Home     Daily Blog     Galleries     About Me     Links     Recommended Books

Thursday, March 31, 2016

GM&O 2618 - Union City, TN

GM&O 2618 - Union City, TN

Union City is near the northwest corner of Tennessee and the rail lines that run through town go into Memphis. This caboose is located behind the old GM&O Depot which is today used as the Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

TN Dept. of Highways Roadside Park

TN Dept. of Highways Roadside Park

In the earliest days of the highways, it was an era before fast food restaurants and service stations at every interstate exit. During that time, the state highway department would develop a roadside park and pull-offs for the convenience of the motorist as it was essential for there to be places to eat and take rest breaks. Most of the pull-offs in Tennessee would have a concrete picnic table, such as the two seen in this photo. Several of these parks can be found around the state, but only along the oldest routes. Most of these parks were linear, but the one seen here is triangular and located at a major intersection.

This highway Park was built in 1928 and is located along Main St. on the east side of Rogersville along highway TN347. At the time it was built, it was along the important State Route 1 at the intersection of TN70. TN1 was the states most important highway back then as the Memphis to Bristol Highway, and eventually became part of the Lee Highway and US11W. Tennessee Department of Highways was renamed Tennessee Department of Transportation in 1972.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Colonial Hall - Pulaski, TN

Colonial Hall - Pulaski, TN

From the historical marker:

Built between 1853 and 1860 by Dr. William Battle, this house is a significant example of Greek Revival architecture. As the home of Dr. Elihu Edmondson, it was occupied by Union troops during the civil war. The house was owned by John C. Brown after his term as Governor of Tennessee. In 1927, the residence was sold to Dr. and Mrs. James Knox Polk Blackburn, who modernized the dwelling known as "Colonial Hall." Martin Methodist College purchased the house in 1994. Two years later, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
seemidtn.com/gallery/index.php?album=historical-markers/g...

Monday, March 28, 2016

Roan Mountain State Park Visitors Center

Roan Mountain State Park Visitors Center

Located in Carter County along the Doe River is the Visitors Center for Roan Mountain State Park. (the center is not actually on the mountain.) The parking area is along highway TN143 and connects via the pedestrian bridge seen in the middle. Also seen here is an old mill and a wagon wheel. Also, the Peg Leg Iron Ore Mine is just a short walk from here along a trail.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Church of the Immaculate Conception - Knoxville, TN

Church of the Immaculate Conception - Knoxville, TN

Located in downtown Knoxville, this Victorian Gothic building was completed in 1886. With it's location on the highest hill in town, the city leaders had the official town clock added to the church's tower.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Laverne & Janets Jewelry - Cookeville, TN

Laverne & Janets Jewelry - Cookeville, TN

This neon sign is for a jeweler's storefront located on Cookeville's town square.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Old Deery Inn - Blountville, TN

Old Deery Inn - Blountville, TN

According to the historic marker: seemidtn.com/gallery/index.php?album=historical-markers%2...

Built shortly after 1785 by William Deery. Stopping place for many distinguished travelers of early days. Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, the Marquis de Lafayette, Prince Louis Phillipe, Andrew Johnson and others enjoyed its hospitality. It operated as an inn until shortly before 1930.

For the full story: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Deery_Inn

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Railroad Bridge over Barren Fork - McMinnville, TN

Railroad Bridge over Barren Fork - McMinnville, TN

I can't find too much information on how old this bridge is, but there was a railroad line that ran from McMinnville to Tullahoma before the Civil War. During the war, the north destroyed every bridge on this line between the two cities, including the one that crossed the Barren Fork River, which I assume is at this same spot.

Originally, there were multiple mills up and down the river through here, but in 1902, a hydroelectric dam was built, but is not in use anymore. According to a photo on the historical marker nearby, this bridge was already here when the dam was built.

At one time, the bridge was used by NCStL, and then by L&N, and then by CSX. Today, the tracks are used by the short line Caney Fork & Western Railroad, which connects CSX from Tullahoma to Manchester and Sparta.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Downtown Louisville at Night

Downtown Louisville at Night

Across the Ohio River, in Clarksville, Indiana, there's a lovely little spot that's a perfect place to sit on a park bench and get a good look at the skyline.

On the left, you can see the rather new KFC Yum! Center. The Aegon Center is the tallest with the illuminated dome up top. The Galt House is in front of it. The E.ON U.S. Center is the one on the left with the green light on top. Next to that are the two Waterfront Plaza towers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Neat old house - Lewisburg, TN

Neat old house - Lewisburg, TN

In Lewisburg, this house is at the corner of Church St. & Hill St. It is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (However, The house across the street is. If you have any more info, I'd love to hear it.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Dyer County Courthouse - Dyersburg, TN

Dyer County Courthouse (Main View) - Dyersburg, TN

The Dyer County courthouse built from 1911-12 is one of my favorites in the state, perhaps my third or fourth favorite in West Tennessee. When I first got interested in county courthouses, I was at an antique store in Dickson and found a ca. 1930s post card of this courthouse, making me want to see it in person. Today the courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.

