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Friday, December 31, 2010

Boyhood Home of Archie Campbell

Boyhood Home of Archie Campbell

Archie Campbell was a country musician and a star of the Grand Ole Opry and the long running Nashville TV Show "Hee Haw." He was born in 1914 in Bulls Gap, TN (A small town with an important railroad history in the corner of Hawkins Co., TN). Next door to this homestead is the Bulls Gap city hall and the Archie Campbell Museum. Highway US11 in the area was renamed Archie Campbell Highway. Every Labor Day Weekend, Bulls Gap has an Archie Cambell celebration.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Only Baptist Church

The ONLY Baptist Church

I seem to recall seeing more than one out there.

Actually, this sign is pointing to the Baptist Church in the town of Only, TN. Only is a small town in Hickman County near where highway TN50 crosses the Harpeth River and has an intersection with Interstate 40.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The WSM Radio Tower - Brentwood, TN

The WSM Radio Tower

This is the famous WSM 650 AM 50,000 Watt radio transmitter just off Interstate 65 and Concord Road south of Nashville in Brentwood, TN.

When it was constructed in 1932, it was the tallest radio tower in America. In fact, at the time, you could purchade a post card that stated its height at 878 feet and them pointed out it was 323 feet taller than the Washington Monument. This tower turned WSM into the radio blowtorch which helped much of America be able to hear the Grand Ole Opry and cement Nashville's place as the home of Country Music. WSM remains the only "clear channel" in the U.S. to still play music.

From a technical perspctive, this is a dual cantilevered center guyed tower, a.k.a a diamond antenna. It was made by Blaw-Knox company of Pittsburgh who went on to make similar towers until going out of business in the 50s. This tower still is the tallest Blaw-Knox tower in the U.S. but today it is only 808 ft. tall.

SeeMidTN.com is 1 year old!

I'd like to take a moment and thank everyone who comes by to visit. I would be doing this for myself even if nobody stopped by, but in the first year there have been over 3000 visits to the blog.

Coming new for 2011!

Over time, I will continue to add more galleries to the Extended Galleries section of the website. I have uploaded the historical markers for the counties that have the most, but other counties will be uploaded over the next few months. I then plan on added other categories, such as Post Offices, highway signs, buildings and architecture, trains and more trains, etc. Is there something you want to see? Send me a message or leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.

Book Suggestions

One bad habit of mine is I get books about Middle Tennessee and the surrounding areas faster than I can read them. I need to let you know what the good ones are. I have a link in the top right corner called "Recommended Books" and from there, you can find the bookstore where you can get the books from Amazon. Many of these books are out of print and tend to not show up in searches. Some of these books provide great information, can be hard to find, but aren't necessarily expensive.

When I get a new book, and I have a relevant picture to go with it, I'll link to it from the blog. Those books will look like this:

Tennesseans & Their History

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wingwalker standing on her head

Wingwalker standing on her head

If you haven't heard the news yet, the Airshow is coming back to Smyrna this year. The last Smyrna airshow was in 2008, highlighted by the Blue Angels. They tend to take a year off after each show, which they did in 2009. In 2010, the organizers were unable to secure either the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds, and didn't want to put on a show unless they had one of the nation's premier groups. Now, for 2011, the Thunderbirds.

While not the headlining act, these two make for an incredible photo opportunity. Upon the top wing of Gene Soucy's stunt plane is Teresa Stokes, a wingwalker. She is currently upside-down.www.genesoucy.com/

Monday, December 27, 2010

Rock Island Train Depot

Rock Island Depot

Train Tracks are still present (I'm practically on them to take this picture) but I'm not sure if trains run these tracks anymore. According to the owner of the antique store in the background, this small depot has been converted into a small apartment. Located on TN287.

Here's an old photo of the depot before it was repainted. This photo was posted to flickr by Kenton Dickerson.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

See Rock City Today

See Rock City Today

This "Rock City Barn" is located on Interstate 24 just before crossing the Tennessee River in Marion County, TN.

