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Friday, September 30, 2016

Gray's Neon Sign - Franklin, TN

Gray's Neon Sign - Franklin, TN

Gray Drug Co. was a longtime drugstore located along Main St. (US31) in Franklin. Frank Gray Jr. had the sign installed in 1952 at a cost of $860.

In 1998, the Pharmacy closed, and a new tenant operated here as Gray's Cards and Gifts. Up until then, GRAY was in the blue space below Rx and DRUGS was the vertical portion. That store closed six years later and the building remained vacant for nearly a decade.

In August of 2013, a new establishment took on the Gray's name as Gray's on Main restaurant opened up in the 1876 building. For the opening, the sign was restored and it now works again!

Gray's Neon Sign - Franklin, TN

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Southern #630 Ready to Depart - Railfest 2013

Southern #630 Ready to Depart - Railfest 2013

Railfest is the annual celebration at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, TN. This year as part of the celebration, they offered Southern Railway 2-8-0 #630 as an excursion round trip to Cleveland, TN. .

This locomotive was built in 1904 by the American Locomotive Company Richmond Works. It was restored to operation at TVRM in 2011 and is now part of Norfolk Southern's 21st Century Steam program.

You can see quite a thorough collection of photos of #630, the Missionary Ridge Local with Southern FP7 #6133, and other rolling stock on the grounds. This gallery is on my website here:
seemidtn.com/gallery/index.php?album=chattanooga%2Frailfe...

Also, I took video and put it on youtube:
Just the steam train departure seen here: youtu.be/QVBCATNnTQI
That, and more footage of the steam train: youtu.be/85iljPK1TfY
All the steam footage, plus the Missionary Ridge local: youtu.be/AhCCpvO41iM

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A. Schwab's Dry Goods Store Neon Sign - Beale St.

A. Schwab's Neon Sign - Beale St.

A. Schwab dry goods store is the only remaining original business on Beale Street in Memphis, TN. Their motto is "If you can't find it at A. Schwab, you're probably better off without it!"

Established in 1876 by Abraham Joseph Schwab, a Jewish immigrant from France, the store is a local tourist attraction with two floors of shopping and, between the first and second floors, a small balcony which houses the Beale Street Museum, a collection of Beale Street memorabilia along with several items and records of the Schwab family, which ran the store until 2011. It began as a men’s haberdashery, transitioned to a dry goods store, and later evolved into a seller of quirky merchandise. Products include various hoodoo items, assorted dry goods, and tourist memorabilia. A. Schwab's was also the retailer of the largest overalls in the world which sold two pair a year. The overalls were so large they hung from the ceiling.

A. Schwab's Dry Goods Store - Beale St.

A. Schwab, the oldest store in the Mid-South, is housed in the oldest remaining building on Beale Street. The store was founded at another location on Beale Street and moved to 163 Beale Street in 1911 and expanded into 165 in 1922. Both of these buildings were constructed before 1890. Prior to the expansion, 165 Beale housed a Piggly Wiggly. The building is part of the Beale Street Historic District which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.

The neon sign has a badge that it was made by Artkraft of Lima, Ohio. A second label mentions the H.A. Balton Sign Co. of Memphis.

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Humboldt, TN Confederate Statue

Humboldt, TN Confederate Statue

This statue is located in Bailey Park on the east side of town and faces 22nd Ave (US79/70A). The monument which honors CSA soldiers from Gibson County was built by the local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy. It was carved by J.J. Snyder of Eclipse Marble Works in 1914. The statue was originally located along Main St. but later moved here.

Here is the Smithsonian writeup of the statue:
Figure of a Confederate soldier standing at parade rest. He wears a uniform consisting of a hip-length coat, trousers, boots, and a brimmed hat. The bearded figure holds the barrel of a rifle with both hands. The butt of the rifle rests in front of his proper right foot. His proper left foot is slightly forward and bent at the knee. The tiered granite base includes four columns around a central block of granite.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jackson, TN City Hall (New)

Jackson, TN City Hall (New)

Built in 1996, the new City Hall with its notable concave window-capped entrance is located across the street from the Madison County Courthouse. The prior occupant of this block was Jackson's multi-story First National Bank building which was imploded in August, 1995.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The hand of man reaching up for the hand of God

The hand of man reaching up for the hand of God

Located at the entrance of Brentwood United Methodist Church

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tennessee Central Caboose #9828 at Night

Tennessee Central Caboose #9828

Seen at the Depot Museum at night in the Cream City Historical District in Cookeville, TN

Friday, September 23, 2016

Overton County Courthouse - Livingston, TN

Overton County Courthouse (2013) - Livingston, TN

This was my third visit to Livingston, and the same thing has happened all three times: On a day the weather radar said would be mostly sunny, I get here to find solid cloud cover. At least on this day, the sun peaked through to shine upon the building but about two minutes after taking this photo a downpour came from the sky and I had to run back to my car. On my previous visit here, as I was driving away I ended up passing a kidney stone while I was in my car and since that didn't happen on this visit, I'd say things were better.

