Friday, August 31, 2012
This brick monument to "Uncle Dave" Macon is on the Warren County Courthouse lawn in McMinnville, TN. It reads:
Uncle Dave Macon 1870-1952
This great country music star was born 300 yards east of Hickory Creek on the Lawson Mill Road, 6.6 miles SW of here. David Harrison Macon was the son of John and Martha Ann Ramsey Macon. His Grandfather, Harrison H. Macon, settled in Warren County ca. 1820, and descends from a prominent North Carolina family. This monument is constructed of brick from the John Macon home, built 1855, where Dave was born. One of the home's entrance steps serves as a base of this marker. Moving to Nashville in 1884, Dave Macon eventually settled in the Kittrell Community of Rutherford County.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Tennessean and hero Alvin C. York was one of the most decorated soldies in World War I. On Oct. 8, 1918, while leading a small patrol through the Argonne Forest in France, Sgt. York had the assignment to eliminate a flank of opposition machine gun fire that was halting his regiment's advancement. York found himself alone facing a German machine gun unit and he took them on with only a rifle and a pistol. The fight ended with over 20 German soldiers dead and another 132 soldiers surrendering along with their four oficers and 35 machine guns. For his efforts he was awarded a dozen medals including the Congressional Medal of Honor.
After the War, he returned to his family farm in Pall Mall, nestled in the Tennessee Mountains. York never seeked to capitalize on his fame, and instead led a quiet life.
York's Family farm, grist mill, and burial site are now maintained by Tennessee as a State Historic Park. The Grist Mill and dam were built on the Wolf River and operated by York until his death in 1964. Since then, the farm has been designated a National Historic Landmark District and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
A previous theater relocated to this spot in 1948 and has remained virtually unchanged ever since. The theater was originally managed by Louise Mask. She wanted a theater name that was only four letters long and picked Luez because of the similarity to her name.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
View of Public Square, Lebanon, Tenn.
I don't have a date on this card, but based on the cars, I'd say it was the 1920's or 30's. Some things haven't changed much since this post card was made but there are other differences. Most of the buildings seen in the background here are the same building that are on the square today. However, many of the buildings on the other side not seen here have been replaced.
Just like in the post card back then, in the center of the town square is a statue of Confederate Gen Robert Hatton. The wrought iron fence doesn't go all the way around the statue on the post card, and it's not there at all on this picture taken about 5 years ago. A fence completely surrounds the statue today. The lights around the statue are also the same.
Most of the old buildings around the square are now antique stores. I hear there's over 20 within a couple of blocks of the square. Cuz's might just be the most famous.
Monday, August 27, 2012
The Scopes Monkey Trial was the biggest event in the history of the town of Dayton. I suppose people came from many miles away to be swept up in the goings on, and they needed a remembrance to take with them. Or, perhaps the locals needed a little piece to remember it by. W.A. Ault and Son Department Store made the pennant and must have had a good thing going. The basement of the Rhea County Courthouse has been converted to a museum and this 80+ year old collectible is one of many things on display.
I left the courthouse and went across the street to a small general store where I bought a pennant similar to this one (but smaller).
Sunday, August 26, 2012
The Lorikeet Landing at the Nashville Zoo makes for an interactive animal exhibit. Zoo visitors get to walk among the animals, and for a dollar you can purchase a cup of nectar. Or for free, on a hot day they'll land on your shoulder and lick the sweat off your face (if they suspect you're tasty). Another one tried to eat the buttons off my camera.
The Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) comes in a few different subspecies. Some like this one are mostly green with olive and yellow while others are green, yellow, red and blue.
If you like zoo animals, or are a fan of the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, I invite you to check out my Nashville Zoo website gallery:
Saturday, August 25, 2012
it says(I think):
although I can't see it, usually there's a "Atop" before Lookout Mt. and a "near" before Chattanooga, tn
My wife and I were driving North from Nashville to Louisville and we both loke country driving off the interstates. One good section of highway we'd never taken was U.S. Highway 31W north of Cave City, Ky into Louisville. In the past, we had driven 31W from Cave City to Bowling Green as there are some Rock City barns there.
