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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bank of Bolivar

Bank of Bolivar

One of the oldest buildings in Bolivar, the Bank building dates back to the late 1800's. In 2007, a massive fire practically wiped out the whole southern block of the courthouse square.

My visit to town was 4 1/2 years after the fire. You can tell this building has some nice architectural detail to it, but also can see the fire damage as well. (The three windows on the side are busted and there's smoke damage above each. You may not be able to tell from this photo, but the roof is also missing. Still, this is the only building from the block still standing. Until the fire happened, there has been courthouse square beautification plans for the block, and I saw evidence of similar work along other sides of the square.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Illinois Central Gulf Caboose 199331 - Princeton, KY

Illinois Central Gulf Caboose 199331

This vintage Illinois Central Gulf caboose is seen at the Railroad Museum in Princeton, KY. Illinois Central merged with Gulf, Mobile & Ohio in 1972. So, this caboose was painted with that logo sometime between then, and when they dropped the Gulf in 1988.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

O&W Bridge - Big South Fork

O&W Bridge - Big South Fork

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 National Park Service 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:
mms.nps.gov/ram/ser/grogefly.wmv

Monday, December 28, 2015

Johnny G's Creole Kitchen - Beale St. Memphis

Johnny G's Creole Kitchen - Beale St. Memphis

It's not too often you'll see a top-hat wearing, cigar-smoking Catfish.

Would you like to see more photos from Beale street? Check out the Beale Street gallery

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Nashville Skyline from Skyline Hospital

The Nashville Skyline from Skyline Hospital

Back in late March and early April of 2014, my wife was a patient at this hospital. While I was there with her, I kept wondering what the best place was there to take a picture of the Nashville Skyline. I really didn't have time to go looking for it. However, on the day she was discharged I went to the top floor and took this picture from the lobby. It was through a dirty window on a cloudy day, but here it is. I'll pretend it's a hip Instagram filter.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Spring House at Rock Island State Park

at Rock Island State Park

Here at Rock Island State Park, there is a spring that comes out of the side of the mountain. If I remember correctly, this spring house didn't really serve a function and was built like this just for the looks. I once read somewhere that it had a name like the "Witches' Castle" but I can find where I read that. There are stairs leading up to it on the right, but now there is a fence you can't get around. Before that, one could at least look inside. It is across the street from the Great Falls Cotton Mill.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Old Kentucky State Capitol at Christmas

Old Kentucky State Capitol at Christmas

From Wikipedia:
The Old State Capitol (Kentucky), also known as Old Statehouse, was the third Capitol of Kentucky. The building in Frankfort, Kentucky served as the capitol of the Commonwealth of Kentucky from 1830 to 1910. The building has been restored to its American Civil War era appearance.
The Kentucky legislature voted for its construction in 1827. The building was designed in the Greek Revival style by Gideon Shryock, an early Lexington, Kentucky architect. The Old State Capitol was his first building and he was only twenty-five years old. Shryock chose the Greek Revival style to symbolically link Kentucky, a young republic, with ancient Greece, the prototype of popular democratic government. He wanted the front of the building to duplicate the Temple of Minerva Polias at Priene. Greek temples had no windows, therefore the front of the Capitol is devoid of fenestration. Other striking architectural features include a famous self-supporting stone stairway and a domed lantern above it to bring in an abundance of sunlight.

A bitterly contested 1899 state governor election came to a climax when Democratic claimant William Goebel of Covington, Kentucky was assassinated at the capitol on his way to be inaugurated. A plaque reading "William Goebel fell here, Jan. 30th, 1900" exists near the front entrance of the building.
The current Kentucky State Capitol, Kentucky's fourth, was built in 1910. The Old State Capitol has served as the a museum and the home of the Kentucky Historical Society since 1920. The building was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Lynchburg Christmas (2010)

A Lynchburg Christmas 2

This was my third visit to Lynchburg, and there was something about the angle of the sun that lit up this side. On my two previous visits, the other side was the sunlit side.

I like the Christmas wreaths on the doors. There are also lights across the top and candlelight in the windows, but you can't see it until night time.

Notice Rudolph in the traffic island in the bottom right corner? There were reindeer in each of the four traffic islands at each corner of the town square.

