Tuesday, June 24, 2014
The Cowan Depot is wood frame and built in 1904 for the NC&StL railway. When in use, it was originally on the other side of the still-in-use-by-CSX tracks but moved further away to its current location in 1976. It's built in a railroad Gothic style architecture and has been repainted to the original green and yellow colors. The building is in the process of renovation. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Every year, the town has a Summer Weekend festival called Cowan Depot Days with the goal of raising money to further restore the station.
Cowan is located on the historic line that runs from Nashville to Chattanooga and is perhaps best known by railfans as the last stop before ascending Cumberland Mountain and the picturesque but almost inaccessible Cumberland Mountain Tunnel entrance. CSX keeps pusher engines on hand to help trains make the incline to the top.
Steam Locomotive #1 has been the highlight of the Cowan Railroad Museum for many years. It's a Columbia Type 2-4-2. It was built by Porter in 1920 as a tenderless Tank style locomotive and converted with a small homemade tender and had the saddle tank removed. The cab used to contain a small coal bunker. The Engine was functional around Charleston, SC until 1964 when it was sold to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Then, was sold to the Cowan museum in 1979.
To see my other photos from the Depot Museum, look here:
Monday, June 23, 2014
The "New" Courthouse (inasmuch as you can call a 1905 building new) is across Main Street from this building. This was built in 1886 and much of the inside was destroyed by fire in 1905. It was restored and used as a school for a while. Now it is home to the Military Memorial Museum of Upper Cumberland.
Like most every other building in the area, the courthouse exterior is made of Crab Orchard stone. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
If you are a fan of Whitewater rafting, and you're in Tennessee, the Ocoee River is your place. Now, this photo was taken on a weekday in late September, but in the peak summer months, it can be incredibly crowded. I don't get in the water very often, but the one time I did it, it was here back in 1994.
On the first time you ever visit here, you're greeted with the site of Ocoee Dam #2, and the thought of travelling over it is either thrilling or daunting, depending on your perspective. In reality, it's illegal to go over the 1913 dam and to enter the river, you actually carry your raft/kayak down a concrete ramp.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Fireworks makes the clown cry. Or maybe he's sad because he realizes that fireworks at a 10-20% discount is really lame. The fireworks tent on the other side of the county line advertises prices at 50-70% off. The same people, I am told, also own Nervous Charlie's.
I-65 at the TN25 exit
Friday, June 20, 2014
Thursday, June 19, 2014
At the fairgrounds in Manchester, TN, the Rabbit Barn is laid out with all the bunny cages all together in one long row. The whole time I was there, this one rabbit was allowed to roam free along the top of the cages. I don't know if freedom was good or bad as it was the bunny everyone could pet. For those of you that are looking for sweet photos of bunnies, often it would stop and nuzzle and bunny kiss the one in the cage below it.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
This barn was located on highway US11E about a mile west of New Market, TN in Jefferson County and was visible to westbound traffic heading towards Knoxville. The barn is being torn down, but by people who want to preserve it in another location.
See the story here.
This Looks like the most prominent house in Sylva, NC. The sign out front says it is the Visitor's Center and home to the local Chamber of Commerce and tourism board.
Looking the address up on the National Registry of Historic Places, this home along Main St. used to be known as the Dr. D. D. Hooper House.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Late during the afternoon of May 8, 1925, Tom Lee steered his 28 ft skiff Zev upriver after delivering an official to Helena, Arkansas. Also on the river was a steamboat, the M.E. Norman, carrying members of the Engineers Club of Memphis, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and their families. Lee witnessed the M.E. Norman capsize in the swift current 15 mi (24 km) downriver from Memphis at Cow Island Bend. Although he could not swim, he rescued 32 people with five trips to shore. Lee acted quickly, calmly and with no regard for his own safety, continuing to search after night fell. Because of his efforts, only 23 people died.
Today. Tom Lee Park is a city park located to the immediate west of downtown Memphis overlooking the Mississippi River. Encompassing about 30 acres parallel to the river for about one mile, it offers panoramic views of the river and the shores of Arkansas on the opposite side.