Most drives between two big cities have one major highway, but Nashville to Louisville have 2: 31E and 31W. Both are very old routes. 31E goes by Lincoln's Birthplace as the Lincoln's lived on that route which became 31E. Dixie Highway, which was the major tourism route from Chicago to Miami in the dawn of auto travel in the 1920's in this area has become 31W.
Since we were driving North, if we were to spot a Rock City ad, we'd have to turn around to see it as they would only be useful for people going in the right direction. Most Rock City barns I know about before we get to it, based on other people's pictures online. There's also the most thorough collection in the Rock City Barns book by David Jenkins. However, if a barn appears in that book from about 12 years ago and it's doesn't appear in someone's online collection, that often means it's gone.
When I drive down a highway like this, I always have a tendancy to look behind me at every prime location of a barn we pass just to make sure we aren't missing anything. Occasionally, I say "That would make a good one" when I see a barn with a big side that faces oncoming traffic, as my wife humors me and nods. For the first time, I was right. I noticed the huge roof on the north side of the barn, which make for the perfect sign for southbound traffic.
This barn is in Hardin County, KY, but 31W through here serves as the border between Hardin and Larue counties. I-65 runs very close to 31W through here and can be seen not far away. This barn is about a mile south of the intersection with KY Highway 84.
Friday, August 24, 2012
In 1833, Beersheba Cain found a mountain spring at the base of a summit along the Cumberland Plateau at the Collins River Valley. Like many other places where a spring was found, it didn't take long for the medicinal properties to be proclaimes and a resort town to "Sping up."
By 1857, local businessman John Armfield had bought all the surrounding property and had built the hotel seen here. It is quite a massive building and I couldn't step back any further without falling down into the valley.
Like most spring resorts, tourists stop coming in the early 1900s and business dried up. In 1941, the Methodists bought the complex and now use it as a retreat.
For the full story:
Also, here's an article and vintage photos from the Tennessee Archives website
Thursday, August 23, 2012
This T-shirt was seen at the 2011 Wilson County Fair, and is based on something else that happened in the county about a month before the fair.
If you have no idea what it's about, I suggest you watch this:
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The Wilson County Fair is this week. It consistently ranks as one of the most popular state. The Midway there is typically one of the largest around.
Like most fairs, there are plenty of animals to choose from.
One thing that separates this fair from most others is the large area devoted to preserving historic buildings. This was seen at the 2011 Wilson County Fair in the Fiddlers Grove area. After demonstrating how to load the gunpowder, he fired a blank, which was really loud. If you look closely, you can see the smoke out the end.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The following text is from a brouchure entitled "A Historic Tour of Johnson City"
Thankful Baptist Church was the originator of this structure which was built in 1912.
Prior to its construction, a small white chapel in which the congregation worshipped was located on this site. In 1975, Thankful Baptist Church relocated to Watauga Avenue
and, in 1977, sold the Water Street property to Princeton Free Will Baptist Church. The
facility is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Located in downtown Nashville at the corner of Broadway and 8th Avenue, is this historic high school with a look of a castle. Today, Hume-Fogg is Nashville's magnate public school. I have a couple of close friends that attended here. This card was dated 1926.
Monday, August 20, 2012
This country guitar duo would play for anyone who would listen. This was taken during the 4th of july festivities on the Shelby Street Bridge in Downtown Nashville.
I decided to upload this photo today after seeing the trailer for the new ABC show "Nashville." While I'm not certain how much I want to watch a drama about the ins and outs of country music stardom, I may tune in anyway just for the local scenery. (Oh, and I have a friend who made it into the pilot as an extra.) One of the scenes from the trailer shows the leading couple as they talk about their future from the city's historic pedestrian bridge. See the trailer on YouTube here.
