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Friday, April 28, 2017

Robert H. Smith Law Office - Decatur, TN

Robert H. Smith Law Office - Decatur, TN

Located on Smith Ave in Decatur, The 1948 Law Office is now part of the Meigs County Historical Museum. The museum next door was built with a similar look of the law office which is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

United States Courthouse - Jackson, TN

United States Courthouse - Jackson, TN

This is the new courthouse at 111. S. Highland St. The older Ed Jones Federal Courthouse is next door.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Nashville Sounds Guitar Scoreboard

Nashville Sounds Guitar Scoreboard

When the Nashville Sounds opened First Tennessee Park in 2015, they used one of the most popular features of Greer Stadium when the added a guitar shaped scoreboard. While everything at the new stadium is better, so is the scoreboard. For it's time, the Old Stadium's Guitar Scoreboard had a small video board, this one fills the main section. Another retained feature is the inning-by-inning score along the guitar's neck.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Emma's Flowers neon sign

Emma's Flowers neon sign

For years, Emma's was known by their TV commercials with a distinctive voice saying "Emma's, the Superlative Florist." While Emma's is on West End Ave. in Nashville's Midtown, this neon sign is around back on Elliston Pl.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lawrenceburg, TN Mexican War Monument

Lawrenceburg, TN Mexican War Monument

Civil War monuments are aplenty around the United States, but if you are looking for a monument remembering the Mexican-American War of the mid 1840s, there are only 2 in Tennessee, one of which is shown here in Lawrenceburg, TN. (The other in Tennessee is in Gallatin.) Planning began on the War Monument in 1849 and the city legislature passed a resolution on 1/9/1850 to appropriate $1,500 to erect it. The monument was created to perpetuate the memory of the "Lawrenceburg Blues" and Captain William B. Allen who fought in the Mexican War. It has a four square base supporting a shaft running skyward and is on the north side of the Lawrenceburg town square.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mist on the Holston River @ Bluff City, TN

Mist on the Holston River @ Bluff City, TN

Bluff City is a town that went through multiple name changes but dates back to 1780 when the Overmountain Men crossed the Holston River here at Choate's Ford. The remains of a railroad bridge can also be seen here, with a stone pier and an abutment with a mural painted on it. (This location now has a new mural painted here.) Today, this section of the river is also known as Boone Lake.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

University of Tennessee Health Science Center

University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Hyman Administration Building
Memphis, TN - along Dunlap St.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A nice place to sit in Lynchburg

A nice place to sit

On the south side of the Lynchburg Town Square. While the square is lines with storefronts, there is an empty space between the Tennessee Walking Horse Museum and the Dry County Still General Store.

There used to be a door, but the area is open air. There are windows and in the windows are whiskey barrels.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Murfreesboro East Main: 450 E. Main

Murfreesboro East Main: 450 E. Main

This house is on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property to the East Main Street Historic District in Murfreesboro, TN. Here is a description of this house from the brochure entitled "Explore Historic Murfreesboro - A Walking Tour"
450 East Main Street
A two-story portico with fluted Ionic columns, an entrance with a fanlight and sidelights, and side porches characterize this home as a textbook example of the Neoclassical style. Nashville architects Fletcher and Bell designed this home in 1910 for George and Tempe Swoope Darrow.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Little River Falls (from the upstream observation deck)

Little River Falls (from the upstream observation deck)

Little River Falls is the highlight of the Little River Canyon National Preserve atop Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama. The Little River flows almost its entire length atop Lookout Mountain. Here, the water drops 45 feet.

The most common way to view the waterfall is at the main entrance off of highway AL35 southwest of Ft. Payne. The highway bridge crosses the river not too far behind the waterfall. From the parking lot, it's less than a five minute stroll along a boradwal to get to the most popular view. On my previous visit in 2006, people would go beyond the end of the boardwalk and walk all around the top of the falls, but signs say this is now prohibited.

There's a second view of the falls from an overlook a little over 1000 feet downstream. This view is at an observation deck accessible from the Little River Canyon Rim Parkway (AL176).

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Frist Center at Night

Frist Center at Night

Frist Center of the Visual Arts in the art deco building that used to be the main Nashville post office on broadway.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Edward Cox House

The Edward Cox House

In front of the house is a wooden marker that reads:
The Edward Cox House
Built in 1774
A Shrine of Methodism

In 1774, former Revolutionary War soldier Edward Cox and his wife Sallie moved here from Maryland. This is located in what is today known as Sullivan County, TN near Bluff City on the Holston River. He was a Methodist preacher and he moved here to establish a Methodist congregation in the area.