I have a total of 10 photos in the "A Lynchburg Christmas" subset. You can see them all here:
www.flickr.com/photos/brent_nashville/tags/alynchburgchri...

A Lynchburg Christmas 5: Rudolph

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Coolidge Park Fountain - Chattanooga

Coolidge Park Fountain

This fountain in Chattanooga is a kiddie play area, but of course the water is turned off in the winter, each of the animals here is was water shoot out of the mouth.

In the background is the Coolidge Park Carousel. To see more photos of this park and the carousel, look here:
seemidtn.com/gallery/index.php?album=chattanooga%2Fcoolid...

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tennessee State Capitol Turns Red for Christmas

Tennessee State Capitol on Wear Red Day

OK, I lied in the post title. While the Capitol has done this for Christmas, this particular photo was taken near Valentines Day.

That Friday was National "Wear Red Day" as part of American Heart Association's "Go Red For Women" campaign. In honor of this, several places in Nashville were figuratively wearing red for the day, including the State Capitol, The Frist Center, Adventure Science Center and Nashville Electric Service. The State Capitol is "wearing red" by placing red filters over all the lights that illuminate the building. In fact, this made the capitol look a lot like it did for Christmas. In fact, the only difference is the light inside the tower is also red instead of the Green it had on Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Cades Cove: Cable Grist Mill

Cades Cove: Cable Grist Mill

Cades Cove at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular destination in the United States most visited national park. The isolated valley was the home to many early settlers and today several of those sites are well preserved. An 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the cove, offering motorists the opportunity to sight-see the wildlife, scenic beauty and historic district structures on the National Register of Historic Places at a leisurely pace.

One of the most successful -- and enduring -- grist mills in the cove was the John Cable Mill, built in 1867-68. He had to construct a series of elaborate diversions along Mill Creek and Forge Creek to get enough water power for the mill's characteristic overshot wheel. The mill, which processed logs, wheat and corn and was originally operated by millwright Daniel Ledbetter, continued to function in some fashion until the 1920s, and was still in use when the Park was formed.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Coffee County Courthouse at Christmas - Manchester, TN

Coffee County Courthouse at Christmas - Manchester, TN

Have you ever seen one of those youtube videos where some guy has decorated his house and had the lights blink and pulsate and dance with a popular Christmas Song? Well, the fine folks in Manchester decided to do that with the Coffee County Courthouse - except they did it with about a dozen songs. The whole "show" takes about 30 minutes.

I recorded some video of this and posted it to my blog:
seemidtn.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-lights-at-coffee-...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

In the news: Jackson's First Presbyterian Church & Home added to National Register

This Home and the church have been added to the National Register of Historic Places in Dec. 2016.

Memorial Hall a.k.a. Chevy Chase - Jackson, TN

Originally, this was land that belonged to Confederate Colonel William H. Stephens in 1824, known as Willow Banks. This home was built in 1918 by Jackson Sun newspaper owner Clarence Pigford with the house named Chevy Chase. Since 1952, the land and the home have been owned by Jackson's First Presbyterian Church who built their church building next door.

First Presbyterian Church with Carillon - Jackson, TN

The First Presbyterian Church is located along US45 in Jackson, TN. The grounds have been named a state certified arboretum. Inside the steeple tower is a traditional carillon of 47 bells.

The church's carillon is one of 17 carillons in Tennessee. It is dedicated to the soldiers of Jackson and Madison County who offered and gave their lives for our country. The bells themselves were founded and tuned in France in the late 1940s. They chime regularly, and offer the spectacular prelude to the Jackson Starlight Symphony, a free annual concert on the church lawn.

Read more about it in this article from the Jackson Sun:
www.jacksonsun.com/story/news/local/2015/12/11/chevy-chas...

Friday, December 11, 2015

Jackson, TN NCSTL Depot

Jackson, TN NCSTL Depot

The brick building in Jackson was built in 1907 and is now open as a museum.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

L. Clure Morton United States Post Office & Court House

L. Clure Morton United States Post Office & Court House

This federal Court House in Cookeville, TN was built in 1914 and named after local federal judge Leland Clure Morton in 1996.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Old Talbott Tavern - Bardstown, KY

Old Talbott Tavern - Bardstown, KY

Located in Bardstown's town square, this building has been in use since 1797 (although has 1779 above the door). First is was used as a mercantile business but soon became a tavern. George Talbott operated it s the Newman House from 1885 to 1912. Afterwards, it became the Talbott Hotel - The Tavern. Over the years, it has been visited by he famous and the infamous.

