Between 1907 and 1930 Franklin witnessed a revolution in transportation as gasoline-powered vehicles replaced the horse and buggy and steam-powered transportations. Even as Franklin benefited from a boom in buggy making during the first decade of the twentieth century, the automobile came to Franklin. In 1913 Franklin's first car dealerships opened, and by 1919 cars outnumbered buggies on Franklin streets. Franklin adopted the Town Manager form of government in 1922. Soon after, the Town paved its streets with concrete or ??? stone to adapt to the Age of Gasoline. Hard surfaced streets, sidewalks, and curbs replaced dirt and gravel streets, hitching posts, and watering troughs. The Camp mill continued to use the river and the railroads survived as freight carriers, but the character of Franklin's future development - though retarded by the depression and World War II - would be determined by the automobile. After the war homes and businesses were built farther and farther from the old business district.
"Camp tugboats continued to pull barges of North Carolina logs upriver each week to Franklin [after 1928]. A bridge operator still controlled th draw at South Quay on the Blackwater River so the Union Camp tug could go downriver on Sunday to load its barges and come back to the mill the following Friday. It was a Franklin ritual."