There have been some changes to the grounds since my previous visits. A fountain has been added to one side between my 2008 and 2011 visit. In 2011, there was some red, white and blue bunting added to the windows, which made things more colorful, but they are now gone. There is a positive for people wanting to see the building and that is some large trees were removed making this angle a lot easier to view.

This courthouse is one of the oldest ones in the state, which might not be a surprise, with its big box-like brick appearance. This courthouse was built in 1868-69. It was built on the same foundation as the previous courthouse which dates back to 1855 but was destroyed by a fire just over a decade later. The two story building has a gabled roof and pedimented detailing at each end. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ketner's Mill on the Sequatchie River

Ketner's Mill

Orphan David Ketner moved to the Sequatchie Valley in 1824 and opened a grist mill in an area today known as Ketner's Cover at the base of Suck Creek Mountain. His son Alexander bought a new site along the Sequatchie River in 1868 and completed the brick grist mill seen here in 1882 where it remained in operation until 1955.

Ketner's Mill Dam

A couple of decades later, the Ketner family undertook a new beginning for the mill ushering in a new era. After undergoing a restoration, the mill was reopened in 1977 along with the first annual Ketner Mill Country Fair. That same year, the mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The mill continued to be operated year round until 1992 upon the death of mill operator Clyde Ketner, grandson of David Ketner.

The yearly Ketner's Mill Country Arts Fair is still going strong. held every fall, the 2016 event will be the 40th year. Still owned by the same family, now the 5th generation runs the mill, but only for a short period every year to make enough flour to sell at the yearly fair.

Ketner's Mill Dam

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Old Daisy Theater - Beale St., Memphis

Old Daisy Theater - Beale St., Memphis

Opening in 1913, the Daisy Theater is one of the best remaining examples of nickelodeon architecture from the early cinema era. Located on the famous Beale Street, the landmark has a grand half dome entrance. In 1941, the New Daisy theater opened across the street. The Old Daisy is listed on the National Register of Historic places as part of the Beale Street Historic District.

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Indian Falls - DeSoto State Park

Indian Falls - DeSoto State Park

Inside DeSoto State Park atop Lookout Mountain in Alabama are several smaller waterfalls. The easiest one to get to is Indian Falls which is about 1000 feet from the parking lot of the Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail (but across the street). The trail and a small footbridge crosses over the top of the falls.

Indian Falls - DeSoto State Park

Monday, September 19, 2016

Great Falls Dam and Bridge - Rock Island, TN

Great Falls Dam and Bridge - Rock Island, TN

Great Falls Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Caney Fork, straddling the county line between White County and Warren County. It is the only dam outside the Tennessee River watershed owned and operated by TVA. The dam impounds the Great Falls Lake, and its tailwaters feed into Center Hill Lake. The completion of Great Falls Dam in 1917 was an engineering triumph, marking the first successful attempt to impound the volatile and flood-prone Caney Fork. The dam is also notable for its design, utilizing a mostly underground conduit to carry water from the reservoir via a tributary to the Power House 0.75 miles (1.21 km) downstream from the dam. The dam and its tailwaters are surrounded by Rock Island State Park.

The bridge was first built in 1925. The first time I ever saw it was in 2004. It was still open then but closed soon afterward. It was the first wood surface bridge I ever drove over, and boy was I nervous! At the time, the bridge was also one way, but I'm not sure if it was always like that. Today, the dam and bridge are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1994, this dam and bridge was a filming location for the movie "The Specialist" starring Sylvester Stallone and James Woods. It is featured prominently in the opening scene of the movie as the their two characters are supposed to blow up the bridge while a Colombian drug lord is driving over it.I guess the movie producers felt it looked like something from a third world nation! Someone has uploaded this segment of the film to youtube in case you're interested, but keep in mind it's from an R-Rated movie.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM0i5atnJc4

Great Falls Dam Bridge - Rock Island, TN

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Triune United Methodist Church

Triune United Methodist Church

This building was finished in 1873 but the congregation dates back to 1804. The original location for the building was about a mile west of Triune near what is today TN96. Then in 1849, they moved to this location in Triune on the highway that is today US41A/31A. That building was burned in the Civil War in 1863 and this building was finished a decade later.

One thing of note, the original cornerstone of the original Kings Chapel is prominently displayed above the front door. If you look at the photo full size, you can see the 1804 date. See this church's historic marker here:
seemidtn.com/gallery/index.php?album=historical-markers%2...