Tom Lee died of cancer in 1952. Two years later, the park was named in his honor and a granite obelisk was erected. In October 2006, a bronze sculpture by artist David Alan Clark was erected in the park to commemorate the event and to honor the civil hero. The sculpture depicts the rescue of a survivor saved from drowning in the Mississippi River.
Monday, June 16, 2014
While I was taking an HDR picture of the Pipe organ in the back, I turned around to get a picture of the intricate carving at the front of the auditorium. I am not up on my cathedral terminology, so I do not know what to call this. Unfortunately, What I didn't realize until I got home was that if I had moved back about a foot, I would not have inadvertently removed the head of Jesus in the Stained Glass window, which I was not even focusing on.
Flickr user kentondickerson added this comment: the carving is called a "reredos". Which means a carving that serves as the backdrop for an alter.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
I am not able to go to the Great Tennessee Air Show this year so I did the next best thing - I went to watch their rehearsal on the day before the air show.
I also made a time-lapse video of the performance that you can see here:
I also have a bunch of 2012 airshow photos you can see here:
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Back in the earliest days of highways before the routes had numbers, the most important auto trails had names and one of the most important cross country route was the Lee Highway which connected Washington DC to San Diego. In many places along the Lee Highway (and at five places in Tennessee), there were Zero Milestone markers such as the one here. With such a marker, brochures and other place of interest could say how far they were from the zero milestone to help motorists find them. Few of these markers 90 year old markers still exist as they are obsolete as there are newer ways to mark distance, roadway expansion and widening cause them to be removed, and sometimes they are stolen as people wish to have a piece of roadside history.
Fortunately, the Hawkins County marker still exists as it is located on the east side of Rogersville at another obsolete highway feature, the Roadside Park. On the front of the marker is a plaque depicting an old stagecoach wagon. This marker had been stolen but was recently replaced. The small stone in front of it is a common USGS Benchmark from 1934. On the top of the marker is a copper compass. On the east side are the words: "To Commemorate John Carter, Sturdy pioneer, first merchant, after whom this valley is named." On the back, it says "This monument marks the route of the old East Tennessee Stagecoach line 1825-1855." On the west side, it says "To Commemorate Benjamin Hawkins of North Carolina, Senator of the United States, after whom this county is named."
Friday, June 13, 2014
The Princess Theater opened in Harriman in 1926 and was notable for being a large 900-seat theater for a small town. The theater was destroyed by a fire in 1939 but reopened later that year. The theater thrived for several decades but in 1987 the company that owned it wanted to close it. Theater manager Cecil Johnson leased the building and continued to operate it until he retired in 1999.
Starting in 2001, several local organizations began to raise money to restore the theater. The goal was to get the Princess back to its Art Deco grandeur. It's not a cinema anymore but is now a performing arts venue. This photo was taken in 2011 before the renovations were complete, and now there is a beautiful marquee out front. For the full story:
The theater is located right in the heart of Harriman's business district along Roane St. (US27). It is included on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Roane Street Commercial Historic District.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
This two story brick house is near Brentwood, TN along Old Smyrna rd. in Williamson county. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places
From the Historical Marker:
Cottonport stands on the site of Mayfield Station, a fort constructed as protection from Indian raids. Built on the site of an Indian town, the station was attacked by Indians in 1788. John Frost, later a captain in the War of 1812, came here from Newberry, South Carolina. In the early 1800's. While building his brick home, he lived in a log house believed to be the present smoke house. With the addition of a cotton gin, general store, grist mill and post office, Cottonport became the commercial center for the surrounding community.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Once known as Edwards Hotel, this building was built in 1912 and now on the National Register of Historic Places. Once common, it is rare these days to find a small town railroad hotel, as this one is located across the street from the Dickson Depot.
The hotel has another local interest claim to fame as in 1920 it was the birthplace of Frank Clement who went on to become the Governor of Tennessee and father of Congressman Bob Clement. At the time of his birth, the Hotel was operated by his parents. The street in Dickson has been renamed to Frank G. Clement Place.