I suppose the most distinctive feature on this courthouse is the dome up top, with a clock facing each direction. The domed cupola is wider than normal, and there's about one story tall's worth of bricks there. Several decades ago, that round brick part underneath the dome was painted white.

Dyer County Courthouse (Front Vierw) - Dyersburg, TN

I suppose the second most distinctive thing about this building are the four two-story tall columns out front. Above the columns is an entablature that goes all the way around the building. Above that is a low parapet wall that conceals the low pitched roof.

In just the past couple of years, the grounds of the town square have been renovated, with new sidewalks and landscaping additions. The bricks embedded in the sidewalk were chosen to match the color of the brick of the courthouse. Also, the hundred year old clocks and mechanical bell work for the first time in a long time.

Dyer County Courthouse (Alt view) - Dyersburg, TN
Dyer County Courthouse (Corner View) - Dyersburg, TN

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Fruitland Presbyterian Church - Fruitland, TN

Fruitland Presbyterian Church

The building dates back to 1913, and the congregation dated back to 1825, with the claim they were the first congregation of any denomination west of the Tennessee River. The congregation must not meet any more as the "Presbyterian Church" part of the sign has been removed. This building and the tiny community of Fruitland is in Gibson County along highway US45W, although the highway now bypasses the area.

For the whole story:
tn-roots.com/tngibson/Churches/fruitland.htm

Friday, March 18, 2016

Welcom to Bell Buckle sign

Welcom to Bell Buckle

This was the sign in Bell Buckle as of 2010. The next one is the previous sign that was replaced

Welcome to Bell Buckle

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Burger Bar - Bristol, VA

Burger Bar - Bristol, VA

According to legend, this could have been the last place Hank Williams stopped to eat before he died - as in his driver apparently asked if he wanted a bite to eat while passing by here and Williams said no.

With this in mind, my wife and I decided to eat at the popular local greasy spoon while on our vacation. When we walked in, we found they had three tables and about 6 barstools, all taken the teeny tiny burger joint was packed so we went elsewhere.

Burger Bar - Bristol, VA

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Old Water Tower - The Factory at Franklin

Old Water Tower - The Factory at Franklin

The Factory at Franklin was originally the manufacturing factory for Dortch Stove Works. After laying unused for a while, the building was renovated to it's original condition and converted into retail shops and meeting space. (For instance, I had a high school reunion here.)

Today, The Factory uses their repained water tower as their company logo.
www.factoryatfranklin.com/content/history.php

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

St. Luke's Episcopal Church - Cleveland, TN

St. Luke's Episcopal Church - Cleveland, TN

Peter J. Williamson designed this Victorian Gothic church building in 1873. (He also designed the synagogue in Nashville, Central State Hospital and several buildings in McMinnville and on the Vanderbilt Campus. The tower reminds me of Kirkland Hall at Vandy.)

With a squared three story tower, arched lanset windows and doors, a broad gabled roof and brick buttresses, this church is unchanged from its original exterior appearance. The building, plus a parish house and a marble mausoleum occupy an entire city block in the heart of Cleveland, and is surrounded by a crenelated stone wall with iron gates.

The most famous thing located here is the "Bleeding" Mausoleum. The church was a gift from John H. Craigmiles of Cleveland in memory of his seven year old daughter, Nina, who was killed in a railroad accident on Saint Luke's Day in 1871. She is buried in the Mausoleum.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Oversized Guitar - Bristol

Oversized Guitar - Bristol

Located at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce on the TN side of State Street is this large over-sized guitar. (I forgot exactly how big, so I'll say 8 feet.) It should not be confused with the World's Largest Guitar, also in Bristol.

Oversized Guitar w/ Tennessee Flag - Bristol

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Country Hams advertising barn

Country Hams advertising barn

Country Hams, Bacon, Sausage, Sorghum, Honey, Country Store (I think that's what it used to read.)

While the roof of this barn hasn't been painted in years, I believe whatever it used to advertise has now become Dennison's Roadside Market, which is less than a mile up the road (Highway 31E) in Barren County, KY north of Glasgow. A couple of miles back, there was a similar barn that seems to also have Smith Store in yellow, which might be a previous name of Dennison's.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Cheekwood gardens in Spring

Cheekwood 15

Part of the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in the Bellevue section of Nashville, TN

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Greeneville's Big Spring

Greeneville's Big Spring

The city if Greeneville started off as the juncture of two Indian trails, and the presence of the Big Spring furnished a stopping off place for the weary traveler. The Scotch-Irish pioneers made the spring the reason for the founding of Greeneville in 1783. As early as 1780, local preacher Samuel Doak preached to the settlers at this spot.

