MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — A couple in Our Town has nearly 1,000 horses, but they’re not in a stable or barn. They’re in their home.
At one point, the Lotz family had their own to ride, but now they’re sticking to collectibles. Over the years, the couple has found other ways of sharing their passion with the community.
There’s a lot to love about the Lotz.
“We bought the ten acres and built our little farm and we were both city folk so that’s funny.”
Ed and Norma Lotz called Mahomet their home more than 50-years ago. Norma brought her love of horses along for the ride.
“I knew a few young men that looked at me and said, ‘You want horses?’ and said, ‘Ehhh,’ but he said, ‘Okay!'”
They built a barn and made her wildest dreams come true.
“40-years I waited for a horse all my life.”
Slowly, Ed started to catch on and figurines started filling up their home.
“Our oldest grandson decided he wanted to count how many horses we had. He ended up with over 700 and we’ve been adding since. I think it’s safe to say we probably have 1,000 horses.”
From metal to some from ancient history, the Lotz can say there are not many they don’t have.
“There’s an old one.”
As Norma got older, her days of riding came to an end and it got the Lotz thinking about what to do with the land.
“We worked out a deal to basically give them, not totally, but give them the land.”
Years later, Bridle Leash Park became a reality.
“It’s green, second of all, there’s people and they’re having a good time.”
It’s now a playground are with walking paths and ball fields. Don’t worry, Norma still got to make the park her own. Two horses surround the sign.
The Lotz say Mahomet will always be home.
“Why did you want to give back to this community?”
“Because they’d given so much to us.”
“The people, they were wonderful. Just good, nice. That’s what I always liked about it.”
62-years together, raising three daughters, both say, after this long, they’re in it until the end, even if they crack a few jokes along the way.
“I’m deaf and see the frequencies. There are certain frequencies for a female voice and those, I’ve been deaf in for 61-years.”
There’s no doubt the love is strong in Our Town.
“She’s a sweetie. I’ll keep her.”
“Thankfulness that he’s still here.”
The Lotz also used to host barn dances. Anyone could come and people would square dance for hours.