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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Get ready to pick your own strawberries

Get ready to pick your own strawberries

Part of me feels this would be fun. Part of me feels this would be tough work on a hot day to just save a couple of dollars. Agritourism places like this seem to be more popular these days that when I was growing up. Or perhaps they've always been around and I'm just now learning about them. This specific place is along highway US231 in Trousdale County just north of the Cumberland River.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Blue Hyacinth Macaw - Nashville Zoo

Blue Hyacinth Macaw - Nashville Zoo

These particular birds are the first animals you come to when going to the Nashville Zoo. I've always looked at the birds so much that I never noticed the water falls running through the exhibit.

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:
seemidtn.com/gallery/index.php?album=nashville%2Fnashvill...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Collins River Bridge near Rock Island

Collins River Bridge near Rock Island

The largest truss on this bridge was originally erected in 1887-1889 as part of the Hyde’s Ferry Bridge located in Davidson County. Eugene Falconnet designed the bridge, and the Mount Vernon Bridge Company erected it. In 1917 Davidson County awarded a contract to the Nashville Bridge Company to relocate two spans from the Hyde’s Ferry Bridge and gave this span to the Nashville Bridge Company. The Nashville Bridge Company stored it until 1924 when the company erected it at this site. Arthur Dyer, president of the Nashville Bridge Company, often used this bridge as an example of the superiority of truss bridges over concrete due to their mobility.

This bridge is located near the 1916 Great Falls Dam, a major power source in the area. In 1922, That dam was raised 35 feet and the bridge which had been located here had to be replaced to accommodate the higher water level. Consequently, the Nashville Bridge Company removed the existing truss bridge from this site in 1924 and erected a new bridge using the stored truss from the Hydes Ferry Bridge.

TVA maintained responsibility for this bridge from the 1930s when they took over the nearby dam until 1982 when the road became state highway TN287. In 1986, a new two-lane bridge was completed parallel to this one and TDOT converted this one into a pedestrian bridge. From there, ownership was transferred to the TN Department of Conservation so that the bridge would be part of a nature trail at Rock Island State Park. Today, the bridge is off limits as both sides are fenced off and the park is hoping to someday raise funds to refurbish the historic bridge for future pedestrian use.

Technical details of the bridge are found in the book "Tennessee's Survey Report for Historic Highway Bridges" where this is entry #112:
"Top chords and end posts are channels with lacing, and diagonals and the bottom chords are paired rectilinear eyebars. Verticals are channels with lacing except hip verticals which are paired rectilinear eyerods. Counters are single rectilinear tie rods. The bottom chords are below the floor beams, a somewhat unusual arrangement. The other spans are a 200-foot pin-connected Parker through truss, two 75-foot riveted Warren pony trusses, and three 20-foot steel I-beam approaches. The bridge has a curb-to-curb width of 15 feet and an out-to-out width of 17 feet. The substructure is concrete. Composition of the members of the 1924 trusses is typical. The Parker’s top chords and end posts are channels with lacing. Bottom chords, diagonals and counters are angles with battens. Verticals are paired angles with lacing. The Warrens’ top chords are channels, and the end posts are channels with battens. Bottom chords, verticals, and diagonals are angles with battens."

Collins River Bridge near Rock Island

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Milky Way Farm's House

Milky Way Farm's House

Franklin Mars, the founder of Mars Candies, the company that made the Milky Way candy bar, built a farm here in the earlier 30's and named it after his famous candy bar. The farm was built along highway US31 north of Pulaski, TN. During the Great Depression, the cattle farm was the largest employer in Giles County and the farm had it's own train station. In 1940, their horse Gallahadion won the Kentucky Derby.

The farm is on the National Register of Historic Places. At one time not too long ago, the Tudor Revival Manor House was a bed and breakfast. I think there are new owners currently trying to develop the area into a new attraction. The home is very large with 21 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms and cannot fit into a photo well. It is said to have the largest dining table in Tennessee

milkywayfarm.info/history/

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cannon County Courthouse (2011) - Woodbury, TN

Cannon County Courthouse (2011) - Woodbury, TN

Woodbury is one of those small towns that's close to where I live, so I pass through often. There's been a change since my last visit here: All the big trees have been removed and replaced with small trees. While I like a nice tree, they do get in the way if you are concentrating on the building behind it. Also new is the addition of nice benched, decorative fencing, and a main sidewalk of concrete and brick pattern.