Today, it operates as a restaurant and a Bed & Breakfast and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Talbott_Tavern

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Andrew Johnson Birthplace Replica - Greeneville, TN

Andrew Johnson Birthplace Replica - Greeneville, TN

Andrew Johnson was born in a small structure in Mordecai Park in Raleigh, NC. That building which was probably built in the late 1700's was part of a complex known as Casso's Inn. Andrew Johnson's father worked as a stable keeper at that hotel and his mother was a weaver.

According to tradition, Johnson was born in the loft of the Inn's kitchen. As the story goes, on Dec. 29, 1808 a wedding party was in progress at the tavern and those festivities were interrupted by the news of the birth of the baby. The bride then went to the cabin at the back of the inn to visit with the baby Andrew and his mother.

In Greeneville, TN, the town where Johnson called home most of his life, a replica of the birthplace was built in 1999. It's located next to his early home, a statue of him, and the visitor center which has encased his tailor shop. This building represents an important part of President Johnson's story and speaks of a man who began his life in humble conditions but later became the seventeenth president.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Smyrna, TN 2014 Christmas Tree

Smyrna, TN 2014 Christmas Tree

Starting in 2014, the Town of Smyrna now has their tree in front of the historic passenger train station in the middle of town.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Dixon Springs Union Church

Dixon Springs Union Church

This church building in Dixon Springs, TN dates back to 1878. It is called the Union church since different groups met here over the years. Originally the building was a Christian Church, and then became a Church of Christ. In the 1960s it became a Baptist church for a few years until it became abandoned.

This road is part of the old main road between Carthage and Hartsville, but now highway TN25 bypasses the old part of the city. This church building is on the national register of Historic Places as part of the Dixon Springs Historic District.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Old Fayette County Courthouse - Lexington, KY

A great write-up of this historic building can be found here:
www.kaintuckeean.com/2012/03/fayette-countys-old-courthou...
"The 1898 courthouse was designed by the Cleveland, Ohio architecture firm Lehman & Schmitt, who also designed their own city's Cuyahoga County Courthouse. The Fayette County Courthouse is a fantastic example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. In the shape of a Greek cross, though appearing almost cubic, the courthouse has an entrance on each of its four sides. Each entrance is marked by a large round arch and a shallow balcony above. The corbels supporting these balconies feature facing ranging from grotesque to `resembling characters from the Canterbury Tales.' "

A new courthouse was opened nearby, and today this building houses the Lexington History Museum. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Lexington-Fayette County Government Building Block. Maybe the next time I'm here, it won't be raining.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Gilley's Hotel - Bull's Gap, TN

The Bull's Gap website has the full story on this railroad hotel which was rebuilt in 1884: www.bullsgaptn.us/index.php?option=com_content&view=a...

the Tennessee Preservation Trust added this to the 2014 Ten in Tennessee: a yearly list of threatened historic sites. Here is their write-up:
Historical Significance: Gilley’s Hotel is listed as a contributing resource of the Bulls Gap Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is described in Section 7 of the National Register nomination at items 29 and 30. The East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad constructed the first railroad tracks to serve northeastern Tennessee in the 1850s. The tracks came through what is now Bulls Gap. The Smith Hotel was built at that time to serve passengers and railroad employees. The original hotel was destroyed by fire and the building that stands today was constructed in its place. Rufus Henry Gilley acquired the property in the early 1900s and it was at that time that the building became known as Gilley’s Hotel. It stands as a monument to, and a reminder of, an era when the railroad served as the primary mode of passenger transportation in the United States. Gilley’s Hotel is associated with historic events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of the history of Bulls Gap.
www.tennesseepreservationtrust.org/ten-in-tn/2014-ten-in-...

