FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – Preserving the history of buildings throughout Middle Tennessee is something many people take seriously, but for one structure in Franklin, it’s about so much more.
The people who work so hard to preserve the Lotz House know it’s about the history and the stories behind it, many of which involve ghosts.
The Lotz House sits along a busy road in Franklin. It’s a beautiful, southern home that was built in the 1850s.
“It’s a very quaint, very charming, very peaceful place,” said Margie Thessin, who runs Franklin on Foot Walking Tours.
More than 150 years ago, the property was home to the Lotz family.
“This was a German immigrant family who turned to the U.S. to get away from war,” she said.
But soon, the Lotz family home would be the site of the Battle of Franklin.
“There were bodies piled up everywhere around this house.”
After the war, the house was used as a hospital.
“We think that spirits have lingered because of that time,” Thessin explained.
Stories of Confederate soldiers appearing in rooms are not unusual at the home, but the most common ghost story comes from the Lotz children.
“The family had some tragedy, too,” Thessin explained. “They had two children who died at the age of two. We think that some of those ghosts had to do with the children.”
Often, mischievous and unexplainable things happen in the home.
“People have had their pants legs tugged on, things like that.” Thessin said.
But the scariest happenings have nothing to do with the kids.
“Something drew her attention to the stairs,” Thessin said, telling the story of one visitor. “So she sort of twisted around and she looked into the hallway and up the stairs and there was a woman standing on the stairs. This woman is holding a candle, she’s calling out for someone, saying, ‘Where is Ann?’ Ann was the middle name of Mrs. Lotz, so that may be what they were referring to.”
Still, Thessin said she’s actually glad the ghosts are lingering.
“A lot of people think history is boring – they’re not going to like it – that’s a common misconception about it. But the way we do it, we try to bring people in other ways and give them something entertaining at the same time,” she said.
The Lotz House was commercial property until 2002 when a local family bought it and turned it into a museum.
“This house is very important to Franklin,” said Thessin. “We need to remember this time.”
Now, thanks in part to the ghosts and Thessin’s storytelling, the story of the Lotz House will continue to be told.
Ghost tours are offered at the Lotz House every Friday evening. Click here for more information on those tours.