This courthouse was completed in 1936, and in my opinion is one of the nicest great depression era courthouses. Designed in a Neo-classical style of brick on a stone foundation, the courthouse features two story stone pilasters and corner quoins on the barely taller central section. The gable roof is topped by a tall clock tower. The courthouse replaced an 1838 courthouse, which burned down in 1934 and was also located at the center of the town square.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Burial place of Casper Mansker

Burial place of Casper Mansker

Mansker settled an area near Goodlettsville in 1780, an area known as Mansker's Station. His body was moved in front of Goodlettsville's Community Center in 1956.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Welcome to Perry County mural

Welcome to Perry County mural

"It's Just Our Nature"
This mural is visible to westbound passengers on US412 when they're about to enter the Linden, TN town square. Over the past couple of years, the town square has been branded the "Arts & Historic District" with several murals having been added recently.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ohio Civil War Monument - Lookout Mountain

Ohio Civil War Monument - Lookout Mountain

Erected by the State of Ohio in memory of the Ohio troops that were engaged in the Battle of Lookout Mountain Tennessee, Nov 24, 1863. It is one of three monuments located near the Craven's house halfway up the mountain.

A tall shaft is atop a two-tiered base. At the top of the shaft is an eagle with outspread wings. Around the base of the shaft are four bronze plaques. The relief on the front plaque depicts a female figure, symbolic of Peace. On the rear plaque is a relief of a standing soldier. Extending from the base towards the street is a stone staircase.

Ohio Civil War Monument - Lookout Mountain

At a cost of $20,000, this monument was erected by the veterans of three brigades in commemoration of their participation in the Battle of Lookout Mountain, Nov. 24, 1863. The Second, Twelfth and Fourteenth army corps were involved.

Ohio Civil War Monument - Lookout Mountain

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail Bridge near Sunset

Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail Bridge near Sunset

The bridge in the photo here does not cross the Cumberland River, but instead is a bridge that's now part of the "Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail" in Cheatham County. Instead, the bridge crosses Sycamore Creek less than a mile before it runs into the Cumberland River.

The Parker Through Truss bridge was originally built by the American Bridge Co. in 1901. The railroad bridge was built by Tennessee Central railway as part of their line that connected Nashville to Clarksville. This portion of line has long since been abandoned (although the current shortline Nashville & Western uses the line from Nashville to Ashland City). In the Mid to late 1990's, the Ashland City Parks and Recreation Department partnered with the Rails to Trails conservancy to convert the former rail line into a the pedestrian trail. For more info about the trail, including directions to the entrance, visit their website here:
cumberlandrivertrail.org/

Sunday, April 21, 2013

David Crockett State Park Covered Bridge

David Crockett State Park Covered Bridge

David Crockett State Park is in Lawrenceburg, TN at the site where the historic figure once operated a mill. In 1959, the park built a covered bridge over the stream and dam for the reconstructed mill at the park. A storm washed away the original covered bridge here in 1998 but the state rebuilt it in 1999 for the one we see here. There is also a pedestrian lane on this side of the bridge. The pond was full of frogs and turtles when I was there.

There aren't too many vintage covered bridges left in Tennessee. (I think there are only three or four.) In East Tennessee, there's the Doe River Covered Bridge in Elizabethton and the Harrisburg Bridge of Sevierville.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Once was a Rock City Barn

Once was a Rock City Barn

On Highway 41 between Adams and Springfield in Robertson County, this barn once had a painted ad for Rock City, but the barn was completely repainted in Red. That must have been a few years back because now the black and white Rock City paint barely show through. It might be slightly easier to tell in the next photo. I didn't know for certain that it was a rock city barn until I got home and found it in my book of Rock City Barns.

Rock City Barn painted side

Friday, April 19, 2013

Atlanta Biltmore Hotel Neon Sign Radio Mast at dusk

Atlanta Biltmore Hotel Neon Sign Radio Mast at dusk

Located in Midtown Atlanta is the 11-story Biltmore Hotel which opened in 1924. The most distinguishing faeture is the two towering radio masts, one on each end of the building, with vertical illuminated letters that spell out "BILTMORE". The top floor and radio masts broadcasted WSB-AM from 1925 until 1956. The hotel closed in 1981 and after sitting vacant for nearly a decade the interior was gutted and converted into office space. Even still, it's good to see the tower still standing and working.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In the news: Ben Morris's See Rock City Barn

In the news: Ben Morris's See Rock City Barn

Before I say anything else, I'd like to thank my brother and Sister-in-law Scott and Sherry for letting me upload their pictures of the barn. Due to the time-sensitive nature of the story, I am not able to get there quick enough. Fortunately, they live close enough to get there while the story is still relevant. I do hope to visit this on my own in the upcoming weeks.