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Farnham Building - Harriman, TN

Farnham Building - Harriman, TN

Originally known as the Smith Building when it was built in 1891. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Roane Street Commercial Historic District. It is located along Roane St. (US27) at the intersection of Queen St. The building was a hardware store for many years but today is a nice antique store.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Williamson County's 2007 Christmas Tree

a Williamson County Christmas

This tree was located in Franklin's town square, with the Williamson County courthouse in the background. Many people remarked how they had a fat Christmas tree that year, and was attention getting. I drove through the square a couple of days ago and they already have their 2015 tree up at the same spot.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

NC&StL Boxcar PS-1 No. 22524 - Cowan, TN

NC&StL Boxcar PS-1 No. 22524

This Boxcar was built in Feb. 1952 and used by CSX up until the 1980's. Today, the boxcar is on loan from the Tennessee Central Railway Museum and is on display at the Cowan Railroad Museum. This photo was taken a couple of years ago, and is probably going to get repainted. You can see where the repainted the "To and from Dixieland" slogan on the side. This boxcar may have been saved from the scrap heap as the words "Scrap Metal" had been painted on here, then painted over.

To see my other photos from the Depot Museum, look here:
www.flickr.com/photos/brent_nashville/tags/cowanrailroadm...

Monday, November 30, 2015

B.T. Faith Pianos neon sign - downtown Nashville

B.T. Faith Pianos

This is perhaps the single rustiest and crustiest neon sign in downtown Nashville. It is located at 911 Church St.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Howard Theater - Bruceton, TN

Howard Theater - Bruceton, TN

Howard Theater - Bruceton, TN

Operational as a theater from 1940 to 1964.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hotel Lindo - Covington, TN

Hotel Lindo - Covington, TN

The three-story Hotel Lindo was completed in 1901 on the northwest corner of the Covington Town Square, and opened for business in 1902. Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for is significance in Social History and it Italianate and Romanesque architecture. Not used as a hotel for decades, today it has been restored and used for office space.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Louisville & Nashville 2716 "Duncan Tavern"

Louisville & Nashville 2716 "Duncan Tavern"

Louisville & Nashville 2716 "Duncan Tavern"

This is located at the Bluegrass Railroad Museum in Versailles, KY. Here is what there website says about this car:

A kitchen car built for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad to serve food to passengers aboard higher class passenger trains. The car served as the museums offices while fire damage to the museum building was repaired. #2716 will house additional displays once additional display tracks are added at the museum to hold her.
www.bgrm.org/#/passenger/4514554520

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Aeroplane Filling Station - Powell, TN

Aeroplane Filling Station - Powell, TN

Dating back to the glory days of roadside architecture is this vintage gas station eye-catchingly shaped like a plane built by proprietors Elmer and Henry Nickle in 1930. (Here's a photo from 1931.) Powell is located north of Knoxville along US25W on the road to Clinton, TN. The gas station went out of business half a century ago and was abandoned for a while. Other businesses moved in to keep it open, such as a liquor store, a produce stand, a bait & tackle shop and finally a used car lot.

About a decade ago, locals who wanted to preserve their roadside heritage from demolition began to rally to save the plane. They created a website (now gone, I think) and sold t-shirts to raise money for the novelty architecture preservation. One thing that caught me by surprise during my visit is the exterior has shiny new sheet metal compared to other recent photos I had seen online. Also new are the windows and the light along the wing. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also helped by the Tennessee Historic Commission

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cades Cove: Cable Grist Mill cribbing and frozen waterwheel

Cades Cove: Cable Grist Mill cribbing and frozen waterwheel

Cades Cove at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular destination in the United States most visited national park. The isolated valley was the home to many early settlers and today several of those sites are well preserved. An 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the cove, offering motorists the opportunity to sightsee the wildlife, scenic beauty and historic district structures on the National Register of Historic Places at a leisurely pace.

One of the most successful -- and enduring -- grist mills in the cove was the John Cable Mill, built in 1867-68. He had to construct a series of elaborate diversions along Mill Creek and Forge Creek to get enough water power for the mill's characteristic overshot wheel. The mill, which processed logs, wheat and corn and was originally operated by millwright Daniel Ledbetter, continued to function in some fashion until the 1920s, and was still in use when the Park was formed.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cordell Hull Bridge (2014 reopened) South Street view - Carthage, TN

Cordell Hull Bridge (2014 reopened) South Street view - Carthage, TN

Originally Built in 1936 and recently reopened, the Cordell Hull Bridge crosses the Cumberland River in Carthage, TN. (The Smith County Courthouse tower is visible on the left.)