This home was rebuilt in 1966.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Field of the Woods Bible Park: Golgotha

Field of the Woods Bible Park 3: Golgotha as seen from the Observation Deck

Field of the Woods Bible Park reminds me that they don't build tourist attractions like they used to. The park is best known for the World's Largest Ten Commandments, but the Christian imagery runs throughout the park. The park started in 1945 and was considered an outreach ministry by the Church of God of Prophecy denomination (which had its origins less than five miles away).

Most people come to see the 300-foot wide Ten Commandments which is laid out on the side of a hill. The best vantage point is to climb the hill on the other side of the parking lot so you can get the whole perspective. Or, if you're in good shape you could climb the 350 steps to the top where there is a giant Bible which doubles as an observation deck.

There are plenty of other things to see while you're there, most of which were added during the first decade of the park's operation. When you climb the other hill to get the best view of the Ten Commandments, you're climbing Prayer Mountain and along the way there are several headstone shaped markers which explain some of the Bible's basic principles. Next, there's a replica tomb of Jesus that includes at the entrance a replica of the stone to be rolled away. In the middle of the parking lot is what looks like a radio tower topped by a giant star which is an information booth that probably hasn't been used for decades. There's also a baptismal pool, a decent gift shop, an old missionary's airplane, the All Nations Cross, the curator's residence and a bunch of other random monuments and messages.

One other highlight of the park is a replica Golgotha which is where Jesus was crucified between two criminals. If you think the Golgotha vaguely resembles a face - it does. Golgotha translates to "Place of the Skull." When you view their Golgotha from atop the observation deck you'll notice the shrubs in front of Golgotha are arranged to spell out "JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS."

I first learned of this place about 20 years ago when my parents stopped by on a trip through western North Carolina. I finally had my chance to visit recently when I went tent camping at a place nearby. Not as many people stop by as they used to. (In one of my pictures, you can see my car is the only one in the parking lot.) If I understood the guy in the gift shop properly, the Church of God doesn't fund it the way they used to, so there's no telling how long they'll remain open. So, if this is the type of place you'd really like to visit, I'd recommend sooner rather than later.

Field of the Woods Bible Park 6: Golgotha

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Southern Caboose X741

Southern Caboose X741

This Bay Window Caboose is seen at the Bluegrass Railroad museum near Versailles, KY.

Friday, April 14, 2017

See 7 States from Rock City

See 7 States from Rock City 2A

This Rock City barn is seen along US64 in Lawrence County, TN.

This is now one of 87 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, April 13, 2017

PIG - Pork with an Attitude - Beale St.

PIG - Pork with an Attitude - Beale St.

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Blurred motion: Seattle Wheel

Blurred motion: Seattle Wheel at dusk 2

The most colorful Ferris wheel I've seen comes to the Williamson County Fair each July.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Replica of Franklin County's First Courthouse - Cowan, TN

Franklin Co. 1st Courthouse (replica) - Cowan, TN

Cowan, TN
The real one was used 1807-1814 and was the home of Major William Russell
This one was reconstructed by The Cowan Bell newspaper in April 1975 in honor of America's Bicentennial.

This is located in Cowan in the park area between Tennessee Ave. and the train tracks. It is on the other side of the tracks from the train station Museum.

Monday, April 10, 2017

In the news: Will President Polk's Grave move?

President James K. Polk tomb, Nashville

The body of President James K. Polk and his wife Sarah are buried on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol. His first permanent resting place was at Polk Place, his mansion in downtown Nashville. After Sarah Polk died many years later, Polks grave was moved as developers wanted to use the land of Polk Place for another purpose, and the mansion was torn down. (This story by itself is very irksome to historic preservationists.)

Recently, The TN state senate voted to move Polk's remains from the state capitol to the Polk Ancestral home in Columbia, TN. You can read that story here.

However, the Tennessee Historic Commission as well as other preservation groups are against the move. You can read that story here.

Friday, April 7, 2017

When You See ROCK CITY...

When You See ROCK CITY...

You See The Best!
It may be tough to see at first but those are the words once painted along this roof. Although not a barn, this building which looks like it was a general store many years ago was painted as if it was one of Rock City's barns. It's located in the small community of Topton, NC which is in the far northeast corner of Cherokee County near when highways US19 and US74 join up with US129.

