The Hotel Franklin was originally located at the corner of Main Street and Norwich Street. It was one of the earliest businesses in Hilliard. Lattimer Street in Hilliard was named after the hotel’s original owner. Since it was located next to the train station, traveling salespeople and visiting dignitaries, or government officials, often stayed there.
One familiar story about the hotel was about a cat that wandered in and out of the hotel and became a local pet to everyone who lived nearby. When the cat died, some of the local people buried the cat in front of the hotel.
The hotel was eventually turned into a house where many families lived. The Barth family was the last family to live in the house. David Barth gave a tour of the house in 2001 where the room numbers one through eight were still on the doors and an old claw legged bathtub was in the bathroom. A hand pump was still in the backyard near the entrance to the dugout basement.
In 1914, the Franklin Hotel was moved down Norwich Street the length of a city block, where it stayed until it was knocked down in 2002. Many of the building’s original structures, such as bannisters, staircases, woodwork and lighting fixtures, were over one hundred years old at the time the building was destroyed. A preserved doorway and some items from the hotel are on display at the Northwest Historical Society Museum.
Adapted by Lisa Klein