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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Oakland Presbyterian Church - Oakland, TN

The Oakland Presbyterian Church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I am not sure how old the building is but a plaque near the door says the congregation was organized in 1888.

Oakland is a small town in Fayette county. The church is located on highway TN194 at the intersection of US64 and just a couple blocks north of the old town's Main Street

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stewart County Courthouse - Dover, TN

Stewart County Courthouse (2014) - Dover, TN

This is the 4th courthouse in Stewart County. It was built in 1965 and faces the square. US79 runs in front of the building. Most of the adornments other than the bell and the large round marker on furnaces has been added within the last 15-20 years. This view is from 2014.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Akin Log House - LaVergne, TN

Akin Log House - LaVergne, TN

The following description is taken from the brochure entitled "A Traveler's Guide to Rutherford County's Log Architecture"
Akin Log House
Bicentennial Park (La Vergne City Park) beside City Hall - 5093 Murfreesboro Road

The City of La Vergne acquired this hewn red cedar log house from a local family in order to provide residents with a visual reminder of their pioneer past as well as to preserve a rare surviving example of the early built environment of the area. This historic one room dwelling, originally located off Stones River Road, had been obscured by several modern frame additions over the years and was not identified as a separate pioneer structure until after demolition had started on the larger house. Now standing in Bicentennial Park near a 19th-century graveyard, the log building is being carefully restored to serve as an educational experience for both members of the community and visitors alike.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Chief Tuscumbia - Spring Lake Park

Chief Tuscumbia - Spring Lake Park

About 1817, Michael Dickson and other white explorers were exploring this section of Alabama when they came across Big Spring. There, they met Chief Tuscumbia, a Chickasaw rainmaker. Settlers named their new town in his honor in 1822.

The Big Spring is now known as Spring Lake Park and forms the headwaters of the Tuscumbia River. One of the features of the park is this larger-than-life carved oak tree statue of Chief Tuscumbia.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Renfro Hotel - Park City, KY

The Renfro Hotel - Park City, KY

This old Hotel was built in the center of town right by the tracks in 1903, when the town was known as Glasgow Junction. It was built next door to the ruins of Bell's Tavern along the old Louisville and Nashville stagecoach turnpike.

The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places because of it's architectural significance.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bicentennial Mall Fountains at night

Bicentennial Mall Fountains at night

During the day, the fountains at Bicentennial Mall are perfect for the kids to splash and play in. At night, the fountains light up and change color. There are 31 fountains here and each one represents one of the major rivers in the state.

Bicentennial Mall Fountains at night

Bicentennial Mall Fountains at night

Monday, January 25, 2016

Norfolk Southern Tennessee River Bridge - Knoxville

Norfolk Southern Tennessee River Bridge - Knoxville

Located in downtown Knoxville, this railroad bridge now used by Norfolk Southern has elements dating back to the Civil War, but has been rebuilt several times.

The stone piers and approaches are the oldest element of the bridge, dating back to the 1850s. Wooden spans were completed in 1867. In 1903, wooden spans were replaced with a steel trestle. It underwent a major rebuild in 1940. A tugboat hit one of the piers in 1993 and that pier was fortified. The center span of the bridge is a Pratt through truss and the other segments are Warren deck trusses.

The original builder of the bridge was Knoxville & Charleston Railroad which chartered in 1852. In the 1870s, they became the Knoxville & Augusta Railway. In 1890, they were bought out by East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railway. Then, in 1894 they were bought out by Southern Railway.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Professional Building sign - Green Hills

Professional Building

Top notch 1960's era signage! Just off Hillsboro Rd. in Green Hills.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Pepsi Cola: Ice Cold Delicious - Arresting Taste

Pepsi Cola: Ice Cold Delicious - Arresting Taste

This retro mural is seen along Beale Street in downtown Memphis. It was painted by Mark Davey of Davey Studios in 2004.

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

Friday, January 22, 2016

Martin Springs

Martin Springs

Martin Springs seems like it should be one of the most interesting places to visit in Tennessee, and yet I've had trouble finding anybody who had ever heard of it.

