Day 2: January 28, 2017
Brew, Que, and Crew

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In the eight years that it has been operating, Lotz House has become the number one attraction in Franklin according to Tripadvisor. Today I learned why. Last year's snowed out Road Crew performance wasn't the only bit of bad luck I've had in Franklin. In 2014, heavy rain caused cancellation of the reenactment of the Battle of Franklin that I drove down to see. In anticipation of watching the reenactment, I had learned something about the the battle and I learned even more while touring the McGavock mansion at the Carnton Plantation. That meant I wasn't totally ignorant of the battle when I arrived at the Lotz House but tour guide Jean certainly added to and refreshed what I did know.

The 1864 battle has been called "the bloodiest five hours of the Civil War". What took place in and near the Lotz family's front yard has been described as “some of the most severe hand to hand fighting during the four year long war”. Johann Lotz was an excellent carpenter and built the house as something of a showcase for his skills. Photos are not permitted inside the house beyond the gift shop but the fireplace there offers a tiny sample of Lotz' craftsmanship. The exterior pictures show how the portion of the house severely damaged during the battle was rebuilt without windows.

A gorgeous table is the only piece of Lotz made furniture currently in the house. It was saved when they moved to California to escape Klan threats and has been donated to the museum by descendents. The table isn't lonely, though. An impressive collection of period antiques fills every room and no doubt accounts for some of the attraction's popularity. One of the items I found particularly interesting was a set of about ten birds taxidermied by John James Audubon himself. Three of the species in the set are now extinct. I also liked seeing a set of dishes from the Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania.

I filled part of the afternoon with visits to a pair of local breweries. The first is new-to-me Cool Springs Brewery and the second is Mantra Artisan Ales which I visited last year. I was quite impressed with Mantra's new Edtima Fruhatuck and hope it at least goes into permanent rotation.

I arrived at Jack and Jameson's Smokehouse about an hour before showtime and found the parking lot filled and the place packed. Of course the upcoming music was a big reason but, as you can see, there were others. I liked the place immediately and even found an open seat at the bar with a good view of the stage and easy access to food and beverage.

Then I got to see the Road Crew it their home state. Although I've only seen them at Route 66 events, I knew from their "Rock-A Billy Road" CD (I've got 'em all.) that their repertoire extended well beyond that one road. Tonight's show was less sixty-six centric but no less entertaining than what I'm used to. As always, Woody, Joe, Jason, and Don delivered a good time and great music.

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