Work on the bridge began in 1934 and is named after the former US Secretary of State Cordell Hull who lived in the area. The bridge is a 3 span continuous truss at a length of 1412 ft. with the main span over the river at 316 ft. The southwest side of the bridge reaches highway US70N which runs along a bluff near the river. The northwest side intersects with Main St. near the city's central business district. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

The bridge was closed in 2007 when a routine TDOT inspection found the superstructure was in critical condition. Repairs began in August 2011 and they replaced all of the concrete bridge deck and guard rails. The remaining truss, lattice work and rivets were preserved with blast cleaning and then painted white. (It had been green.) The bridge reopened on July 2, 2014.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Kleen Rite Cleaners neon sign - Hopkinsville, KY

Kleen Rite Cleaners neon sign - Hopkinsville, KY

Located along S. Virginia St. (US41) in Hopkinsville, this sign has most of what you could want in a vintage sign: Neon tubes clinging by a thread, an old clock, chaser lights and flags.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Colorful Bed and Breakfast House in Wartrace, TN

Colorful House in Wartrace, TN

This colorful house is around the corner from the middle of town along highway TN269.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hiwassee Island - Meigs County, TN

Hiwassee Island - Meigs County, TN

Hiwassee Island was the second largest in the Tennessee River until the 1940s when the TVA flooded part of the 781 acre island with the formation of the Chickamauga Dam Lake. The island is located in Meigs County at the confluence where the Hiwassee River meets the Tennessee River.

The island has been nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Archaeological artifacts dug from the island dates back to historic and prehistoric tribal peoples that lived on the island dating back to the late Woodland Hamilton phase (ca. A.D. 600-900), early Mississippian Hiwassee (ca. 1000-1300) and late Mississippian (ca 1000-1500).

The Cherokees which were the last tribe on the island left in 1818. The island is also called Jolly's Island named for Chief John Jolly. As a young boy Sam Houston lived on the island with the Cherokees. Chief Jolly adopted Sam and gave him an Indian name "The Raven." Possibly, this early influence guided his ambitions to settle the state of Texas. Will Rogers was another person of note that descended from the Rogers Family that lived on the island.

Today, the island is the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, serving as the home for many species including eagle and osprey. It is the staging ground for thousands of migrating Sandhill Cranes from November to February. This photo is taken from an observation deck atop a river bluff at the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park. It is a popular observation spot for birdwatchers, especially when the cranes come through.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Granny Cabin - Blountville, TN

Granny Cabin - Blountville, TN

Behind the Deery Inn in Blountville, TN is a collection of preserved old buildings. the marker for this one reads:

This unique log cabin has only three logs per wall and a puncheon floor. It was moved here from Hawkins County and Virginia Caldwell named it the Granny cabin. It is furnished to show the roughest dwelling of the early settlers.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Cumberland Truck Stop old neon sign

Cumberland Truck Stop old neon sign

This is an example of a business in a location that probably once thrived when this was an important highway, but is not very traveled today with the newer Interstate system.

The old Cumberland Truck Stop is in Cumberland County just east of Crossville. Over the years, the highway has been known as the Memphis-to-Bristol Highway, TN1, Broadway of America and US70

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Macon County Courthouse at Dusk - Lafayette, TN

Macon County Courthouse at Dusk - Lafayette, TN

Located in Lafayette's town square, this is Macon County's 4th courthouse. The brick building was designed by E. Tate & Son, completed in 1933 at a cost of $16,000 and renovated in the 1970s.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

McMinnville Post Office

McMinnville Post Office

This Post Office on McMinnville's Court Square is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge

Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge View #2

There are 15 bridges that cross the Cumberland River in Nashville, and this one is the newest after it opened in 2008. It is one of two pedestrian bridges, but the first one built specifically for that purpose. In it part of the Nashville Greenway system connecting Two Rivers Park on the south to Shelby Bottoms on the north. For more info: www.americantrails.org/resources/structures/Cumberland-Ri...

