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What is the Scottish Tartans Museum and heritage center, INC.?


The Scottish Tartans Museum and Heritage Center, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 incorporation dedicated to the history and traditions of Scottish Highland Dress.

Our museum was founded by The Scottish Tartans Society (STS) which was established in Scotland in 1963, to maintain:
  • A worldwide membership and museums in Scotland and abroad.
  • To create and maintain the Register of All Publicly Known Tartans.
  • Encourage research into Highland Dress.
  • To provide a design service for new tartans.
The Scottish Tartans Museum and Heritage Center, Inc. was established by the STS to be a center for reliable information on Scottish Highland Dress traditions within the United States, and to serve the large Scottish-American heritage community. Originally established in Highlands, NC in 1988. The museum has been in Franklin since 1994, where we have educated the public about tartan and Highland Dress as well as, served as a general Scottish Heritage Center for the region.

Our museum is open year-round, six days a week (except for major holidays).  Our gallery is regularly visited by school groups, researchers, families and interested individuals.  Volunteers are often available to provide guided tours, and staff is always on hand to answer questions and help with basic tartan research.

Our museum gallery features kilts dating back to c. 1800, and tartan specimens c. 1725.  Over 600 tartan samples are on display, including tartans for clans, families, districts, and other organizations.  Our computer database, courtesy of the Scottish Tartans Authority, contains over 11,000 unique tartan designs, both historic and modern.

Our museum staff and volunteers are routinely invited into area schools, from elementary school to the university, to give presentations on Scottish heritage and Highland dress.

Our museum staff and volunteers also attend a number of regional Scottish Festivals and Highland Games throughout the year to provide a tartan information service to festival visitors.  So if you are attending a festival in the southeastern US, be on the lookout for our tent!

Museum Roster

Board of Directors

James Akins
James Anderson 
Stacy Guffey
John Hillyer
Martha Holbrook
Gordon H. Wilson


Volunteer Staff:

James Akins
Kathie Akins
Merrilee Bordeaux
Nancy Berganstock
Catherine Capita
Judi Longworth 
Daniel Williamson