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Lotz House

Updated: Apr 29

Lotz House was built in 1858 by Johann Albert Lotz (1820-1905) and Margaretha Lotz and located at 1111 Columbia Ave.

Photo by Skye Marthaler

Johann was a skilled woodworker and had arrived from Germany to Franklin in 1855. He was a piano maker. He purchased five acres from Fountain Branch Carter to build his large wooden home. During the Civil War, the Lotz House was caught in the middle of the Battle of Franklin and sustained severe damage - some of which remain visible today. Because the home was made of wood, Johann did not think it would survive the fighting. The Carters invited the Lotz family to take refuge with them in the brick basement of their home. Unfortunately after the Civil War, the Lotz family could not restore their prosperity. Then in 1869, Lotz made carvings in a piano at his home that were deemed disrespectful to the Confederacy. When Lotz learned that the KKK was about to harm him, he sold his house and left with his family for California.

The new owners were Robert Greenfield Buchanan (1841-1920) and his wife Sarah Catherine Gillespie Buchanan (1844-1919). In 1900, the house was sold to Buchanan’s son-in-law James Christopher Carothers and daughter, Eula Lee Buchanan Carothers (1869-1914), who owned it until 1930. They wed in 1889.

Afterward, there were multiple owners, and the property was used in various ways: a cooking school, law offices and several retail businesses. In 1974, it was prepared for demotion when the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County bought it to prevent that.

The Heritage Foundation restored the exterior and sold it to Mr. and Mrs Larry W. Brown (dba The Garden Room Inc,) in 1975 who restored the interior. In 1999, it was again on the market with possible plans to turn into a Mexican restaurant.

J. T. and Susan Andrews Thompson bought The Lotz House in 2000 and restored it. J. T. is a former news director for WSMV and now an owner and Executive Director of The Lotz House Foundation. Susan is the owner of the Andrews Agency, public relations and communication. The Lotz House is a prime tourist attraction with its significance as the Big 3 for the Battle of Franklin tours. It operates in conjuction with the Carter House and Carnton Plantation. NRHP 1976


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