Monday, November 9, 2015

Foggy Morning on the bank of Percy Priest Lake

Foggy Morning on the bank of Percy Priest Lake

Early on this autumn day, I photographed the fog at Jefferson Springs Recreation Area in Smyrna, TN.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

In the News: Ten in Tenn: Antoinette Hall Opera House - Pulaski, TN

A few days ago, the Tennessee Preservation Trust released their 2015 list of endangered historical sites in the state. This week on the blog, we are talking about some of the properties on this list. Here is how TPT describes the list:
"The Tennessee Preservation Trust’s Ten in Tennessee Endangered Properties List Program is TPT’s strongest advocacy tool for the state’s most endangered historic sites. Each year, TPT seeks nominations for the “Ten in Tenn” from the public from each of Tennessee’s nine Development Districts."

You can also see past entries on their website here:
http://www.tennesseepreservationtrust.org/ten-in-tn/?ref=archive

Antoinette Hall Opera House / STAAR Theater - Pulaski, TN

Antoinette Hall, also known as the Pulaski Opera House, was built in 1868 and is one of few remaining second story opera houses still intact in the United States as well as one of the oldest. Since 2008, local non­‐profit Southern Tennessee Area Arts Repertory (STAAR) has owned the property and worked to raise awareness for the historic structure. However the group does not have the funds for extensive restoration work needed to save the building. Weather and time has caused severe deterioration of the structure and the walls are currently being held together by a cable system.

You can track their progress on their Facebook page.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

In the News: Ten in Tenn: Niota, TN Train Depot

A few days ago, the Tennessee Preservation Trust released their 2015 list of endangered historical sites in the state. This week on the blog, we are talking about some of the properties on this list. Here is how TPT describes the list:
"The Tennessee Preservation Trust’s Ten in Tennessee Endangered Properties List Program is TPT’s strongest advocacy tool for the state’s most endangered historic sites. Each year, TPT seeks nominations for the “Ten in Tenn” from the public from each of Tennessee’s nine Development Districts."

You can also see past entries on their website here:
http://www.tennesseepreservationtrust.org/ten-in-tn/?ref=archive

Niota, TN Train Depot

The Niota Depot is the oldest surviving train depot in Tennessee. It was constructed in 1854 as part of the East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad. At the time, Niota was known as Mouse Creek. Today, the depot serves as the Niota city hall. The Depot still has the original gun ports used by both the Union and Confederate Armies during the Civil War.

Niota is located in McMinn County, just north of Athens.

Back when the town was named Mouse Creek, there was another city on the other side of Knoxville known as Mossy Creek. With the similar town names, it wasn't uncommon for mail to get delivered to the wrong town. In 1897, there was a prominent wedding in town where the families had ordered a lot of ice cream for the guests, but was delivered to the wrong town. This was the last straw and both towns changed their name. Niota was the name of an Indian chief. (Mossy Creek became Jefferson City.)

From TPT:

The building was listed on the Tennessee Preservation Trust’s 2009 “Ten in Tenn” list, after which it received the attention and repairs to consider the property saved. Then in July of 2015, a collapse of one of the chimneys caused a partial ceiling collapse and the building was subsequently condemned. Home to Niota City Hall, the City of Niota currently does not have the necessary funds to repair the damage. If the building is not reoccupied by the city, it will be forfeited back to the railroad and likely torn down.

For more, see this Chattanooga Times Free Press article.

Also, this photo is available as a post card: Order it here!

Things for sale: Post Card: Niota, TN


Friday, November 6, 2015

In the News: Ten in Tenn: Great Falls Cotton Mill - Rock Island, TN

A few days ago, the Tennessee Preservation Trust released their 2015 list of endangered historical sites in the state. This week on the blog, we are talking about some of the properties on this list. Here is how TPT describes the list:
"The Tennessee Preservation Trust’s Ten in Tennessee Endangered Properties List Program is TPT’s strongest advocacy tool for the state’s most endangered historic sites. Each year, TPT seeks nominations for the “Ten in Tenn” from the public from each of Tennessee’s nine Development Districts."

You can also see past entries on their website here:
http://www.tennesseepreservationtrust.org/ten-in-tn/?ref=archive

Falls City Cotton Mill - Rock Island, TN

This abandoned mill is located inside of Rock Island State Park along highway TN287 right near the parking lot to view the great falls. Here's the story according to the historical marker:

Falls City Cotton Mill was built in 1892 by Asa Faulkner and several partners. It was the only textile mill in Warren County prior to 1930. The mill was in operation until the great flood of 1902, which destroyed many of the mills in the region. Situated on the bluff above the Great Falls of the Caney Fork River, the structure survived but was forced to close due to the loss of the turbine that washed away.

