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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Fisk University's Jubilee Hall - Nashville, TN

Fisk University's Jubilee Hall - Nashville, TN

Jubilee Hall on the campus of Fisk University in Nashville, TN, was the university's first permanent building, completed in 1876. Funds to build Jubilee Hall were raised by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in their first European singing tour in 1873.

Jubilee Hall was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Frostee Freeze Drive-In neon sign - Tazewell, TN

Frostee Freeze Drive-In neon sign - Tazewell, TN

This Drive-in is in Tazewell along Youngstown Rd. (Old US25E) near the intersection of Broad St.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

May a Horse be With You

May a Horse be With You

A lot of people are thinking about the brand new Star Wars movie which is coming out. However, the people in Shelbyville, TN are also thinking about Tennessee Walking Horses. Shelbyville is the home of the national celebration. This mural is signed 2018 Matt Reasor. This mural faces Lane Pkwy just west of Main St. in the same parking lot as Goodwill.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Hatch Show Print neon sign (2016)

Hatch Show Print neon sign (2016)

Hatch Show Print is the famous poster manufacturer that makes prints the old-fashioned way. Today, they are located inside of the Country Music Hall of Fame along 5th Ave. Previously, when I had photographed their sign, their shop was on Broadway.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Cold Spring School - Portland, TN

Cold Spring School - Portland, TN

From a nearby Tennessee Historic Commission marker:
Cold Spring School - circa 1857-1933
2.8 miles northeast is the site of Cold Spring School. It was built on land donated in May 1857 by Thomas Baskerville for a school and meetinghouse. Early in the Civil War, it was used by Camp Trousdale as a military hospital. There, in 1866, David Lipscomb organized the Portland Church of Christ. Landowners Jim and Bill McGlothlin gave the schoolhouse to the citizens of Portland for a museum of local history. In September 1975, it was relocated to Richland Park.

Tennessee Civil War Trails Marker at Richland Park:
In May 1861, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation to raise and equip the Provisional Army of Tennessee and train the units at camps throughout the state. Camp Trousdale was established—initially at Richland (present-day Portland)—as the main concentration point for companies formed in Middle Tennessee. The camp was named for former governor William Trousdale of Gallatin. Gen. Felix K. Zollicoffer (1812-1862) was its first commander, with his headquarters at the home of Thomas Buntin near the present Maple Hill Cemetery.

Because of a lack of potable water, Camp Trousdale moved in June to an area of wide rolling fields near the one-room Cold Spring School that Thomas Baskerville had constructed in 1857. The school served as a regimental hospital. Soon more than 6,000 men were drilling in the camp, and some of the sick were treated at the school building. Later, Camp Trousdale relocated to present-day TGT Road, again because of water contamination. The only barracks in the state that housed Confederate troops were built there, then razed in February 1862 before Union forces arrived and occupied the area.

Federal troops under the command of Lt. Col. Gustavus Tafels, 106th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment, subsequently fortified the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, constructing Fort Mitchell to guard the nearby trestle. Fort Smith, named for Col. George P. Smith, 129th Illinois Infantry, served as a temporary railroad to receive and ship Union supplies by wagons to Nashville.

Here is a third marker in front of the school:
Cold Springs, a rural one room school, was built near cold water springs on the Thomas Baskerville farm, near Mitchellville, Northern Sumner County. During the Civil War the school was a hospital for Confederate troops quartered at Camp Trousdale.

Howard McDowell, former student, mobilized efforts to move and restore the building. Structure donated by Jim & Bill McGlothlin. School moved into Richland Park in September, 1975.

Official agreement signed by City of Portland, McGlothlin families, and Highland Rim Historical Society, November 1, 1975.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Big Chicken - Shady Lawn Truck Stop

The Big Chicken - Shady Lawn Truck Stop

The Big Chicken, adorned with a chef hat, knife and fork, is located at the Shady Lawn Truck Stop at exit 6 off Interstate 65 in Giles County, TN. Inside, the truck stop sells T-shirts advising one to Respect the Chicken." It has been here for many years, but until recently it had been colored white and dark gray.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

JFG Special Coffee sign - Knoxville

JFG Special Coffee sign - Knoxville

"The Best Part of the Meal"

This 60 year old neon sign in South Knoxville which faces downtown was fully refurbished a few years ago.

Until 2010, this sign was at a small parking lot aloung Council Pl. overlooking the Tennessee River. This is what it looked like from the street. This is what it looked like from the bridge.

It underwent a complete renovation from Sept. 2010 to Sept. 2012 so that it would be in complete working order with 852 new light bulbs. It was moved to a higher location so that it's now in the parking lot of the Kerbela Temple overlooking Sevier Ave. It was relit during the Labor Day 2012 Boomsday Celebration. Here's the view from the bridge today.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Obsolete US Highway 25E sign - Cumberland Gap, TN

Obsolete US Highway 25E sign - Cumberland Gap, TN

Here is a vintage U.S. Highway sign which still stands in downtown Cumberland Gap, TN near the post office. Almost all of the paint is gone from the sign, but we can still read what is says.

US25E traffic was no longer routed through the middle of town in 1996 once the Cumberland Gap Tunnel was built. Before then, this sign pointed people to turn right. Traffic then turns left over by the city hall and goes north into Vigirina. From there, the old route began its dangerous descent through the Gap. If you can see the rock bluff in the background, that is where this route would eventually take motorists.

This sign is still much older than 1996. It's rare to see a remaining U.S. Highway Shield sign with the "TENN" at the top, and the E smaller than the 25. The city is proud of their old sign as they tied a fall corn display to the sign.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Post Offices of Tennessee - A new website Gallery

Post Offices of Tennessee - a website gallery

I've been everywhere, Man!

