Home     Daily Blog     Galleries     About Me     Links     Recommended Books

Friday, July 31, 2015

Elvis in Nashville - Col. Tom Parker's Office

Elvis in Nashville - Col. Tom Parker's Office

Built in 1935, this house along Gallatin Rd (US31E) in Madison was once the home and office of Colonel Tom Parker and the headquarters of one of the most successful partnership in the history of American entertainment.

until 2013, the house served as a law office. Late that year, it went for sale on ebay for over $150,000. For more info: www.elvispresleyfansofnashville.com/elvis-presley-news/co...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

IC Machine Shop - Fulton, KY

IC Machine Shop - Fulton, KY

located at the IC yard in Fulton KY, where there also used to be a turntable and roundhouse. Today, the yard is owned by CN.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Capitol Theater - Union City, TN

Capitol Theater - Union City, TN

The Capitol Theater opened in 1927 in the central business district in Union City. As on 1999, the Theater is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1994, the theater was used for live action productions under the name Masquerade Theater. The Marquee can still light up at night.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bachman Tunnels - Chattanooga, TN

Bachman Tunnels - Chattanooga, TN

Built in 1929, the Bachman Tunnels (or Bachman Tubes) Connects Chattanooga on the west to East Ridge through Missionary Ridge. The tubes are 1,034 feet long, are the third oldest tunnels in town and carry highways US41 and US76. On the east side where this photo was taken, the city in 2001 added a roundabout in hopes of diverting Semi trucks (which easily get stuck) during times of high interstate congestion.

For the full story, read here:
www.chattanoogan.com/2003/8/17/39834/Remembering-The-Cons...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Biloxi Lighthouse

Biloxi Lighthouse

The Biloxi Light is a Mississippi Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. They say it's the most photographed thing in all of Mississippi and also appears on their License Plate. It's weird to see a lighthouse in the middle of a busy highway (US90), but of course the highway was built well after the lighthouse. Over the years it has withstood many hurricanes, including Katrina in 2005 and is a symbol of the city's resolve and resilience.

The cast-iron lighthouse was completed in 1848. For many years it was operated by civilians, most notably Maria Younghans for 53 years. From 1939 to 1968 it was operated by the U.S. Coast Guard until they ceased its operation and deeded it to the city. Today, the lighthouse is open as a tourist attraction, as long as you don't mind climbing all those steps to the top. Tours are only offered in the morning as it would be way too hot later in the day.

Want to see a documentary? www.biloxi.ms.us/visitor-info/museums/lighthouse/lighthou...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Grace Episcopal Church - Hopkinsville, Ky

Grace Episcopal Church - Hopkinsville, Ky

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Episcopal_Church_
Grace Episcopal Church is a historic Episcopal parish at 216 East 6th Street in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, United States. It was built in 1883 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Grace Episcopal Church's current building dates to 1883, when funds were gathered for its construction. It features English Gothic Revival architecture, which was popular at the time. John C. Latham Jr., a locally renowned philanthropist from Hopkinsville, financed the majority of the cost. To return this favor, Grace Church designed two stained glass windows in the nave to honor him and his mother, Virginia Glass Latham. Latham's generosity also extended to include the purchase of an Estey Organ for the sanctuary and a $50,000 endowment following his death in 1909.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hoskins Drugs neon sign - Clinton, TN

Hoskins Drugs - Clinton, TN

Hoskins Drug Store must have had two locations over the years in Clinton, TN and this would be the older one. It looks as if they moved but the new owners thought it would be nice to keep the old sign here. This one is located along Market St., which is the older business district in town.The new location (also with a nice old neon sign) is located along Main St. across from the Anderson County Courthouse.

Friday, July 24, 2015

See Beautiful Rock City

See Beautiful Rock City

This beautiful Rock City barn has been well maintained, and the farm is for sale so it can be your for the right price. This barn is located on state highway KY91 about halfway between Princeton and Hopkinsville, KY. It's in Christian County, but it's just about a mile from the Caldwell County line.