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Dome Building near sundown - Chattanooga

The Dome Building near sundown - Chattanooga

This building in downtown Chattanooga, TN was built in 1892 and at the time was the tallest structure in town. It was built by Adolph Ochs to be the home of his newspaper, the Chattanooga Times, and the building was named at the time the Ochs Building. Many people called it the "Times Building" as a large neon "Times" used to hang from the dome.

Adolph Ochs went on to purchase and run the New York Times. Later, in 1947 the Chattanooga Times moved out of this location at the corner of East 8th St. and Georgia Ave. The new owners changed the name to The Dome Building.

Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is named a Tennessee Antiquity by the APTA.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Chester County Courthouse - Henderson, TN

Chester County Courthouse - Henderson, TN

The original courthouse burned in 1913 and was replaced by this building a year later. The Classical Revival styled building is two stories atop a tall base. The front entrance features a two story pedimented portico supported by four columns. Also, it has a low hip roof with an open square, domed cupola. In 1955, a brick veneer was added. Today, the courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and the grounds are host to a yearly barbecue festival.

in neighboring McNairy County, Sheriff Buford Pusser gained national fame for taking on local corruption. A semi-autobiographical movie about Pusser was made in the early 70s, Walking Tall. The movie producers wanted the film to be shot where the events happened, however the local elected officials didn't want to be embarrassed by the national attention brought to the corrupt county. Instead, they were embarrassed by having the movie filmed here in Henderson (partially at this courthouse) and losing out on important revenue. Due to term limits as sheriff, Pusser had time to be a technical consultant for the film. Then, when he reran for sheriff again, the locals ignored all the good he did to clean up the county and how he helped Hollywood work next door, did not vote him back into office.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Kentucky West Tennessee (KWT) Railroad (New & Old)

Kentucky West Tennessee (KWT)  Railroad (New & Old)

Kentucky West Tennessee Railroad is a short line railroad that runs from Murray, KY through Paris, TN to Bruceton, TN where it interchanges with CSX. This photo was taken in Bruceton where there is a major CSX freight yard. KWT was acquired by Genesee & Wyoming in 2005 and this locomotive is painted in their yellow and orange paint scheme. A second line also runs from Dresden to McKenzie.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

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 view-able from the street.) For the full story:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Dickel

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Crossville, TN Post Office

Crossville, TN Post Office

Built in 1937. In 1991, the building was rededicated as the Milo Lemert Building honoring of the Medal of Honor winner and World War I hero from Cumberland County.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tilt Shift Miniature effect: Murfree Spring

Tilt Shift Miniature effect: Murfree Spring

A couple of years ago, I enhanced my digital camera collection when I got a good deal on a used Canon Powershot SX40 HS. (This camera will be my backup to complement my dSLR.) It has a couple of toy settings, and perhaps the one I will play with the most is Tilt Shift Miniature Effect.

If this is new to you, it's a camera trick to make he subject of your photo look like a miniature. Now, the camera can perform this trick when you take the picture. A few years ago, I dabbled in this as something you could do in post processing. Before photoshop, there were expensive specialty tilt shift lenses you had to purchase to do it. Essentially, by blurring the top and the bottom area of the photo, your mind is tricked into thinking you're looking at something small.

Regarding the subject of this photo: In the early 19th Century, the town of Murfreesboro was established not far from the town spring. Time passed, and the city expanded; eventually the spring was forgotten as several new developments encroached on the area. Starting in 2002, with the building of the Discovery Center nearby, the city and local parks department brought the spring back to its former glory and developed the Murfree Spring Wetlands. This spring emerges from the end of a 70 foot cave.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Smith County, TN September 11, 2001 Monument

Smith County, TN September 11, 2001 Monument

Placed on Sept. 8, 2002, this monument is on the grounds of the Smith County Courthouse in Carthage, TN

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Children's Holocaust Memorial - Whitwell, TN

The Children's Holocaust Memorial - Whitwell, TN

The small southern town of Whitwell made national headlines when a small school project grew into a major tribute to tolerance and a remembrance for the millions who died in Nazi concentration camps.

Whitwell is a small town in Marion County, TN. After the coal mines closed, the area became quite poor. What happened next may help change the perception of what rural life in the south is all about.

Without any indication of what was to come, it started simply enough in 1998 in a Whitwell Middle School History class discussing World War II. The teacher discussed how six million Jews were slaughtered in the Nazi camps and a student asked how big Six Million is. In a town of just a little over one thousand people, it's hard to imagine just how big six million really is. One student doing research discovered that people from Norway wore paper clips as a symbol of resistance against the Nazis.