In 2009, the Hotel opened as the Clement Railroad Hotel Museum featuring exhibits on railroads, the Clement family and local history.
Monday, June 9, 2014
This is a Pratt pony truss bridge over Big Sandy River on Old Bruceton Road. In the area, Old Bruceton Road was originally part of the Memphis-to-Bristol Highway which became TN1 and then US70. The old road parallels US70 in the area, and with the closing of the bridge, the old road is diverted to the new highway. I'm not sure what the purpose of the vertical beam and what's left of the horizontal beam across the front.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
This is a standard view of a vintage motel sign in the heavy tourist area of Pigeon Forge. I decided to upload this version, even though it can't compete with the way it looked one night at dusk in 2006, which flickr still says is my 2nd best photo in interestingness.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
A ribbon of sunshine made its way between a couple of skyscrapers to shine on just the dome and a bit of the exterior just below it.
This building in downtown Chattanooga, TN was built in 1892 and at the time was the tallest structure in town. It was built by Adolph Ochs to be the home of his newspaper, the Chattanooga Times, and the building was named at the time the Ochs Building. Many people called it the "Times Building" as a large neon "Times" used to hang from the dome.
Adolph Ochs went on to purchase and run the New York Times. Later, in 1947 the Chattanooga Times moved out of this location at the corner of East 8th St. and Georgia Ave. The new owners changed the name to The Dome Building.
Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is named a Tennessee Antiquity by the APTA.
Friday, June 6, 2014
The front log cabin part of this house dates to somewhere between 1792-95. The back portion was added in 1826. Today, this building and several other structures on either side of the street along the Old Stage Road are on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Blountville Historic District. Today, the center is home to the Traditional Appalachian Musical Heritage Association. There's a historical marker added during the country's Bicentennial Celebration. You can see the marker here:
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
This fast food drive-in Restaurant with the fabulous sign is located in Lexington, KY. The restaurant and the sign both apparently date back to 1951. It's located on New Circle Rd. (US25/421), which goes to show how old the New Circle Rd. is.
The arrows and the row of cars along the top are chaser lights. Perhaps the most popular feature of the sign is the neon carhop. Some of the lights have burned out, but the car hop is supposed to be holding a neon tray of food.
When you pull up to a parking space, you order by talking into an old fashioned metal speaker, which also probably dates back to the 50's. People wax nostalgic about the good old days, but i'm glad speaker and microphone technology has improved in the last half century. Still I was able to order the Big Lex Burger and Funnel Cake Fries, which were both quite enjoyable.
Monday, June 2, 2014
Railfest is the annual celebration at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, TN. This year as part of the celebration, they offered Southern Railway 2-8-0 #630 as an excursion round trip to Cleveland, TN. .
This locomotive was built in 1904 by the American Locomotive Company Richmond Works. It was restored to operation at TVRM in 2011 and is now part of Norfolk Southern's 21st Century Steam program.
You can see quite a thorough collection of photos of #630, the Missionary Ridge Local with Southern FP7 #6133, and other rolling stock on the grounds. This gallery is on my website here:
Also, I took video and put it on youtube:
Just the steam train departure seen here: youtu.be/QVBCATNnTQI
That, and more footage of the steam train: youtu.be/85iljPK1TfY
All the steam footage, plus the Missionary Ridge local: youtu.be/AhCCpvO41iM
Sunday, June 1, 2014
The 1844 courthouse in Huntingdon was used until 1931 when it burned down. This courthouse, which was began that same year was modeled after (or influenced by) the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The architects were Hart, Freeland and Roberts of Nashville and the cost was $100,000. With a Neo-Classical design, it features a pedimented portico at each main entrance and engaged pedimented poritcos at the two sides. Extensive renovations were completed in 1981.
There used to be a time where I'd go to photograph something like a courthouse and my goal would be to get as little human evidence as possible in the shot. (No people, no cars, etc...) Over the years, what I have come to realize is these buildings are not relics of a bygone era, but an important public meeting place, whether it be for a local festival, political rally or for a religious event as it was on this day. To avoid such things would cause me to miss out on the true spirit of the county.