WELCOME TO THE KISSING HOUSE
In Historic Downtown Spring Hill
412 McLemore Ave
Spring Hill, Maury County 37174
THE STORY BEHIND THE HOUSE
History: The "Kissing House" is proudly listed on the National Register of Historical Places and is one of the few in the area that feature the Carpenter Gothic-style architecture. It is called the "Kissing House" because in the late 1800s a Spring Hill woman, Sara Odit, was betrothed to Hugh Brown, who was 15 years older than she. Without Sara's knowledge, the man was also involved with several other women. A newspaper announcement in Nashville revealed to her, after their engagement, that he had married another woman in Nashville. She and her family sued Hugh Brown for the breach of promise to marriage, one of the first of such cases. The jury sided with Sara Odil and she was awarded $2,800, or $60,000 by today's standard, with which she used to buy the house. For years, the "Kissing House" was also known as the Odil home. Tombstones of the Odils and the Browns are located not far from the house in the Spring Hill cemetery. A play has also been written about the story entitled "The House that Kisses Bought".
Architecture and Design
CARPENTER GOTHIC REVIVAL
The Kissing House or Ritter-Morton House was built by Peter Ritter, who came to Spring Hill after the Civil War, sometime before 1878. It has vertical clapboard with high gable roofs characteristic of the Gothic Revival. The distinctive vertical siding has a delicate arched border at the ceiling line of the first floor and decorative brackets support the bargeboard trimmed eaves along the front and sides.
Other Examples of Carpenter Gothic
Grace Episcopal Church is a historic church on U.S. 31 in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
The Carpenter Gothic church building was constructed in 1876–7 and dedicated in 1878 by Charles T. Quintard, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee. Nashville architect P. J. Williamson designed the building, which was completed at a cost of $1,800. The building interior contains a small narthex, a nave that seats about 100 people, a chancel and altar, and a small sacristy. There is a single belfry with one bell that is labeled “England 1839. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.