The teacher thought it would be an interesting exercise to see if they could gather a few paper clips as a small sampling of how big six million could be. The students began a letter writing campaign asking various people to donate paper clips to the project. After a few thousand had come in, some reporters came to visit the school to see what was going on. Those reporters told about the school's project and told the story nationally. A couple of years after they had started, over 29 Million paper clips had been sent to the school.

The school began to ponder what they should do with all of the paper clips. A couple of Jewish reporters who stayed in contact with the school searched Germany and found a vintage rail car which had been used to transport Jewish captives to the camps. The railcar was transported by boat to Baltimore and CSX delivered the car to Chattanooga in 2001.

Many students and townspeople came together to make the memorial site a long-lasting tribute. 11 million of the paper clips were placed inside the rail car, remembering not only the Jews but all of the other groups that were also killed in the Nazi camps. This memorial was dedicated on Nov. 9, 2001.

A documentary was filmed about the project, a full length movie titled "Paper Clips." I highly recommend everyone interested in this memorial should see that film.

The Children's Holocaust Memorial - Whitwell, TN

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bradford, TN Doodle Soup mural

Bradford, TN mural

While this mural shows some of the things around the small town of Bradford, perhaps the most notable is the bowl that the standing lady is holding. Bradford is known as the Doodle Soup Capital of the World. This video will explain Doodle Soup: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ1InpT0c-s
The mural is visible from highway TN105 in the middle of town.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Perry Co. Courthouse at Night - Linden, TN

Perry Co. Courthouse at Night - Linden, TN

Construction of this courthouse began in 1928 in the Linden town square after the previous courthouse burned down. It cost $47,000 to build.

The courthouse is three stories with a full basement and has a classically-inspired design. The exterior is made of brick and detailed stone with elaborate detail to the stone work around the entrance. Along the top two stories stone quions are built at the corners on the walls as paired pilasters which forms a two story giant order capped by a full emblature.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Southern X561 caboose - Collinsville, AL

Southern X561 caboose - Collinsville, AL

located at Veteran's Park in the center of town.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Billy Tripp's Mindfield Water Tower

Billy Tripp's Mindfield Water Tower

One of the most surreal but expansive work of art I have ever come across is in the small Tennessee town of Brownsville. This metal behemoth is the work of one man, Billy Tripp and he has named it his Mindfield.

The Mindfield is located in a narrow but deep strip of land between the Sunrise Inn and a strip mall along Main St. (old US70/79), just a couple of blocks east of the town square. Started in 1989, he plans on adding to it until the day he dies. He is always on the lookout for scrap metal, such as the abandoned water tower he found once when he was on a trip. If you visit, you might get lucky and find a free copy of his book The Mindfield Years, Vol. 1 which is a stream-of-consciousness for 725 pages which he describes as a difficult read.

There's a whole lot more I'd like to say but these sites say it better:
The Official site
Roadside America's writeup
I have a coworker who came from Brownsville, and she thought it was cool how it brings attention to the city.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Have a roadside picnic in a cave on Labor Day

Have a roadside picnic in a cave

Ok, it's not really a cave. I'd call it more of a natural amphitheater. Upon building state highway TN52 on the west side of Jamestown, TN through a location with a steep elevation change, TDOT thought this would be a good place for a roadside table.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Huntingdon First Presbyterian Church

Huntingdon First Presbyterian Church

Located in Huntingdon, TN along US70 just east of the town square. The date 1910 appears on the cornerstone.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Normandy Dam

Normandy Dam

Normandy Dam is a dam built by the TVA on the Duck River It straddles the border between Bedford and Coffee counties. It is the TVA's largest dam that does not produce any electricity. It was built in the 1970s for flood control, water supply and recreational uses.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Southern Belle Riverboat at Night - Chattanooga

Southern Belle Riverboat at Night

Located in downtown Chattanooga, the photo was taken from an observation pier from across the Tennessee River.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Cumberland Mountain State Park Stone Arch Bridge

Cumberland Mountain State Park Stone Arch Bridge View #3

Also known as Byrd Creek Bridge, this concrete stone arch bridge is the centerpiece of the Cumberland Mountain State Park near Crossville, TN. Here, a dam was built on Byrd Creek forming a lake on the southeast side. Highway TN419 carries the seven span bridge which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Cumberland Homesteads Historic District. Byrd Creek Dam is the largest masonry structure ever built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Here is the text of the nearby historic marker:

Men of the Civilian Conservation Corps' Company 3464 built this unsuspended bridge between 1935 and 1940, for a 30-acre impoundment of Byrd's Creek. Three thousand five hundred and fifty cubic yards of dirt and rock were excavated and the core, containing 8,000 tons of concrete, is faced with Crab Orchard stone for the 319-foot span. Seven spillways, rising 28 feet above the stream bed, carry the 18-foot roadway approximately 16 feet above water level.