This brings my total to 85 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.

When You See ROCK CITY...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Taco Casa

Taco Casa

I don't know if the food's any good, but I like the look of the cactus sign. Seen along US11 in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Cowan, TN Train Depot and Steam Locomotive

Cowan, TN Train Depot and Steam Locomotive

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...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rhea County Courthouse - Dayton, TN

Rhea County Courthouse Corner View - Dayton, TN

In 1925, the small southern town of Dayton became the center of National attention as the county courthouse became the venue for the most important trials in American History.

In 1890, Rhea County needed to move the county seat from the city of Washington to accommodate the newer growing city on an important rail line. Located in Dayton's town square, the Rhea County Courthouse was built in 1891 as a three story brick structure in a Romanesque Revival-Italian Villa Style. The most noticeable feature at the front on the right is a tall square clock tower with an open balcony topped with an octagonal termination. Offsetting this is a lower tower with a pyramidal roof on the other front corner. Between the towers is the main entrance porch behind a double arch.

In the 1920's Tennessee passed the Butler Act, which made it a crime to teach evolution in school. The ACLU wanted to challenge the Act and offered to defend anyone accused of violating the law, when local businessman George Rappleyea thought the small town of Dayton could use the publicity. He convinced local high school biology teacher John Scopes. Soon, high profile lawyers wanted to be a part of the trial and the Scopes Monkey Trial became the focus of national attention. Former Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan stepped up to lead the prosecution and Clarence Darrow headed the defense. The trial proceedings became the first nationally broadcast radio event.

The prosecution argued that Scopes indeed violated the law and the defense responded that the Butler Act was unconstitutional. Scopes was convicted and the punishment was a fine of $100. The conviction was appealed to the state supreme court and eventually overturned on a technicality (since judges couldn't set fines over $50).

In the aftermath of the film, the film Inherit the Wind was based on the story. In the late 70's, the courthouse was remodeled with the courtroom to look like it did during the trial and the basement floor to become a museum. Since 1987, every year there is a re-enactment of the trial in the same courtroom. The Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places and is also a U.S. National Historic Landmark. To see my photos related to the courthouse and the Scopes Trial, look here.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Johnson Chapel Methodist Church - Brentwood, TN

Johnson Chapel Methodist Church

This church is in Brentwood, TN. According to the historical marker:
Johnson Chapel was established about 1803 on part of Col. Thomas McCrory's property purchased by Maj. John Johnston in 1796. His son Matthew Johnston built the first church here. The land on which the log church stood was deeded to the trustees of the church in 1831, when it was being used by all denominations. Levin Edney, pioneer circuit rider preacher, held the first services here. The first church was destroyed by fire in 1850. This building, erected in 1925, is the third on this site.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Georgia State Capitol Rotunda & Dome

Georgia State Capitol Rotunda & Dome at Christmastime

From Wikipedia:
The Georgia State Capitol, in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States, is an architecturally and historically significant building. It has been named a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the main office building of Georgia's government. The offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, and secretary of state are on the second floor, while the General Assembly meets on the third floor from January to April. There are also visitors' galleries and a museum on the fourth floor.

Like many U.S. state capitols, the Georgia State Capitol is designed to resemble the Classical architectural style of the United States Capitol, in Washington, D.C.. Completed in 1889, the building was designed by architects Willoughby J. Edbrooke and Franklin P. Burnham, of Chicago, Illinois. The building was constructed by Miles and Horne, of Toledo, Ohio. Sculptor George Crouch executed all the ornamental work on the building. The commission that oversaw the planning and construction of the building included former Confederate general Phillip Cook.
The front of the capitol faces west on Washington Street. The fa├žade features a four-story portico, with stone pediment, supported by six Corinthian columns set on large stone piers. Georgia's coat of arms, with two figures on each side, is engraved on the pediment. The Capitol's interior represents the 19th century style of its time. It was among the earliest buildings to have elevators, centralized steam heat, and combination gas and electric lights. Classical pilasters and oak paneling are used throughout the building. The floors of the interior are made of marble from Pickens County, which still produces marble products today.