This is now one of over 80 different Rock City Barns I have photographed and uploaded to Flickr in my Rock City Barns set. People often ask me how I've found so many of them. I have drawn from many resources such as books and web sites and sometimes luck, but there's not really one "go to" place to find them all. Well, now on my website, I have tried to create a one stop source for the locations of all of the barns I've been to. On my Map of Rock City Barns page, I have plotted each barn on a Google Map.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

L&N #405 Locomotive - Watertown, TN

L&N #405 Locomotive - Watertown, TN

L&N #405 is part of the rolling stock of the Tennessee Central Railway Museum. This EMD GP7 was built in 1951. On this day, 405 carried an excursion to Watertown for the Mile Long Yard Sale. After this locomotive was acquired by Tennessee Central, it went under an extensive repaint back to its original colors.

Here is what it looked like three years ago before the repaint was complete:
seemidtn.com/gallery/index.php?album=nashville%2Ftennesse...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ferris Wheel at Dusk

Ferris Wheel

The county fair season is fast approaching. This photo of a Ferris wheel was taken at the 2007 Tennessee State Fair.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Brown-Daly-Horne House - Pulaski, TN

Brown-Daly-Horne House - Pulaski, TN

Built in 1855 and purchased by Governor John C. Brown in 1869, it is the best example of Queen Ann style in Giles County, and one of the finest in the state. The Daly’s celebrated their 20th anniversary in their new home in 1901. From 1918 to 1979, the Oscar Horne family owned the property. Today, the home is used as a bank, which means you can walk around inside during regular business hours. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Monday, July 20, 2015

In the news: faded Coca-Cola mural in Morristown gets repainted

Refresh Yourself Drink Coca-Cola

The photo above was taken in 2009 and displays a historic Coca-Cola mural in downtown Morristown. The city is known for it's second story skywalk, and that skywalk makes the best way to get a close look.

This month, artists from Coca-Cola restored this 1940's mural along Main street. During Coke's mural painting heyday, they had nearly 16,000 murals around the country. Decades later, most of them have faded which has prompted Coke to hire these artists to bring the ghost murals back to life.

To read the whole story and see pictures of the newly restored mural, read this article from the Citizen Tribune.

Elliston Place Soda Shop neon sign

Elliston Place Soda Shop

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Riddleton Baptist Church

Riddleton Baptist Church

Located along old highway TN25, this church is located in the unincorporated Smith County, TN community of Riddleton.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Shelby County Courthouse Justice - Memphis, TN

Shelby County Courthouse Justice - Memphis, TN

The Shelby County Courthouse in Memphis, TN is the state's largest and one of the most ornate. Memphis became the county seat of Shelby County in 1866. An ornate courthouse was already planned but the after effects of the civil war delayed this and a local hotel was purchased and renovated to be the courthouse for a few decades. The Courthouse was built in 1910 for one and a half million dollars. Until 1966, this imposing structure of neo-classical Ionic design with blue Bedford limestone housed the executive and legislative chambers of Memphis and Shelby county. In 1984, an 8-year renovation and refurbishment took place to preserve the mahogany doors and paneling, brass door knobs embossed with the county seal, walls, pilasters and flooring comprised of seven varieties of marble.

On the exterior of the courthouse are several forms of statuary. Most prominent are the six seated figures carved from single blocks of Tennessee marble, representing Wisdom, Justice, Liberty, Authority, Peace and Prosperity. They were designed by J. Massey Rhind at a cost of $74,000. Near the top of the north facade are six standing figures: Prudence, Courage, Integrity, Learning, Mercy and Temperance. Pediments above many entrances are decorated with carved scenes depicting religious law, Roman law, statutory law, common law, civil law and criminal law. At the apex of each of these pediments is the head of Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom.

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Wide-Angle View of the Entrance to the Ocoee River

A Wide-Angle View of the Entrance to the Ocoee River

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. The entrance to the parking lot is from highway US64, which runs just to the right of this photo.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

McLean House - Bardstown, KY

McLean House - Bardstown, KY

Built by brothers, Samuel and Hector McLean in 1812, to be used for office and rental purposes. In 1840 the Post Office, a newspaper office and later a chair manufacturer would use the building. This house is on the Bardstown town square along with the more famous Talbott Inn. Based on an internet search, I can't tell if this is currently run as a hotel or as apartments. When I took the photo in the summer of 2010, much of the town square was under construction. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Bardstown Historic District.