The trailer also featured a brief glimpse of the outside of the world famous Bluebird Cafe. Of course the outside doesn't really seem like much, but it's the inside that makes it the renowned venue.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
The Scott Fitzhugh Bridge was built in 1927 to cross the Tennessee River (aka Kentucky Lake) at Paris Landing. when the bridge became Structurally Deficient, it was replaced in 1992 by the Ned McWherter Bridge. Thankfully, TDOT didn't feel the need to totally demolish the main span and it was converted to this pavillion at Paris Landing with the river in the background.
When this bridge was in use, it carried highway US79 (TN76) over the river and connected Henry and Stewart County. It was a Warren (Camelback) Through truss with a total length of 4,734 ft. You can see some vintage photos HERE at the Library of Congress website for the Historic American Engineering Record. Scott Fitzhugh was a former state Speaker of the House from Paris and the old road sign with his name was preserved along with this span.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
This is along the very touristy Chapman Highway between Knoxville and Sevierville, TN. This is a relatively newer painted barn in the Rock City barn advertising program, and not one of the classic Clark Byers painted barns. The O in YOU on the top row is partially obscured by a Christmas decoration. Along with a wreath on the barn's front door, you'd think it might be Christmas, but this photo was really in a September. They also have a UT flag flying in the wind.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Pioneer - Statesman - Hero
Born August 17, 1786 - Died March 6, 1836
Served three terms in the Congress of the United States while resident of this county
Emigrated to Texas in 1835 and was killed at the Alamo fighting for the independence of Texas.
"Be sure you're right and then go ahead"
David Crockett was of course one of Tennessee's most prominent early residents. Like the base of the bust says, Gibson County (near the town of Rutherford) was the last place Crockett called home before going to fight for Texas independence and dying at the Alamo. This bust has been placed on the lawn of the Gibson County Courthouse in Trenton, one of the finest courthouses in the state. The bronze bust on a granite base was sculpted by Belle Kinney and dedicated on Oct. 13, 1950.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
This view was taken from the 2006 Gay St. Viaduct. There are 11 tracks here at its widest point.
Southern Railway was formed in the 1890s at the merging of two railroad companies. In 1902, Southern hired architect Frank Pierce Milburn to design new train stations at several of their major terminals. Two years later, the Southern Terminal opened in Knoxville. Many warehouses and factories surrounded this area because of its important shipping routes.
The station looks today much the same as it did in 1904, except a large clock tower was removed in 1945 wen deemed structurally unsafe. The last passenger train came through in 1970. Today, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places as the integral part of The Southern Terminal and Warehouse District, an area which is today known as Old City.
This passenger station and the freight depot next door are designed in a similar style with Classical Revival influence. Most notable is the corbel-stepped gabled roof.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Here's something very easy to miss! As I travel the back roads and keep my eyes peeled for faded advertising barns, more often than not when I see patterns of rust on a metal roof, my brain plays a trick on me and tells me there were some letters there. On this occasion, my circling back around was worthwhile as there really was something there in the rust.
At some point, this must have been a gas station or market. along the top of the roof, barely visible is "G.H. STEVENSON" so it must have been his store. Then, the Large Coca-Cola logo appears below that.
This is along the old Highway. US 64 runs from Memphis to Chattanooga going through many of the main cities along the bottom of the state. Many stretches of US64, including through this area have a newer two lane divided highway bypass the older stretch. This is along an unsigned old stetch of US 64 (or TN 15) approaching Frankewing, TN from the west. This tiny town is about halfway between Pulaski and Fayetteville.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Aerial View of the New Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, and Memphis and Harahan Bridges Spanning Mississippi River, Memphis, Tenn.
If you are a fan of old bridges, this spot in Memphis has three side-by-side, all still in use. I would assume this is the narrowest spot of the river near Memphis since all three were built at the same spot.