A couple of years back, Ben Morris bought some farm land located along the old highway along the south side of Cumming, GA in Forsyth County. Part of the property included an old rusty and worn barn dating back to the 1930's. Mr. Morris hired a handyman to fix up the barn and while work was done on the metal roof, the handyman noticed the very faded message found on many old barns along the old roads from a bygone era: See Rock City. The Metal Roof was Repainted and restored as close to the original as possible.

While it must be great to discover you own a piece of Americana, at least one person had a problem with it. As it turns out, Forsyth County now has a regulation prohibiting rooftop advertisements and Mr. Morris received a citation in the mail. In theory, if the ad is older than the law, then the barn should be grandfathered in and the Rock City message would stay. The county's Director of Planning and Development looked at an older aerial photo of the barn and found the roof as rusty as the day Mr. Morris bought the barn. He was told he had to paint over the advertisement or the ordinance would dictate a fine of $1,000 and possible jail time.

Mr. Morris has been rallying the locals to help preserve the barn's historic heritage. He would be willing to pay the fine to keep the lettering intact, but before he gets to that he'll fight the county over the issue. On his behalf, he got a letter from a code enforcement officer who remembers the Rock City ad being there from many years ago. According to various reports, Mr. Morris has his day in court today, April 18.

In the news: Ben Morris's See Rock City Barn

Still, there is good news, and the tide is turning. Hundreds (if not thousands) of people have written to support the barn. County commissioners are thinking about removing or changing the law, so that this barn can stay as it is today. On a state level, the GA Senate passed a law unanimously which allows old barns such as this one with ads for Georgia tourist destinations or products to be preserved. Who knew an old nostalgic barn on the Old Atlanta Highway (State Route GA 9) could garner so much attention?

Here's the location on a Google Map: goo.gl/maps/1cojO

In the news: Ben Morris's See Rock City Barn

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Hours Passed - The Picture Stayed

The Hours Passed - The Picture Stayed

In the "They Don't Make Them like they used to" category, I submit this vintage and restored wall mural for a Television manufacturer seen in downtown Birmingham. "The Hours Passed - The Picture Stayed" By that line, I guess that other TVs got fuzzy the longer you left them on.

The next thing I noticed about this mural is everyone is depicted wearing their nice formal wear. I suppose that having the chance to watch one of those newfangled moving picture boxes in the comfort of your own home was worth dressing up for. Then, you invite your neighbors and serve wine.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Collier General Store - Charlotte, TN

Collier General Store - Charlotte, TN

This building is located on the town square of Middle Tennessee's oldest courthouse. Christopher Collier's store was built in 1849 and was in business until 1895. This building is part of the district on the National Register of Historic Places

Monday, April 15, 2013

CN 5288 - Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

CN 5288 - Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

This Locomotive was built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1919 for the Canadian National Railroad. It is known as a "Pacific" locomotive, having a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement: four small guide wheels in front, six large driving wheels, and two small trailing wheels under the locomotive cab. The very large driving wheels betray this locomotive as a high-speed passenger engine. Freight locomotives has smaller wheels, which gave them more pulling power for the long freight trains, while passenger engines had large wheels, which gave them less pulling power for the shorter passenger trains, but higher speeds.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

David Crockett Motel - Lawrenceburg, TN

David Crockett Motel

Lawrenceburg, TN along U.S. 64 east of the town square and next door to David Crockett storage warehouse.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stuckey's

Stuckey's

For someone like me who likes to wax poetic about all sorts of vintage nostalgia from a bygone tourist era, here's one diminishing thing that luckily is still around.

Stuckey's started off in Georgia by Mr. Stuckey, a Pecan farmer. During the golden age of Automobile tourism, the franchise grew to about 350 blue-roofed convenience stores mostly throughout the southeast. They were best known for their souvenirs and their candies, starting with the pecan log roll.

If you're driving on I-24 from Nashville to Chattanooga, this Stuckey's is located at the last exit (US64/TN50) before the trip up the mountain to Monteagle. All the way from about Manchester to this exit, you'll see about a dozen really old decrepit billboards for the Stuckeys, advertising the pecans, ice cream, hot dogs and novelties. At least the large billboard in their parking lot is still in one piece.

If you are a fan of Nashville's own Goo Goo Clusters and King Leo made by the Standard Candy Co., they also own the Stuckey's Candy Co. (However, each store is independently owned.)

Old Stuckey's Billboard

Friday, April 12, 2013

Kingsport, TN: Steeples of Church Circle.

Kingsport, TN: Steeples of Church Circle.