If your into ghosts and the paranormal, many people say this is haunted after many Civil War soldiers lost their life here when the home was being used as a hospital. There are many stories of people who stayed in the house to be awakened by the sounds of moaning and weeping.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

George Dickel Distillery - Cascade Hollow, TN

George Dickel Distillery - Cascade Hollow, TN

There are two well known Tennessee Whiskey Distilleries in Tennessee. While Jack Daniels is certainly more famous, they also have a more crowded parking lot and a longer wait to go on a tour. On a beautiful summer day on a Friday early afternoon, there were three of us along the tour.

George Dickel moved to the area and bought the local Cascade Hollow whiskey in 1884. He ran the operation until 1888 and died in 1894. Then, Dickel's wife and her brother who was also an operating partner ran the business until U.S. Prohibition caused them to shut down.

Fast forward to 1958 and the brand's rightsholder decided to reopen the distillery. Their new distillery was down the road and downstream from the original location. (The original distillery is still there and on the National Register of Historic Places but it is not open to the public or viewable from the street.) For the full story:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Dickel

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hickman County Courthouse (2009 Version)

Hickman County Courthouse (2009 Version)

The Hickman County Courthouse is located on the town square in Centerville, TN. This is the 5th courthouse in Hickman county and a new judicial center has opened not far from here. This one was built in 1926 and is a two story brick building with a full basement.

On that day in 2009, I'd been through Centerville three times in the 4 years. The first time in 2006, I stopped only to get a picture of the Minnie Pearl Statue which was new at the time.

On my second visit in the summer of 2008, the statue had become a controversial topic, as too many people were stopping in the town square to get a picture, like I had, and were impeding traffic. By the time I made my 3rd visit a year later, the statue was gone and the traffic pattern of highway 48 and highway 100 was updated from going all the way around the square to just on the west side.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Dunbar Cave Arches

Dunbar Cave Arches

Dunbar Cave is a scenic State Natural Area in the middle of a residential area in Clarksville, but a hundred years ago it was a rural tourist destination.

At one time, a resort hotel operated here. More significantly, the opening of the cave became a popular party spot for big bands in the 1930's and 40's. (So popular, that Roy Acuff bought the area in 1948).

Caves tend to maintain a nice cool temperature, and having lots of people hang out by the entrance would be a cool place on a hot summer evening, plus the rock formations around the entrance make for a nice bandshell. The springs from the cave were dammed to make the picturesque Swan Lake.

The typical picture of the area shows the triple arches of the white concrete. As soon as I got here, I went down there, and there was nothing there. It looks like it should be an entrance, but it isn't. Instead, it's purpose from the big band era was to hold up the concrete dance floor. The reason the arched area was made accessible was so you could walk the nature trail along to the other side of the lake. The actual entrance is of course above the arches.

Today, Dunbar Cave is owned by the state and operated by the State Park service. For a few years, the actual cave itself has been closed while researchers study the white nose syndrome which has been plaguing bats in many caves around the country.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cowan, TN Passenger Depot (Spring 2011)

Cowan, TN Passenger Depot (2011)

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 cars 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:
www.flickr.com/photos/brent_nashville/tags/cowanrailroadm...

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Grace's High Falls - Lookout Mountain in Alabama

Grace's High Falls

As Alabama's highest waterfall, Grace's High Falls is a 133 foot seasonal waterfall that cascades off the cliffs. (The falls do not usually flow much in the summer.) Located in the Little River Canyon National Preserve in Northeast Alabama, the observation deck is located across the canyon along the Little River Canyon scenic highway. You can see a video of this waterfall and others in DeKalb County here: youtu.be/SZTmOY8y6UM?t=5m41s

Friday, July 10, 2015

Great Western Furnace - Land Between the Lakes

Great Western Furnace - Land Between the Lakes

Located along The Trace on the Tennessee side. According to the historic marker:

Built in 1854 by Brian, Newell & Co., this steam cold-blast charcoal furnace was built of limestone from the surrounding hills. Brown iron-ore came from shallow deposits about two miles north. Pig-iron was shipped by river or hauled to rolling mills to the east. It closed in 1856, due to lack of ore and of a slave insurrection by the furnace crew.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Log Cabin - Huntingdon, TN