The oldest one is the one in the middle. At the time it was called the Memphis Bridge but today is called the Frisco Bridge. When built in 1892, this was the most southerly bridge over the Mississippi River as it carried railroad traffic.
Next was the bridge on the left from this view which was the Harahan Bridge. It was completed in 1916 and carried two railroad tracks and had a deck for cars. Vehicle traffic on this bridge became obsolete with the building of the final bridge. The vehicle ramps are still around on the Arkansas side, and there are ways of getting to them if you know what you're doing. In the mean time, this bridge made the news a couple of months ago as a federal grant will turn the abandoned roadway into a pedestrian bridge. Read more about that here: http://harahanbridgeproject.com/
The final bridge, the white one on the right is the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge. When it was completed in 1949, it carried multiple U.S. Highways (61, 64, 70 and 79). Soon after, it also carried Interstate 55. For over three decades it was the only place to drive over the river until the modern looking Hernando de Soto bridge was built for Interstate 40. (A few months ago, there was some concern over the de Soto Bridge as one of the piers shifted. Traffic was closed on that bridge for a couple of days and was rerouted to the older but steadier bridge.) since this post card calls this bridge "new" the card must have been made soon after 1949.
Monday, August 13, 2012
The Delta Queen is a famous steamboat and is a National Historic Landmark which is now docked in Chattanooga, TN serving as a floating Boutique hotel.
The Delta Queen steamboat is 285 feet long, 58 feet wide, and can hold 176 passengers. Its two steam engines can produce 2,000 horsepower for a stern-mounted paddlewheel.
The Delta Queen dates back to 1926 where it served passengers between San Fransisco and Sacramento. At the time, it and the sister ship Delta King were the most expensive and lavish steamboat ever commissioned. New highways made the steamboats unneeded in California so during World War II it was requisitioned by the U.S. Navy. Since 1948, it has run passenger service along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers while changing ownership several times. It was listed on the the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
At the end of 2008, all passenger service stopped and was again put up for sale. In Feb. 2009, the steamboat arrived in Chattanooga at Coolidge Park Landing along the Tennessee River across from the downtown area. The Delta Queen hotel officially opened on June 5th of that year. Since then, ownership has changed again, but in the mean time it still operates as a fancy place to spend the night. There's even one room that is said to be haunted by Mary Green, the boat captain in the 40s.
for more pictures of the Delta Queen, check out my website's Coolidge Park gallery:
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Elk Falls is an impressive waterfall in North Carolina, about a stones throw from Tennessee. In fact, it's so close to the Tennessee border that I first heard of it when it was included in the Waterfalls of Tennessee book by Gregory Plumb. Quite a volume of water plunges 45 feet into the plunge pool below.
Getting there is rather easy: Take U.S. Highway 19E to Elk Park, NC. Follow the signs to Elk River Rd and then drive about 4 miles to the entrance of Pisgah National Forest. The road ends at a small paking lot, and from there it's about a 5 minute walk along a well developed trail to this vantage point.
Waterfalls do contain an element of risk, and several people have died here over the years, including a man in 2010 who either jumped off or fell off the top, and a teen in 2007. The pool below is quite deep and apparently there is a storng current to pull under there.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Can you see the mushrooms?
The Old Railroad Bridge dates back over 140 years as an important crossing of the Tennessee River between Florence and Sheffield in The Shoals area of Alabama.
Back in 1840, the first bridge at this location opened. It significantly damaged by tornadoes and storms all through the 1850's and eventually that bridge was destroyed during the Civil War.
In 1870, the Memphis & Charlston Railroad decide to build another bridge at this spot. Over the next 120 years, there is quite a lengthy history about who got to use the bridge and changes to the bridges configuration. I'll hit some of the highlights, but below I'll link to a thorough history.
