In 1855, german immigrant Johann Albert Lotz purchased five acres of land from wealthy and prominent Franklin citizen Fountain Branch Carter. (You may remember him as the builder and resident of the well-known property, The Carter House). Immediately after purchasing the land, Lotz went to work constructing a home on the land. Three years later, his home was completed. Lotz built the house mainly by himself using his skills of carpentry to complete the build.
Alongside his carpentry skills, Lotz was a piano maker by trade and used his great home to display his carpentry skills. Inside the home were plentiful intricate details that showcased his piano making skills, as well. Some of these details include three fireplaces that were each designed differently from very simple to very intricate design as well as a solid black walnut handrail that wraps around a staircase from the ground floor to the second floor of the home.
In November 1864, the Civil War came knocking in Tennessee and the Battle of Franklin, which is remembered today as the bloodiest five hours of the entire war, ensued in Middle Tennessee. Lotz House, along with countless other prominent homes of the era, suffered casualties of the war. During the Battle of Franklin, Lotz and his family sought refuge in the basement of the Carter Home with the Carter family. Upon reemerging from the basement at the end of the battle, what the families found was proof of the bloody, mass-casualty war.
Lotz house became one of many hospitals for the wounded soldiers, with proof today remaining by bloodstains still visible on the walls and floor of the home. The Battle at Franklin left its mark in more ways than bloodstains. A charred and rounded indention in the wood flooring remains from a cannonball that flew through the roof, catapulted through the second floor and landed on the ground floor where it rolled.
Today, the house remains standing and serves as a museum used to educate visitors about the Civil War and infamous Battle at Franklin. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Tours run daily, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m on Sunday, or by appointment. For more information or to visit, see www.lotzhouse.com.