This interesting geologic feature is located in Battle Creek Valley not far from where Interstate 24 ascends Monteagle on the east side of the mountain. This is the entrance to a water-filled cave and it is said that the springs have 6500 gallons of water flow out of it every minute forming Battle Creek!

Some of the earliest history to occur here was this was along the Bell Route of the Trail of Tears and the area was used as a campsite by the Cherokee in 1838. There is a historic marker here that notes the Trail of Tears as well as Civil War Battles that took place here.

The Dixie Highway, one of the earliest cross-country highways in the country, passed right by this spring. Thornton Herbert Martin bought the land at the spring and soon opened Martin Springs Tourist Camp which offered cabins and a boardinghouse for the early highway travelers. Back then, anyone who had a spring advertised the supposed healing properties of the water. Eventually this segment of the Dixie Highway became US41 and was much traveled for many years until the interstate came through the area and US41 was rerouted. I'm not sure when the tourist cabins closed but an interstate makes it tougher to stop at spur-of-the-moment places such as this. The area is still private property and now almost completely forgotten.

In the Winter of 2012, I drove down this stretch of road in an attempt to see everything along the old Dixie Highway. Because the interstate runs through the area, the road is now only used by the locals. There were not any signs, or any other forms of evidence that the spring is here, although I didn't know to look for it.

I was looking on Ebay for some Tennessee postcards when I came across a couple of Real Photo Post Cards of this place. None of my friends or relatives familiar with the area had heard of the place. There was a Marion County brochure at the nearest I24 rest area that listed about 30 points of interest but not the spring. (The guy at the rest area information desk hadn't heard of it either, although he told me about a couple of other interesting spots.)

Finally, I found the Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association website which mentions it, although they say to follow the signs, when there aren't any. They note the area is private property, but visitors are welcome. Since I can't find any other source to verify visitors are welcome, I emailed them just to make sure. A nice lady wrote me back and said it was true.

Here's how to get there:Along Interstate 24, the last exit before going up to Monteagle on the east side is called Martin Springs Road. From this exit, turn towards the fireworks store and then left down Martin Springs Road. Drive about a mile. Eventually, you'll see a spot where the road is extra wide, which provides a place for you to park. There are two gravel driveways here and the nice thing to do is not park on those. The one on the right has multiple "No Trespassing" signs and the one on the left had a rope over the entrance on the day I was there. Between the two (and it took me a while to find it) was a small path through the trees. And then you're here! I've also geotagged this photo to help you find it.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Illinois Central Gulf Caboose 199331

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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bales Florist neon sign - Nashville, TN

Bales Florist neon sign - Nashville, TN

This sign along Gallatin Pk. (US31E) has certainly seen better days. Growing up in the 80's, my wife used to go to church at Jackson Park Church of Christ across the street, so she has seen this sign for many years. All but two of the neon flowers have fallen off.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lumberjack Ganes: Log Rolling

Lumberjack Ganes: Log Rolling

At the 2007 TN State Fair was a travelling lumberjack games crew from Wisconsin. In this "game" the two contestants balance on a floating cedar log and they spin the log with their feet to get the other to fall first. The guy on the right won.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Lorraine Motel / National Civil Rights Museum Room 306

Lorraine Motel / National Civil Rights Museum Room 306

As America honors Martin Luther King, Jr. on the third Monday in January, I'd like to share these photos of the National Civil Rights Museum that promotes the vision that Dr. King embraced.

Walter Bailey purchased the Windsor Hotel in 1945 and renamed it the Lorraine Motel. Located close the the center of Memphis, during the days of segregation the motel catered to an upscale black clientele.

In April 1968, King traveled to Memphis in support of striking sanitation workers. King stayed in room 306, located on the second floor of the Lorraine Motel. At 6:01 PM on April 4, 1968 while he was standing on the balcony outside his room, King was struck by a single bullet, causing him to fall backwards unconscious.