The open central rotunda is flanked by two wings, each with a grand staircase and three-story atrium crowned by clerestory windows. The Capitol building has undergone frequent renovations to adapt to the growth and change of government. Originally constructed from terra cotta and covered with tin, in a 1958 renovation[3] the present dome was gilded with native gold leaf from near Dahlonega in Lumpkin County, where the first American gold rush occurred during the 1830s. For this reason, legislative business is often referred to as what is happening "under the gold dome" by media across the state. The statue Miss Freedom has adorned the dome since the building's opening.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Light Meander - Nashville public art

Light Meander - Nashville public art

description taken from here:
www.nashville.gov/Arts-Commission/Public-Art/Collection/L...

Light Meander, 45 feet tall, three-feet wide and 12-inches thick; Stainless steel plate and tube, hardwood, color-changing LED strip lights, and Acrylic rod

The artists drew their inspiration for the Light Meander sculpture from its significant location at the Demonbreun Street terminus, a former tributary to the Cumberland River. A bold and experiential sculpture, the art forms a nexus between the river and downtown Nashville. The sculpture takes advantage of the dynamic views from many nearby vantage points, and its reflectivity and color make it interactive and always changing throughout the day and night.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Big Rock & Scenic Overlook - Sewanee, TN

Big Rock & Scenic Overlook - Sewanee, TN

In the earliest days of cross country automobile travel, there weren't as many places to pull over and rest, so the early highway departments would add scenic stops with several parking spaces and concrete picnic tables. This would be even more important for the winding drive up a mountain, especially if it was a new or scary experience.

One of the earliest routes to ascend the Cumberland Plateau in the Monteagle area connected Sewanee at the top to Cowan down below. As the members of the Dixie Highway Association were looking for the best route to cross the plateau, they decided to reuse this early road, making improvements along the incline.

A more detailed description of this spot comes from the TDOT book Tennessee's Survey Report for Historic Highway Bridges on Page 125:
During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a growing interest nationally in scenic beautification projects along highways. These often included turnouts, or pull-offs, sometimes with small parks or picnic areas. If an impressive view existed, the turnout was called a scenic overlook. During the 1930s, beginning in 1934 in Tennessee, federal relief programs funded “Roadside Development,” “Landscaping,” and “Beautification” projects resulting in landscaping projects and a variety of roadside parks, pull-offs or turnouts, and overlooks. An example is the scenic overlook on the steep western side of Monteagle Mountain. In 1918 Franklin County issued a $300,000 bond issue for road improvements which included a joint project with the state in 1919 to improve a ten mile stretch of the Dixie Highway through the county that contained this pull-off. It is unknown if the original pull-off, which contained a sweeping 400 foot stone wall flanking a massive boulder, pre-dates the 1919 project or if it was built (or enhanced) as part of the project. In 1936 the state spent $11,190 as a National Recovery Highway Project to landscape 5.4 miles of the Cowan to Sewanee section of State Route 15 (the Dixie Highway). The 1936 project, whose plans show the location of the original stone wall, removed the older wall and erected a new wall of rubble masonry 1400 feet long, cut steps into the boulder (7” rise, 12” tread, and 30” width), and paved the parking area with macadam stone. The state also built over 900 discontiguous feet of rubble masonry walls and planted over 2100 trees and shrubbery “grouped in as natural arrangements as possible” on the project.

While the road was originally part of the Dixie Highway, and then state route TN15, eventually it became US41A/US64. (It is not US64 anymore as that route now meets I-24 and ascends Monteagle that way.) This area is right along the western edge of the Domain of the University of the South. The stone masonry that extends from the left of the boulder eventually meets up with the highway marking the western entrance of the University of the South. When you climb up the steps, you see the surface of the boulder is covered with graffiti covering graffiti. My personal favorite was "Don't fall of and die!!!" (Things dating back to the Thirties don't always have guardrails.) Even still, in the 10 minutes I was here, multiple carloads of young and old passengers stopped for family portraits.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cookeville, TN Model Depot

Cookeville, TN Model Depot.

The wonderfully preserved Tennessee Central Depot in Cookeville, TN has been converted into a museum. As soon as you walk in, there's a model train display replicating what Cookeville looked like back when the depot was in use.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tiptonville Veterans Park

Tiptonville Veterans Park

Located in Tiptonville across the street from the Lake County Courthouse.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge

Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge View #1

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...

Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge View #5

Sunday, March 26, 2017

St. John's Episcopal Church - Tuscumbia, AL

St. John's Episcopal Church - Tuscumbia, AL

from the historical marker:
This congregation was organized in the 1830s, with services being held in private homes and the Methodist meeting house. The present building was first used in October 1852 and completed the following year. During the Civil War, Union troops occupied the church and destroyed some of the parish records. St. John's is an early example of the "Carpenter's Gothic" style popular for many Episcopal churches during the mid-19th century. Damaged by a tornado in 1874, the church afterward was refurbished and strengthened with iron tie-rods spanning the nave. Memorial windows also were installed. Concrete buttresses were added in 1956. A tall spire originally topped the bell-tower.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hickman Springs Waterfall

Hickman Springs Waterfall C Wide angle view near base

Here's an easily accessible waterfall that I drove near 3 or 4 times without getting right up to it. You can see it from the street, Hickman Springs Rd.

The waterfall comes from a nearly flat area at the top, and then tumbles 20 feet to the base, where the water continues to trickle down the terrain.

Driving here is easy. Parking isn't. All the area at top is private property. There's a little space to pull over if you're driving back down the street.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cordell Hull Dam

Cordell Hull Dam

According to Wikipedia:
Cordell Hull Lake is a lake in the Cumberland River in north-central Tennessee, about forty miles east of Nashville, in the vicinity of Carthage. It covers approximately 12,000 acres.

Cordell Hull Dam impounding the Cumberland River was built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers between May 1963 and November 1973 for navigation, hydroelectric power generation, and recreation. The dam is concrete and earthen gravity structure, 87 feet high (above streambed), with a generator capacity of 100 megawatts. It impounds 259,100 acre feet at normal maximum pool, with a maximum flood storage of 310,900 acre feet.

Both are named for Cordell Hull, former United States Secretary of State.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Random Caboose at Casey Jones Village

Random Caboose at Casey Jones Village

As part of the Casey Jones Village mega tourist attraction is the Casey Jones Motel. Behind the motel are a couple of old passenger trains and this caboose. I don't know if this is part of a "sleep on an old train car" or just something else to see while in the area.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Carthage, TN lighthouse

Carthage, TN lighthouse

Near the bank of the Cumberland River in Carthage, TN is this lighthouse. The lighthouse is a masonry tower about 36 ft tall with a spiral staircase leading up to the gallery.

I can't find almost any information on this lighthouse, such as the date is was built. It is not listed with the U.S. Coast Guard, which means it never had the purpose of an aid to river navigation. This means that it was built for recreation or decorative purposes. If you know more, please share in the comments.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Coffee Co. Fair: Spider Ride

2013 Coffee Co. Fair: Spider Ride

Along the midway, the spider ride is a smaller fun thrill ride that spins people around as they bounce up and down. This is a blurred motion long exposure photo taken at dusk.

2013 Coffee Co. Fair: Spider Ride

Monday, March 20, 2017

In the news: Davy Crockett replica birthplace cabin to be replaced

Davy Crockett replica birthplace cabin

The place where Davy Crockett was born has been preserved at Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park near Limestone, TN in Greene County. By preserved, I mean the spot has been marked as the original log cabin is long gone. The state park has built a couple of replicas over the years and the one in the picture above was built in 1986 for the state's Bicentennial.

According to the story linked below, a new replica cabin is scheduled to be built and the one above will be preserved elsewhere in the park.

Greeneville Sun: Crockett Cabin Ready For Uprooting

nearly forgotten US60 Highway Sign

nearly forgotten US60 Highway Sign

I rarely see the shield-shaped US Highway signs anymore, or at least in the South. It's almost surprising nobody has stolen this one yet. This sign is near the Singing Bridge in downtown Frankfort, KY. I'd appreciate anyone guess as to how old it is.

When US60 was first routed through Frankfort, It came from the east along Main St., turned south on St. Clair where it passed this sign before crossing the bridge, and then continued west on Louisville Rd. Today, US60 crosses the Kentucky River along Capitol Ave and spends less time in the old, historic part of town. I'm not sure when the reroute happened, but instead of taking this sign down, they just added "TO" onto the sign.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sam Davis burial monument

Sam Davis burial monument

Sam Davis was the Boy Hero of the Confederacy during the Civil War. He is buried in a small cemetery behind his family's home in Smyrna, TN.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Harold Lambert Overlook - Fort Dickerson Quarry

Harold Lambert Overlook - Fort Dickerson Quarry

This scenic spot not far from downtown Knoxville might be well known to the locals, but was a surprise for an out-of-towner like me. The water is so green, I should have posted this for St. Patrick's Day yesterday.