Log Cabin - Huntingdon, TN

This cabin containing Chestnut logs dates back to the early 1800s in nearby Benton County. It was relocated to Huntingdon in 2005 and placed in a property along US70 adjacent to Thomas Park.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Claudia Sanders Dinner House neon sign - Shelbyville, KY

Claudia Sanders Dinner House neon sign

Did you know that Claudia Sanders, the wife of Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Col. Harland Sanders, also ran a restaurant? Now, before you go and assume that there was some family battle or oneupmanship going on, The Colonel actually had his offices here in the earliest days of KFC. At the time, they lived in the home next door. The actual restaurant burned down in 1999 and was rebuilt a year later but I'm going to assume the neon sign is vintage. The restaurant and the sign are located on US60 in Shelbyville, KY.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New home of Carthage Junction, TN Depot

New home of Carthage Junction, TN Depot

As the Tennessee Central was working on it's rail line to Knoxville, in Smith County a branch split off to reach the industry of Carthage. The spot where the spur split from the main line was about 8 miles southeast of Carthage at a location known as Carthage Junction. 100 years ago, this depot was located there, close to where Preston Rd. meets highway TN141.

After passenger rail traffic ceased, the depot was vacant for many years. Eventually, it was purchased and relocated a couple of miles away along TN56 at the Interstate 40 exit. The depot served as the office for Gordonsville Motor Company.

More recently, preservationists have looked to save this station. The first step was to relocate this depot three miles up the road to South Carthage on Oct. 23, 2014. At this new location, the property has been flattened and now overlooks a park along the bank of the Caney Fork River. The tracks used to run right next to this spot, but now the tracks are torn up and across the street has become the endpoint of a rails-to-trails path.

There is still much work to do, such as rebuilding the roof and restoring the interior. Then, they will improve the grounds around the station. You can follow their progress on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CarthageJunctionDepot

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lake Winnie mini-train

Lake Winnie mini-train

Located near the entrance of the Lake Winnepausaukah is this replica steam train named "Iron Horse"

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Chattanooga Old Post Office & Courthouse

Chattanooga Old Post Office & Courthouse

This building was built to be the city Post Office in 1890 with additions finished in 1909. It is built from Bedford Indiana Limestone and is an example of Richadsonian Romanesque Architecture. The steps and trim are made of Tennessee Marble.

A new Post Office was built in the 30's (Now the Solomon Federal Building). So, in 1956, the building switched government hands and it became offices for the TVA. After the TVA built new headquarters, they had less of a need for this building and they leased some of the office space to become space for the US Bankruptcy Court in 1988. The best I can tell, TVA sold this building to the Court in 2003. Now, the building is officially named "Historic US Courthouse" which is a little misleading. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Chattanooga Old Post Office & Courthouse

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Nashville Fireworks on the 4th of July

Nashville Fireworks on the 4th #15

I told myself that I didn't want to go downtown and deal with 100,000 people, even if the fireworks here are really good. Then, one year I was browsing a different photo website and saw someone who took a pic of the show last year from the east bank side with the skyline in the background and that was all the inspiration I needed.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Neon Big Daddy's Fireworks

Neon Big Daddy's Fireworks

Big Daddy's Fireworks is at an I-24 exit in Marion County, TN. There are lots of billboards with this guy all along the area. He looks like a caricatured Texas oil tycoon, but still I think I'd rather get fireworks from him than Nervous Charlie (located north of Nashville on I-65).

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Royal Cafe neon sign - Whiteville, TN

Royal Cafe neon sign - Whiteville, TN

Seen along Main St. in the small central business area (Business US64)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Model Train Version of Nashville Landmarks: Woodmont Christian Church

Model Train Version of Nashville Landmarks: Woodmont Christian Church

For many years, Nashville had a Children's Museum on Second Ave. S. At the time, they had a large model train display which involved 1:48 O-scale trains rumbling around scaled replicas of local landmarks, such as Union Station, the L&C Tower and Woodmont Christian Church.

The Childrens' museum was relocated in 1974 to Fort Negley hill where it became the Cumberland Science Museum (and is now the Adventure Science Center). The model trains were not a part of the relocation and are now part of the Tennessee Central Railway Museum. These O Gauge buildings were built to scale using light wood, paper, cardboard, and glue by members of the Nashville Association of Model Engineers around 1955.