade pies and ice tea from the concession stand, and just enjoy the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

At Berry Farms, we are intentional and passionate about creating special places where a new generation can start their own memories of shared moments and days-gone-by. In addition to The Plunge and Hughes Mill Park, the beginnings of The Trail can be found along the west and south side of Town Center. When completed, it will connect residential, retail, the office areas of Berry Farms, and (hopefully!) the Franklin Trail System. We are also anticipating another pool (more info on that coming!), community gardens, and other exciting “places”.

Summer is definitely here in middle Tennessee. But heat and humidity don’t faze us. Take a stroll down The Trail with a cone of Whit’s Frozen Custard; enjoy a margarita on Tito’s patio (or, my favorite, the frozen strawberry daiquiri with lots of whipped cream!); or just relax on your front porch with the neighbors in the late evening and start making your own memories. It’s hot – take the plunge.


By Lisa Gregory,    June 14, 2016