The Mill was operated by a flume, turbine, ropes, and pulleys powered by water diverted from the falls. The operation included the manufacture of cotton, wood products, and was well known for its heavy cotton sheeting.

Mr. Faulkner, wanting to help those most in need, hired and housed some 300 workers, predominantly widows and children. This created a booming "city" that included a blacksmith, post office, farm, market, and store of company products.

The building has been used for storage for the last 50 years and deterioration over the last 20 has compromised the building’s integrity. Owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority, the building is leased to the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation for use by Rock Island State Park. However, bureaucracy, cost of repairs and lack of a vision plan has left the landmark to deteriorate.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

In the News: Ten in Tenn: Blair's Ferry Storehouse - Loudon, TN

A few days ago, the Tennessee Preservation Trust released their 2015 list of endangered historical sites in the state. This week on the blog, we are talking about some of the properties on this list. Here is how TPT describes the list:
"The Tennessee Preservation Trust’s Ten in Tennessee Endangered Properties List Program is TPT’s strongest advocacy tool for the state’s most endangered historic sites. Each year, TPT seeks nominations for the “Ten in Tenn” from the public from each of Tennessee’s nine Development Districts."

You can also see past entries on their website here:
http://www.tennesseepreservationtrust.org/ten-in-tn/?ref=archive

Blair's Ferry Storehouse - Loudon, TN

From TPT:

The Blair’s Ferry Storehouse is one of the oldest remaining commercial buildings in East Tennessee and one of the regions’ earliest surviving examples of a structure built specifically as a warehouse. Built in 1835, the property is reflective of the early 19th century commerce along the Tennessee River. It was listed on the National Register in 1977 and much of the building’s architectural character remains intact. However, the current owner has limited funds to maintain the building and it is succumbing to deterioration and neglect.

For more info, see this wikipedia article.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

In the News: Ten in Tenn: Bonnie Kate Theater - Elizabethton, TN

A few days ago, the Tennessee Preservation Trust released their 2015 list of endangered historical sites in the state. This week on the blog, we are talking about some of the properties on this list. Here is how TPT describes the list:
"The Tennessee Preservation Trust’s Ten in Tennessee Endangered Properties List Program is TPT’s strongest advocacy tool for the state’s most endangered historic sites. Each year, TPT seeks nominations for the “Ten in Tenn” from the public from each of Tennessee’s nine Development Districts."

You can also see past entries on their website here:
http://www.tennesseepreservationtrust.org/ten-in-tn/?ref=archive

Bonnie Kaye Theater - Elizabethton, TN

From the Elizabethton Walking tour brochure (Stop #29)

The Bonnie Kate Theater, another Classical Revival Design, formally opened on May 16, 1926. All 500 of the seats were filled and the audience enjoyed the showing of a silent film. A local music program "Barrels of Fun" originated here in the 1930s and in the 1940s was broadcast by two radio stations (one next door) to a listening audience of 3.2 million people in the southeast area. This was the first theater East of the Mississippi to have rocking chair seating (1969).

From TPT:

The Bonnie Kate Theater from 1926 is the last surviving movie house in Elizabethton and both part of the local Elizabethton Historic District and the National Register Historic District. It embodies
the distinctive architectural characteristics of theaters built during the 1920s and fully sat houses up to 500. Unchecked roof deterioration has led to multiple leaks and subsequent water damage. Despite strong community and local government interest to save the building, no action has been taken by the building owners to make necessary repairs or correct the damage caused by the leaks.

For more, see this WCYB news report.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

In the News: Ten in Tenn: Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7 - Franklin, TN

A few days ago, the Tennessee Preservation Trust released their 2015 list of endangered historical sites in the state. This week on the blog, we are talking about some of the properties on this list. Here is how TPT describes the list:
"The Tennessee Preservation Trust’s Ten in Tennessee Endangered Properties List Program is TPT’s strongest advocacy tool for the state’s most endangered historic sites. Each year, TPT seeks nominations for the “Ten in Tenn” from the public from each of Tennessee’s nine Development Districts."