Today, you will find a historical marker noting the spring along main street. The spring itself seen here is in a small park behind the library and the waters flow from here behind the courthouse and many of the important Andrew Johnson locations.

Greeneville's Big Spring

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Loretta Lynn's Mansion - Hurricane Mills, TN

Loretta Lynn's Mansion

These days, the town of Hurricane Mills is synonymous with the Coal Miner's Daughter, however the town dates back to the early 1800s as the site of an iron furnace and a flour mill. On July 22, 1863, a civil war battle took place on this land resulting in 19 soldiers losing their lives. Then in 1876, local plantation owner James T. Anderson decided to build this mansion. (The columns were added to the front in the 1930's) The Classical Revival mansion and grounds, and the city at large had enough history there that the area was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Hurricane Mills Rural Historic District.

In 1996, Loretta and Mooney Lynn fell in love with the mansion and the small town and bought the whole area, making this mansion their personal residence. After living in mansion for about two decades, they had another home built behind the mansion and opened the area up as a tourist attraction. Even part of the movie Coal Miner's Daughter was filmed here. Today, paying customers can take a tour of the inside of the home, or cheapskates like me can stand on the curb and look at it from here.

While the rags-to-riches story make Hurricane Mills and the Mansion a top ten visited tourist attraction in Tennessee, there's something else that gets people talking. People say it's haunted. Loretta Lynn and all of her children have seen multiple ghosts. There's the stories of the ghost of James T. Anderson, the ghost of a lady who died while giving birth and ghosts of Civil War soldiers. For the whole haunting story, look here:
www.ghosteyes.com/haunted-hurricane-mills-plantation

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Southern Thrift Store neon sign

Southern Thrift Store neon sign

I'n not sure what the blue part of the sign used to day in neon, but at the time the rest of the sign still worked. Now, the old sign was gone and replaced with a newer one. Seen along Charlotte Pk. (US70) in Nashville. Someone else pointed out to me that there is a fake owl perched across the top.

Southern Thrift Store

Monday, March 7, 2016

Carter Co. Courthouse - Elizabethton, TN

Carter Co. Courthouse - Elizabethton, TN

In 1852, Carter County had the need to build a new courthouse. Built at a cost of $7,100 was this three story building. At the time it was first built, there was a recessed portico with pedimented gable. The roof had stepped end gables with domed octagonal cupola in the center.

In 1901,a major wind storm in March followed by a great flood in May did damage to the courthouse and destroyed many nearby buildings. Plus, a couple of additions have been added to the back.

In 1933, a fire caused damage to the building and it was rebuilt with a number of design changes. A projecting portico was added with a one story base was added along with the stairways along either side. The gabled roof was changed to a hip roof and the cupola was removed.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Union Station (View from Demonbreun Viaduct)

Union Station (View from Demonbreun Viaduct)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Station_(Nashville)
The depot was built in 1900 in a castle-like late-Victorian Romanesque Revival style. The clock on the tower was one of the earliest digital clocks, but is now a traditional clock. Atop the tower used to be a 3D statue of the Roman god Mercury, but was knocked off in a windstorm in the 50s. In the mid-90s, a flat Mercury was put in its place. That one was knocked off in the 98 tornado, but was replaced again.

The station became vacant in 1979 after train service was discontinued. It opened as a luxury hotel in March of 1990, and is now a Marriott hotel.

An architecturally significant train shed used to be located right next to the station, but it's deteriorating condition, plus lack of any conceivable use led to it being demolished a few years ago, which caused Union Station to lose its status as a National Historic Landmark.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Davy Crockett Bust - Trenton, TN

Davy Crockett Bust - Trenton, TN

DAVID CROCKETT
Pioneer - Statesman - Hero
Born August 17, 1786 - Died March 6, 1836
Served three terms in the Congress of the United States while resident of this county
Emigrated to Texas in 1835 and was killed at the Alamo fighting for the independence of Texas.

"Be sure you're right and then go ahead"

David Crockett was of course one of Tennessee's most prominent early residents. Like the base of the bust says, Gibson County (near the town of Rutherford) was the last place Crockett called home before going to fight for Texas independence and dying at the Alamo. This bust has been placed on the lawn of the Gibson County Courthouse in Trenton, one of the finest courthouses in the state. The bronze bust on a granite base was sculpted by Belle Kinney and dedicated on Oct. 13, 1950.