When the city planners got together to map out and develop the forthcoming city of Kingsport, they envisioned a central business district and a main street with the Passenger train station on one end and Church Circle on the other. Church Circle is comprised of four large brick buildings with tall steeples. Today, the Church Circle district is an entry on the National Register of Historic Places.

I suppose I have them shown here in backwards order, but it's the order I walked to each one. First is the Brethren Church, Then the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church and the Baptist Church.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Painted Jack Daniels statue

Painted Jack Daniels statue

Located in front of a souvenir store on the Lynchburg, TN town square.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Natural Bridge - Lookout Mountain, TN

Natural Bridge - Lookout Mountain, TN

People used to be easily entertained. A century ago, before the days of Rock City and Ruby Falls, the Natural Bridge was the thing to see atop Lookout Mountain. Then, people stopped caring about it and over time the place had so much overgrowth that I'm not sure how many people went to see it. Then, over the last five years or so, the locals decided their local geologic treasure should be enjoyed again.

The Bridge is 60 feet long and 15 feet off the ground. If you walk under the bridge, you'll see a mineral spring, which was perhaps the first reason that people came here as early as 1878. One of the first developers of the area was Major McCullough who opened the Natural Bridge Hotel nearby.

A few years after the hotel opened, the bridge became a popular place for Spiritualists, who are the people perform séances, spirit contacts, feats of extrasensory perception or just liked to hang out under a full moon. In 1885, the Southern Spiritualists Association purchased the Natural bridge Hotel and when their popularity grew large, they built an octagon-shaped meeting house here which could hold 500 people. Their popularity wouldn't last and five years later, they disbanded. The Historical Marker at this site is dedicated to the Spiritualists.

As more popular tourist attractions opened up, only the locals continued to visit the small park here, and then the too must have stopped coming. The whole park became full of overgrowth. After I heard of this place in 2004, I attempted a visit. There was this sign of park rules but I couldn't see more than 10 feet down the path. I suspect only the most brave were willing to venture wherever the decrepit path went.

Luckily in 2008, the town of Lookout Mountain wanted to make the park usable again, the first step was to clear-cut out all of the overgrowth. Then, they improved the trail so it was safe to make the short walk to the bottom. Add a few picnic tables, and it was ready for visitors in 2010. The town is continually looking for ways to improve the park and I believe the next phase is landscaping. Now it is once again not a place to be missed. One final note is if you do decide to visit, there is only a small pull-off for a couple of cars, so on a busy day, it might require a bit of a walk.

Natural Bridge (Street View) - Lookout Mountain, TN

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Friedman's Army/Navy Store Neon Sign

Friedman's Army/Navy Store Neon Sign

Friedman's military surplus store has been located along Hillsboro rd. (US431) for many years. I'm not sure when the Friedman's name was taken down, but that used to be at the top of the sign. The store has all types of surplus, such as compasses, tools, boots, helmets, camos, knives, etc.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Cannonball - Lake Winnepesaukah

The Cannonball - Lake Winnepesaukah

Designed and engineered especially for Lake Winnie by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and John C. Allen, the Cannonball is 2,272 Feet long, with a vertical drop of 70 feet at a 45 degree angle and reaches speeds up to 50MPH during the 1 minute, 32 second ride.

...and when I rode it, I realized that I'm now way too fat to ride roller coasters anymore, or at least the ones that have individual seats. People must have been thinner back then.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Trace Creek Falls - Hickman County

Trace Creek Falls (Version 1)

This waterfall (sometimes called Council Bend Falls), about 5 feet tall and 20 feet wide, is located approx. 5 miles outside of Centerville in Hickman County.

It's located at the MTSU WMA, who provides directions here:
www.tnwatchablewildlife.org/watchareadetails.cfm?uid=0907...
(Their map is not the most direct route that perhaps a GPS would offer. The road drives over the stream using another route, and if your car can't handle that, take their route.)

Trace Creek Falls (Version 2)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Home of the Cat Head Biscuit

Home of the Cat Head Biscuit

Located in Benton, TN, I saw the sign and wanted to try Lottie's Diner as the Cat Head Biscuit had piqued my interest. But, alas, the day I was driving through town I was making good time and it was too early for me to stop and eat. I posted this to my facebook friends and as it turned out, one of my high school classmates had stopped here before. Instead of being shaped like a cat's head, the biscuits are as large as a cat's head.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Batbuilding at Springtime

The Batbuilding at Springtime

The Batbuilding, or as I like to call it now, the batt&tbuilding, is seen as a downtown tree starts to bloom for the spring. With a colder March this year, the blooming seems to be a little bit later than last year, when this photo was taken on Mar. 29.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Great Blue Turaco - Nashville Zoo

Great Blue Turaco

The Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) is a turaco, a group of African near-passerines. It is not only the largest turaco but the largest species in the diverse Cuculiformes order (which includes the cuckoos). Generally, the Great Blue Turaco is 28–30 inches in length with a mass of 1.8–2.71 lbs.

