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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

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Chapel Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Chapel Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Located on Horton Highway (U.S. 31A) in Chapel Hill, TN (Marshall County). Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Building - #85001897, significant because of it's Greek Revival Architecture from the 1870's