Following the assassination, Bailey left Room 306 undisturbed. While the Motel remained open for a few more years, Bailey worked to preserve the motel as a historic site raising funds to Save the Lorraine. The Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation bought the motel in 1982. The Motel officially closed in 1998 as the property transformed into a museum.

For architectural designs, the museum called upon McKissack & McKissack from Nashville, the first African American architecture firm in America. After purchasing adjoining property, the museum opened in Sept. 1991.

Today, on the grounds of the museum, a wreath is placed at the balcony where King was hit. The original sign for the museum has been preserved outside. From this iconic photo from the balcony there are two cars visible below, and there are replicas of these two cars at the museum today. For now, customers of the museum are allowed to look into the window of Room 306.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church

Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church

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.

The Baptist denomination came to Cades Cove in 1825. Several years later that congregation split into the Primitive Baptist Church and this Missionary Baptist Church. (the sign on the side of the building says they were founded in 1839.) They met together at first in homes in 1841. They stopped meeting during the Civil War. They grew large enough to need a building, which was completed in 1894. As they continued to grow, they needed a bigger building and this one was completed in 1915.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

See Rock City for $3.99

See Rock City for $3.99

This is exactly what it looks like. It's a flower pot full of See Rock City Barn shaped birdhouse pencil-toppers on the floor of the Rock City gift shop. I bought a Christmas Tree Ornament instead.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Conway Twitty Plaque - Twitty City

Conway Twitty Plaque - Twitty City

Country Music superstar Conway Twitty built his mansion in Hendersonville, TN and then built a tourist attraction on the grounds known as Twitty City. In front of the mansion was a garden where he allowed fans to visit.

Twitty died in 1993 and the property was sold to the Trinity Broadcasting Network who reopened the area as Trinity Music City. They still welcome Twitty fans and offer free tours of the mansion and grounds. Soon after his death, the family placed this plaque on the grounds of his garden.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cades Cove replica Blacksmith Shop

Cades Cove replica Blacksmith Shop

Located near the Cable Mill, the National Park Service constructed this blacksmith shop.

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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pendelton Jewelry Co. neon sign - Bristol, VA

Pendelton Jewelry Co.

"Bristol's Oldest Jewelers"
Since 1886
Along State St. along the VA side.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Marking Time

Marking Time

This sundial is a public art project by Preston Farabow in 2007. With Interstate 40 in the background, is is located at a rest area at the easternmost cornet of Smith County, TN

Monday, January 11, 2016

Cummins Station - Nashville, TN

Cummins Station - Nashville, TN

Soon after Union Station opened up, in 1906 Big Bill Cummins made plans to open a warehouse just down the tracks. The next year when it opened, they claimed to be the largest reinforced concrete terminal station in the world, fireproof and a place that rats cannot live. The building was 4 stores tall, plus a basement, 500 feet long and 132 feet deep. (later it expanded to 603 feet long.) The most famous resident company was the Cheek-Neal Coffee Co., makers of Maxwell House.

This view is taken along Demonbreun ST. with the viaduct that crosses the gulch. Today, Cummins Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Placed. If you'd like to know the whole story, read this PDF on the Cummins Station website in honor of the 100th anniversary.
cumminsstation.com/pdf/History.pdf

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Kingsport, TN Clinchfield Passenger Depot

Kingsport, TN Clinchfield Passenger Depot

The Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Passenger train station along with the adjacent freight depot were built in 1916. The building's design was a product of new York architect Clinton McKenzie. Access to the railroad instantly gave Kingsport the potential to become an industrial community. Even though passenger service stopped in 1954, the area remained busy thoroughfare. Today, the building is used as a bank.