Originally, there was not a method for tall ships to go through, so a drawbridge was installed in 1872 along the northern end. A new drawbridge was installed in 1906. In 1948, the drawbridge was replaced with a turn span was installed. (When the bridge was open to tall ship, this span pivoted or rotated counter-clockwise and had stone piers to rest upon.) In 1962, this segment was changed again to a lift bridge, raising to 350 feet of clearence over the water. In 1988, all railroads abandoned the bridge and the lift section was completely removed.
This bridge not only carried railroads on the top, but also had a lower deck for vehicular traffic. This closed in 1939 with the opening of the O'Neal Bridge.
Other railroads that used this bridge were Virginia & Georgia; Nashville, Florence & Sheffield; L&N; Southern; Around 1903, a streetcar service alsu used the rails to get passengers from one side to the other and it lasted until 1933.
The complete history is here:
In 1990, a preservation society began in an effort to restore the bridge. The old railroad bed leading to the upper portion of the bridge now has a large gate in front of it, so you can look across it, but go no further. Down below, the access area was cleaned up and the wood that had been rotting for over 50 years was replaced. Today, this lower deck is a pedestrian bridge where you can walk about 1500 feet to where the segment is missing, and then you have to turn around.
Here are all 9 photos in my set
Finally, the Library of Congress has some photos of this bridge dating back to 1976
Friday, August 10, 2012
On this date in 1936, the cornerstone was laid for the 1937 Davidson County Courthouse, which was the 5th (of 6) to be used in Nashville.
In 1935, the Courthouse of 1857 burned, and the county decided to make the replacement building in the public square the County Courthouse and Nashville City Hall.
A Competition was held to design the new building, and the winning Architects were Emmons H. Woolwine of Nashville and Fredrich C. Hirons of New York with their PWA-influenced Art Deco design. The Cornerstone was placed on Aug. 10, 1936 and was dedicated on Dec. 8, 1937. The building cost $2,000,000 and was the first building in the city with air conditioning. The building is eight stories high and measures 260 feet by 96 feet. The official title of the building was Davidson County Public Building and Court House.
After several decades of use, updates were needed. Starting in 2003, the Courthouse began an extensive renovation. (When I was summoned for jury duty back then, courts were held in MetroCenter.) For additional space, a newer courthouse was built nearby with similar design themes. Also, the surface parking lot in front of the courthouse was replaced by an underground lot, and a small public park. The park has an observation deck, large lawn, small reflecting pool and picnic tables.
The quality of the Architecture placed the building on the National Register of Historic Places. As a significant Public Works Administration project, it is an example of Government Art Deco. The symbolism and Classical Columns are typical of a public building. The excellent craftsmanship is seen in the decorative work: Bronze castings, terra cotta and carvings.
This photo was taken in late fall, which means the water in the fountains and the reflecting pool is not there. However the marble, makes for a good reflective surface, plus a city employee had just pressure-washed the leaves, lettimg me have a calm reflection.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
This sign was placed in downtown Roanoke by the Dr. Pepper people in the 1940's. Since then, more Dr. Pepper has been sold in Roanoke than any other city east of the Mississippi River. To go along with the drink's popularity, the old fashion sign with it's illuminated bottle cap design surrounded by chaser lights has become a popular landmark lighting up the Roanoke sky.
As old signs tend to do, the Dr. Pepper sign started to get worn down. In addition, a new multimillion dollar art museum was being built next door in 2005, unfortunately obstucting the view of what some would call a work of art in its own right.
The sign needed to be moved and refurbished. During three months in 2005, for every case of Dr. Pepper sold in Roanoke, 8 cents went into a fund to accomplish the new goal. When $30,000 was raised work was begun. Virginia Sign Works, who was also tasked with restoring the other historic downtown Roakoke sign for H&C Coffee, refurbished the sign. A crane was brought in to move the sign to a prominent and highly visible corner, atop the Legg Mason Building.
On New Years Eve in 2005, six hours before the new year would ring in, a ceremony was held for the relighting ceremony. The Mayor along with a 104 year old lifelong Dr. Pepper drinker flipped the switch for the sign which now again illuminates the skyline every night.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Today, it gets use as a movie theater and a wedding venue, hence the Aaron and Sarah on the marquee.