You can also see past entries on their website here:
http://www.tennesseepreservationtrust.org/ten-in-tn/?ref=archive

Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7 - Franklin, TN

Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7, a Gothic revival building constructed in 1823, is the oldest public building in Franklin, Tennessee. It houses Hiram Lodge No. 7, founded in 1809, and is the oldest Masonic Hall in continuous use in Tennessee. It was the location of the negotiation and signing of the Treaty of Franklin in 1830, in which the Chickasaw Indians sold their lands prior to being moved west to today's Oklahoma. Sitting president Andrew Jackson was a participant, the only time a U.S. President would journey to an Indian council for the purpose of making a treaty. The building was used as a hospital for wounded Union soldiers after the Battle of Franklin, during the American Civil War. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973.

The brick building is three stories tall, five bays wide and five bays deep. The front roof line is gabled in the center, battlemented to either side of the center gable, and surmounted by five obelisk pinnacles. The windows of the first two floors at the front are elongated Gothic with 11 lights over eight set in semi-circular indented two-story brick arches. The central windows over the entrance are set in a Gothic indented arch of three stories. The windows of the third floor are rectangular, 4 lights over four. Plain rectangular windows are found along the sides and rear of the building--on the first two floors, 12 lights over 16; on the third floor, 8 lights over 8.

Still occupied by the Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7, the group has actively sought education and funding for the preservation and restoration of the building, but does not have the funds for necessary structural repairs. Multiple additions made to the structure in 1856 and 1914 altered the stability of the walls, which has caused severe structural damage.

For more, read this article.

Monday, November 2, 2015

In the News: Ten in Tenn: Johns-King House - Smyrna, TN

A few days ago, the Tennessee Preservation Trust released their 2015 list of endangered historical sites in the state. This week on the blog, we are talking about some of the properties on this list. Here is how TPT describes the list:
"The Tennessee Preservation Trust’s Ten in Tennessee Endangered Properties List Program is TPT’s strongest advocacy tool for the state’s most endangered historic sites. Each year, TPT seeks nominations for the “Ten in Tenn” from the public from each of Tennessee’s nine Development Districts."

You can also see past entries on their website here:
http://www.tennesseepreservationtrust.org/ten-in-tn/?ref=archive

Liberty Hill

This home is also known as the Johns-King House is in Smyrna, TN and not far from Old Jefferson. In 2009, it was Identified by the Murfreesboro Post as one of the top 10 endangered historic sites in Rutherford County.

It was built in 1805 as a log house, by the Weakley family after receiving a land grant for the area. Then in 1840, Thomas and Unity Smith Johns purchased the house and made many improvements.

The building was used as a Confederate hospital and headquarters during the Battle of Stones River. In 1863, farmers Benjamin and Mary King bought the home after their previous home in LaVergne was destroyed by Union troops and their descendants occupied the home for many years.

The home also bore witness to the Trail of Tears and is one of only a small handful of 19th century structures still standing associated with the historic trek. Since 1998, the home has suffered years of neglect and the owner has been unsuccessful in selling the property to a preservation-‐sensitive buyer.

For the complete story, read this article from the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal.

In the news: Senator Fred Thompson has died

U.S. Senator Fred Thompson has died. Here is a super-brief bio for people that don't know him:

He grew up in Lawrenceburg, TN. He became a lawyer and was involved in the Watergate legal proceedings, later he was involved in the Gov. Ray Blanton legal proceedings. When the movie ("Marie") about the Blanton Scandal was filmed, he portrayed himself, which launched him into an acting career. In 1994, he won the U.S. Senate seat given up by Al Gore who had become Vice President. After winning re-election in 1996, he served until 2002 when he did not seek re-election. From there, he took the acting role of lead District Attorney on Law & Order. In 2008, he ran for President, launching his campaign back where he started, from the town square in Lawrenceburg

Personally, I only had a chance to see him once. During the late 90s, he spoke at Lipscomb when I was a student there.

Lawrenceburg certainly remembers its favorite son. There used to be this sign on old US 64 for westbound travelers entering the city:

Welcome to FredThompsonville

Outside of the Crockett Theater just north of the square is this cement square with his signature and shoe print:

Fred Thompson signature and shoe print