Looking at Kingsport, I find it interesting how a planned community came to be, and what's changed over nearly 100 years. The city was laid out before construction of anything started. Main street connected this depot on one end and the 4 churches of Church Circle on the other end of the storefront lined street. The city hasn't aged well, but either end of the main street has retained it's significant architecture.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Cragfont

Cragfont

Cragfont, located in Castalian Springs, TN, was the home of War of 1812 Brigadier General and Memphis founder James Winchester. Construction was started in 1798 and completed in 1802 by artisans from his home state of Maryland. It is listed with the National Register of Historic Places and is open for tours. It is owned by the State of Tennessee and administered in partnership with the Tennessee Historical Commission by the non-profit group Friends of Cragfont.

At the time the home was completed, it was the largest home in Middle Tennessee. The exterior is made of Limestone quarried nearby. The most distinctive feature may be the seven six-pointed metal stars. The stars are not only for decoration, as they are caps on poles that span the entire mansion to hold it together in case of earthquake.

www.cragfont.net/History.html

Friday, January 8, 2016

Nashville Spring Service neon sign

Nashville Spring Service #1

621 8th Ave. South, across the street from the antique mall that I was always looking at while missing this sign. They've been there since 1943. (Although this photo is 8 years old, and I am not sure if they are still there.)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bartow Co. Courthouse - Cartersville, GA

Bartow Co. Courthouse - Cartersville, GA

The Bartow County Courthouse was built in an Italianate Style in 1903 and is topped with a clock tower and gold dome. In front of the courthouse is a statue honoring the men from the county who fought for the confederacy in the civil war.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mail Pouch Tobacco barn in Kentucky

Mail Pouch Tobacco barn in Kentucky

I admit that I violated the rule of photography that says you should take a picture at an angle to make it more interesting, but I picked this view so it would be easier to read.

It's been painted with two different message that have faded. The easier one to read is:
CHEW
MAIL POUCH TOBACCO
TREAT YOURSELF TO THE BEST

the words mail pouch are in yellow. The older message is more difficult to read. The bigger words look like INSURANCE and FEED and I can see POULTRY in the bottom right. If you can decipher the rest, or at least make an attempt, feel free. This is in US 31E in Kentucky north of Glasgow.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Hopkinsville, KY: 6th St. Architecture

Hopkinsville, KY: 6th St. Architecture

There's a bunch of neat old buildings listed on the Hopkinsville Downtown Walking Tour but it doesn't include any of these.

I found a picture of this block from 2008 and all of these buildings' exteriors have been restored since then.

The closest building on the corner was S. Klein's Department Store which dates back to 1883. Also on the block is the Arthur-Klein Clothier and Young Hardware.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Frisco 1351 Steam Locomotive - Collierville, TN

Frisco 1351 Steam Locomotive - Collierville, TN

This historic locomotive is currently on display in Collierville at the old train station museum. In Memphis, there are plans to build a Railway and Trolley museum where this train will be restored and eventually be on display. This steam 2-8-2 locomotive was built in 1912 by the American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, New York.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Nashville Skyline at Dusk 2014

Nashville Skyline at Dusk 2014 #4

Every time I decide to take a photo of the Nashville Skyline, there seems to be a subtle change. The most notable difference I see is that the old CVS/Caremark building is now the Baker Donaldson building. Also of note, with the new park on the east shore, the boat ramp I used to set up at is no longer available.

While I was taking this long exposure still photo, I had a second camera setup to take a time lapse video. See it here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GT_DhuMkNA

Technical details: This photo was taken on 2/1/2014 when sunset at 5:13 pm. This was at 6:32pm, 5sec., f/16, ISO1600. Also, there was a barge going by during this photo and you can see the barge and its headlight.

Friday, January 1, 2016

21st Avenue South Firehall - Nashville, TN

21st Avenue South Firehall - Nashville, TN

Fire Station 16, located at 2219 21st Avenue, South, was constructed on property acquired by the city of Nashville on July 16, 1929, and was completed in 1930. The building was built in the Tudor Revival style popular in the adjoining neighborhoods. It is the second oldest fire hall in Nashville remaining in its original use. It was undergoing renovations when I took this photo 8 years ago, which is why the window is boarded up.

Over 100 years ago, this was also the site of a tollbooth along Hillsboro Rd.