As I have traveled around the state of Tennessee over the years, I have looked for the post office of every city I have visited. Now that I have visited every county in Tennessee, it is time to create a slideshow of over 230 of these post offices.

You can view the individual photos of this post office gallery at the link below on the SeeMidTN website:

Or, here is a YouTube slideshow of 200 Post Offices:

Capt. Jeff Kuss USMC Memorial - Smyrna, TN

Capt. Jeff Kuss USMC Memorial (1) - Smyrna, TN

Description of the memorial:
On June 2, 2016, at the age of 32, Kuss tragically lost his life when his jet crashed a day before the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna. A Blue Angel F/A-18C Hornet similar to the jet flown by Captain Kuss and on loan from the National Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL.

Although I wasn't home at the time, I live less than a mile from where Capt. Kuss crashed in Smyrna. This memorial is also nearby, located on TN266 Sam Ridley Pkwy and across from the Smyrna MQY airport. Parking is available at Lee Victory Park.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Hancock County Courthouse - Hawesville, KY

Hancock County Courthouse - Hawesville, KY

From Wikipedia:
The Hancock County Courthouse in Hawesville, Kentucky is an 1859-built courthouse which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

It is a two-and-a-half-story building, designed by a Robert Boyd of Boston, Massachusetts. It has an octagonal cupola.

Normally, I focus on Tennessee Courthouses. See my Tennessee Courthouses Collection. Each Courthouse is available as an individual post card, or you can buy a poster of all Middle Tennessee Courthouses.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Hank Snow's Rainbow Ranch - Nashville, TN

Hank Snow's Rainbow Ranch - Nashville, TN

This is the long-time estate of Country Music star Hank Snow. He lived in this house in the Madison neighborhood for 44 years until his death in 1999.

While the house is called Rainbow Ranch, there is also a barn in the back yard which was used as a recording studio and has the words Rainbow Ranch painted on it. I took the picture at this angle, which is the only way it can barely be seen from the street, along with a tour bus. You might need to view the picture at full size to see it on the right.

This home is now available as a vacation rental: hanksnowsranch.com/index.html

The Rainbow Ranch was also added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2018.

Friday, March 27, 2020

See Beautiful Rock City

See Beautiful Rock City

I've been trying to organize my notes on which Rock City barns I have seen, and I found this barn which I never uploaded. I took this photo 13 years ago, but never uploaded it because the lighting was awful.

According to google maps, it's still around today.
It's on highway US 31W visible to southbound traffic in Barren County between Cave City and Park City.

This is now one of 91 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 Map.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Skateland - Memphis, TN

Skateland - Memphis, TN

In my endeavor to photograph everything that catches my interest around the great state of Tennessee, I maintain a list of over a thousand points of interest I would like to photograph. I have spent several years cultivating this list and visit many every year, while adding just as many.

Every so often I find something fantastic that wasn't on my list. This massive neon sign is one of them.

I was passing through Memphis on my way to something else when I was getting hungry. I considered eating at the Panchos here - just as my family used to do quite often as we would pass through town. But I was in a hurry and looking for something quicker.

My GPS told me to take White Station Rd. to get to my next destination. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a massive neon sign, but didn't get a good look at it. All I really saw were two red wings, so my first thought was it was a large neon Pegasus like the one which my dad told me lit up the Dallas skyline when he was a kid.

You're probably more interested in the story of the sign than the story of me finding it, so this makes for a great read:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Ravenswood Mansion - Brentwood, TN

Ravenswood Mansion - Brentwood, TN

Ravenswood is the 1825 mansion of James and Emeline Wilson featuring Greek Revival and Federal Architecture. The home gets it's name from 'The Raven' Sam Houston who was the Best Man at Wilson's wedding. It was the manor house of the third largest plantation in Williamson County as it was over 1,000 acres. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

In 2010, the city of Brentwood purchased the mansion and outbuildings with 325 acres. Today, the area is open to the public as Marcella Vivrette Smith Park, named after the 1960's property owner. Preserved features of the park include the spring house, cistern and root cellar, tree-lined driveway, and spring-fed pond. The entrance to the park is along highway TN252 (aka Wilson Pike or Harpeth Turnpike) and includes a new bridge over the 1914 train tracks.

For more history:

Monday, March 23, 2020

Douglas-Wyatt House - Fayetteville, TN

Douglas-Wyatt House - Fayetteville, TN

Located in Fayetteville, this house was built for Hugh Bright Douglas circa 1893. The house was designed by Rickman & Bills in a Steamboat Gothic architecture style with Queen Anne & Victorian elements. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 as the Hugh Bright Douglas House.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

"Big Bob" Gibson Bar-B-Q - Decatur, AL

"Big Bob" Gibson Bar-B-Q - Decatur, AL

This neon sign with a pig is located in Decatur, AL along highway US31.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Weiss Liquors Neon Sign - Damaged by Tornado

Weiss neon sign

This sign appeard to have been severely damaged by the Mar. 3, 2020 tornado, as seen in this WTVF photo: ewscripps.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/96d9f75/2147483...

Main St. East Nashville (old U.S. 31E)

I loved how the sky looked on the day I took this photo. There were dark stormclouds in the sky, with the sun peaking through the clouds behind me to illuminate the sign. If you didn't notice it, there is a neon drop coming out of the jug. The second drip is on the R and then a splat.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Lorraine Motel / National Civil Rights Museum

Lorraine Motel / National Civil Rights Museum

As America honors Martin Luther King, Jr. on the third Monday in January, I'd like to share this photo 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.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Spring St. Super Market in Cookeville

The Spring St. Super Marker in Cookeville, TN has a nice progressing arrow on their neon sign. On the inside of the mom and pop grocery store, they have what looks like an old animatronic display of three bears playing country music. I'm not sure if the bears ever worked, but the music still plays.