In February 2010, then 15th District Councilman Phil Claiborne sat down in the Ladies Parlor at Two Rivers Mansion with Parks Director, Tommy Lynch, Metro Historic Director Tim Walker and his assistant Director Robin Zeigler. The purpose of the meeting was to talk about the declining condition of the Mansion as well as the inability of the general public to visit and learn about the property’s history and the McGavock families.
The Councilman ask for approval to host some exploratory community meetings in the Mansion for the purpose of gauging interest to form a Friends group that would work with the Parks Department to address the concerns of the meeting. During that spring and summer several well attended meetings took place to hear representatives of prominent Friends groups including Friends of Warner Parks and the Conservancy at the Parthenon talk about their successes and failures.
After seeing that substantial support existed for moving forward the decision was made to apply for 501(c)3 status as a tax exempt organization with the purpose of restoration, preservation and promotion of the Mansion and it history. On November 22, 2010, IRS recognition was granted for the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion.
In the years since then, the Friends group has contributed significantly toward meeting the objectives of the organization. An investment just short of 2 million dollars has resulted in a complete restoration of the exterior of the Mansion, significant improvements to the interior, farm fencing across the front of the property, new signage along McGavock Pike, a 20-year Master Plan for the property, a calendar of annual events, offering historic tours, opening the 1802 House, installation of security devices, and plans are in place for a new event center that will enable the Mansion to become a house museum.
Looking back over the last decade the Friends of Two Rivers has been able to accomplish far more than was ever expected, and the future only looks brighter.