For the history:
The Capitol and the nearby Princess Theater are on the same block of Broadway (US411) in the historic business district of Maryville, TN
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Illinois Monument at General Bragg's Headquarters. Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga, Tenn.
As Civil War Battles were fought all around Chattanooga, one of those battles was at Missionary Ridge. This monument signifies where Union troops from Illinois broke through Confederate lines. This tall monument is topped by a female figure and closer to the base are four statues of soldiers, one at each corner.
Just a couple months before this photo was taken in September 2011, the monument underwent a renovation to make it look good as new. The restorers, made up of masons, metal conservators and exhibit specialists cleaned the stone and polished and waxed the metal (so it's not that tarnished green color anymore.)
The location of this and other monuments is labelled as Bragg's Reservation. During the Civil War, Confederate General Braxton Bragg used this high location to build an observation platform so that he could get an overlook of the battles. Later after the war, the government built a semi-permanent Observation Platform here open to the public. There was a common post card view at the time looking down on the monument from the higher platform.
On a personal note, I first learned about that observation platform from my wife's grandmother, who lived in this area for many years. A few years back, I had shown her my photos of the area taken with my first camera. She recalled that when she was a child when the platform was deemed unsafe and closed to the public, and a few years later it was taken down. This photo was taken the day after her funeral.
Monday, August 6, 2012
I kept seeing this listed on the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere website, but I kept missing it. You have to go into the petting zoo to see it! Now, I want fruit loops.
If you like zoo animals, or are a fan of the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, I invite you to check out my Nashville Zoo website gallery:
Sunday, August 5, 2012
The Oneida & Western Railroad ran from Oneida, TN westward to Jamestown. The primary goal was to haul coal. Despite being a short line, the railroad had many difficult gorges and hollows to navigate. One such construction project was the bridge you see here, which crosses the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River, at a picturesque spot of river rapids. This bridge is a Whipple Through truss built by the Nashville Bridge Co. and placed here in 1915
Railroad Travel was officially abandoned along the line in 1953. Later on, much of the area was encompassed by the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and Eventually this bridge became more easily accessible. To get here, start in Oneida and head west. Specifically find O&W road, which out of town becomes a 6 mile long gravel road that is the old O&W railroad bed. The NPS converted this bridge into something you can drive over. With its nice wooden planks, it was scary enough to walk across as it creaks under your feet and you can see the gaps in the wood. I couldn;t imagine driving over it, but a few SUVs and trucks did in the hour I was here.
Finally, here's a link to a video of the area:
Saturday, August 4, 2012
This sign is located in Hillsboro Village along the very busy 21st Ave. (US 431), now Fido's coffee shop, but they thankfully left the sign. Decades ago, they had a trained parrot in the pet shop that would say "Jones Pet Shop" when people would walk in.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Unlike some other fairs, most of the entertainment happens inside the air conditioned arena so you won't get as hot during the dog days of summer. It looks like the stunt bikes are making a return appearance to the 2012 Williamson County Fair which starts today.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
This monument recognizes the first ever Country Music recording to ever be made in August 1927. It is located along State Street in Bristol along the Tennessee side.
At the top of the monument is The famous Victor logo of Nipper the dog looks into a Victrola as he hears "His Master's Voice."
written on the monument:
Erected August 16, 1971
Who recorded the First
Country and Western music
to be distributed
Bristol, Tennessee on
August 2, 1927
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Samuel Clemens's Parents lived in Jamestown before he was born. This spring and the one block sized park, just a couple of blocks from the town square, is named in his honor.
Uploaded today in honor of the World's Largest Garage Sale (aka the 127 Sale) which is this weekend, and headquarted in Jamestown. Every year, on the Saturday of the sale, the Jamestown Jamboree is held at this park.