Several times over the years, I would pass through Knoxville along the Chapman Highway on the way to Gatlinburg. Not far after crossing the Tennessee River, I would see the steep drive on the west side of the road pointing up to Fort Dickerson. I often wondered what was up there, but I always forgot to research it further because I was on my way to Gatlinburg. In recent years, Knoxville, has made the road up there a little less steep, and more inviting.

In addition to the actual Civil War Fort Dickerson atop this small mountain, is this scenic overlook to the Fort Dickerson Quarry (aka Lambert Quarry). Now that water has filled into the quarry, it has turned into this emerald green color.

Not far from the Fort is Lambert Overlook. All one can do here is take a look as the city has installed some fencing to prevent people from trying to access the water from this side. You may be able to tell there is a road that leads down to the water on the other side.

For many years, the locals wanted this to be a swimming hole - a place of calm water so close to downtown. It was illegal for a long time, but a couple of years ago the city made it ok to swim here. However, swimming has it's risks as you choose to swim to the other side and get tired, you have to swim all the way back to where you started as there is only one place to enter and exit. Plus there have been a few people who made poor decisions and lost their life when jumping from the bluffs. This has forced the city to reconsider whether or not swimming should be permitted here.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Erin Go Bragh clover sign - Erin, TN

Erin Go Bragh clover sign - Erin, TN

"Erin Go Bragh" is a phrase used by Irish Immigrants which translates to "Ireland Forever." The city of Erin, TN in Houston County was originally settled by Irish immigrants and the town has retained its Irish heritage.

This distance and direction marker is located at the intersection of highways TN49 and TN149. Erin is a mile to the west and Dickson is 30 miles to the east. The sign also points out the Irish towns of Galway, Dublin and Shannon are about 4000 miles away.

Uploaded in honor of St. Patrick's Day 2017.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Colemere / Monell's at the Manor - Nashville

Colemere / Monell's at the Manor - Nashville

The mansion shown here was originally the home of retired NCStL Railway President E.W. Cole. It was built in 1931 to replace the first mansion here which burned down. The area became an important property with its location along Murfreesboro Road (US41/70S) next door to the Nashville airport.

In 1948, a group of businessmen turned the mansion into a private club known as the Colemere Club. In 1977 it became the popular seafood restaurant New Orleans Manor. In 2011, southern family style buffet restaurant Monell's opened up a second location at the Manor.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

King's Palace Cafe Neon Sign - Beale St.

King's Palace Cafe Neon Sign - Beale St.

Located on historic Beale St. in Memphis is the King's Palace Cafe. The restaurant and its neon sign are an iconic establishment on the iconic street.

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lauderdale County Courthouse Side - Ripley, TN

Lauderdale County Courthouse Side - Ripley, TN

The Colorful New Deal era Courthouse of Lauderdale County was built in 1936 at a cost of $120,000, in part paid for by the WPA. It is the forth courthouse to be built in the town square of Ripley, where the east and south sides are rather level, but the north and west side slopes quite a bit. The brick building is trimmed with stone and features Art Deco detailing. Sometimes Art Deco results in boring, uninspired boxy design, but this building has intricate detailing with well maintained grounds. Today, the courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Adventure Golf: Shark - Pigeon Forge, TN (Now gone)

Adventure Golf: Shark

Sadly, this place is now gone and it is a vacant lot. Here is my write-up from 8 years ago.

"Big Jim" Sidwell worked at his family's furniture business in Murfreesboro, TN. He was looking for an outlet for his creativity when he and his family visited Goofy Golf on a vacation to Florida. In his backyard, he built a large dinosaur out of wood and wire mesh, and then another and another.

In 1961, he opened Jolly Golf in Gatlinburg with many of his creations. He went on to build more mini golf parks in Daytona, Marietta and Lake of the Ozarks. When other attractions which also wanted his dinosaurs came calling, he started a fiberglass dinosaur factory in Murfreesboro. In the late 70's his tourist attraction vision expanded to a theme park in Pigeon Forge called Magic World.

At the gateway of the Smokies, tourist attractions come and go, but one of the Sidwell family's parks is still open. Pigeon Forge exploded in popularity once Gatlinburg couldn't expand anymore. Adventure Golf along US441 looks like it remains popular after all these years. It has a charm I like that many of the newer large corporate parks don't have.

There's a large Dinosaur by the entrance and a shark in the pond right by the 18th hole. Perhaps the most noticeable thing is the over-sized octopus in another pond and one of its many tentacles is raised up in the air!