There are a pair of these, along with a young'n that hatched about a few days ago in the aviary at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. The zoo also posted a video of the hatching.

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:
seemidtn.com/gallery/index.php?album=nashville%2Fnashvill...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tri-State Spot in the News: Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama

Tri-State Spot in the News: Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama

In the United States, there are 62 spots where 3 or more states meet at a single point, 38 of which are on land. Of these 38, perhaps none of them have made as much news over the last several years as the spot where Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama all meet.

In 1796, the U.S. congress established the border between Tennessee and Georgia to run along the longitude of the 35th Parallel. In 1926, Georgia hired Mathematician and University professor James Camak to mark the spot where the three states came together. After he performed all of his calculations, he placed a colorful stone at the site he had measured (and the stone was later dubbed the Camak Stone). As it turns out, he missed it by a mile. While it wasn't what the Congress decreed, it still became the official border location. If there was a TV show called "Surveyors Biggest Bloopers" perhaps this would make the opening segment.

Fast forward about 180 years and people weren't laughing any more. The state of Georgia was going through a drought and Atlanta area gardens started to get thirsty. That's when somebody remembered part of their state had been sliced off. As it turns out, if the Camak Stone had been placed where it ought to have been, a smidgen of the Tennessee River, and more importantly the Nickajack Lake impoundment would be in Georgia. Someone daydreamed of getting a siphon as wide as the Keystone Pipeline and all of Georgia's water consumption needs would be fixed. All they would need is to stick a pipe about 500 feet across the border and the crisis would be resolved. Georgia asked politely and Tennessee said "No." From there, it is presumed that someone got angry and wanted revenge because the really old Camak Stone was stolen in 2007. We can only assume at the motivation because there's no evidence whodunit. In March of 2011, the marker seen in this photo was placed to replace the stolen stone from a few years earlier.

Fast forward again to March 25, 2013 where the Georgia state senate voted 48-2 to take what they think is rightfully theirs. Instead of asking for everything south of the 35th, they're looking to add about one and a half square miles of land, or a small notch to get to the precious life-giving water. Again, Tennessee said "Nickajack is ours, and you can't have it!" They also noted it would be unfair for the people who live in this area to have to start paying GA income tax while also speculating the Peach State might steal the whole river when nobody's looking. Alabama refuses to take a position in the matter, but they already have all the Tennessee River they need.

As it turns out, I hadn't been paying attention to the news when three days later I was in the mood to visit the tri-state spot. I didn't see any tanks or infantry ready to defend their territory in the area. To get here, the street turns a corner around State Line Cemetery and there's a place for a car to park on the side of the road. From here, there's a small opening in the trees that begins the path through the woods. The walk is about 300 feet up the side of a mountain where I was thankful it wasn't a mile climb up the mountain. From here, you could even see the lake. I was thinking that if Georgia's border did change, Alabama's wouldn't and this would still be the three state spot, but the marker would still have to be changed. Maybe someday I can have a before-and-after comparison. Still, State Line Cemetery's name would have to be changed.

Tri-State Spot in the News: Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Rock City Barn in Ohio

See 7 States from Rock City - version 2

This Rock City barn is located along the old road, Old U.S. 68 a few miles south of Georgetown, OH in Brown County. US68 used to pass right through town, but now it runs east of that town where it meets up with US62 and then crosses through much of Kentucky.

See 7 States from Rock City - version 2

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Baseball Season!

Guitar scoreboard for the Nashville Sounds

While I always hope the Titans and the Predators do well, baseball has always been my favorite sport to watch. While I'd have friends who wanted to skip school/work during March Madness, It only crossed my mind when the baseball season starts. (I never have, I don't believe.) In Middle Tennessee, most baseball fans seem to root for the Braves, but there's a fair number of Cardinals and Reds fans out there.

And then, there's the Sounds. Major League Baseball flirted with putting an expansion team here in the 90s at a time when Larry Schmittou ran the Sounds. But nothing happened and every year Greer Stadium seems a tiny bit more outdated. Nashvillians were willing to support a tax increase to build a stadium for the Titans, but not for a new downtown Sounds ballpark. (The downtown ballpark subject even came up in the first episode of ABC's TV Show Nashville.) Until something develops, we've still got this cool Guitar-shaped Scoreboard.

This photo was taken during the 2005 playoffs, the year they won the PCL Championship.