Perhaps there is nobody on Flickr who goes out of his or her way to look for the Rock City Barns as much as I do. That makes the fact that I had driven right by this one a dozen times without noticing it somewhat surprizing. there is a place where the eastbound and westbound lanes split apart. Some lucky person owns the land between the lanes and uses it to advertise a tractor dealership, so there are perfectly parked rows of tractors. Everytime I drove through there, I would notice the tractors and miss the Rock City ad on the building up the hill to the right. If you drive the other direction, you see a fireworks store between the lanes.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Noel Hotel sign - now in Franklin

Noel Hotel sign - now in Franklin

I don't remember the exact details of the story but this is how I think it goes:

The Noel Hotel was one of Nashville's best. It was named after someone named Noel. This was the sign atop that downtown hotel. When it ceased to be a hotel, this sign sat around somewhere for a long time until it was bought by the owner of the White Building, two blocks from the Franklin, Tn Town square. They put it atop their building every christmastime as a seasonal decoration. The White Building itself is on the National Register of Historic Places, dating back to the 20's. This is located at a major intersection - US31 and US431 (perhaps better known as the Franklin Five Points)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Lights at the Coffee County Courthouse, Manchester, TN

The Coffee County courthouse in the town square or Manchester, TN has a Christmas light show set to music. I have uploaded five videos of the songs from their light show. This song is Wizards in Winter by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which seems to be the song of choice for Christmas Light Displays on YouTube.

I apologize for the audio quality. This is still a town square and cars were driving by. I tried to pick from my recordings the ones with the least amount of traffic. Also, the speaker playing the music is coming from inside the courthouse, I think.

There are four more videos of the lights set to music available:

Carol of the Bells

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

a 5th song I don't know the name of. (maybe you can help me out.)

Art of Nashville's Union Station

Art of Nashville's Union Station

When Union Station opened in Nashville in 1900, visitors were amazed at the impressiveness of the station, and in particular the artwork in the lobby. On each end of the lobby is a massive clock, with a figure on either side and above a bas-relief sculpture.

Shown here are two figures, one female and one male, angels representing time and progress. The sculpture is an Egyptian pharoah in a chariot.

The last trian pulled up at Union Station in the 70's. In the late 80's the station was opened as a hotel, and in 2007 the entire lobby underwent an extensive renovation, which involved cleaning the sculpture and polishing the gold leaf.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sewanee Natural Bridge

Sewanee Natural Bridge

From Wikipedia:

Sewanee Natural Bridge in Franklin County, Tennessee, is a 25 feet (8 m) high natural sandstone arch with a span of 50 feet (15 m). It is essentially a giant sinkhole partially eroded to form a large stone bridge. A wet weather spring located behind the bridge in a rock cave probably contributed to the erosion forming the arch. It is called the Sewanee Natural Bridge as it was once owned by the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. It is a 3 acre (12,000 m²) designated state natural area.

Today, the Area is considered part of the South Cumberland State Park. You can't get to the bottom if you are afraid of heights as you have to walk over the bridge, which is about 3 ft. wide, to get to the other side where you can scale down it. To get here, you'd follow the signs iff highway TN56.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Montgomery Co. Courthouse at Dusk

Montgomery Co. Courthouse at Dusk

This is the 4th Courthouse to be built in Clarksville. It was constructed in 1879 for $100,000, and was placed in a location that was away from the town square. It was designed with Italianate and Victorian elements in a classical style and is topped with a tall clock tower.

This courthouse was built after a devestating fire turned the previous courthouse and much of the city was turned to rubble. On April 13, 1878, the fire started, which was aided by wind as well as the town's only fire engine broke down early. This fire wasn't fully out until another fire engine was sent by train from Nashville.

On March 12, 1900 another fire almost destroyed this courthouse. It was believed to have started in the southeast section of a flue in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk. By now, the town had learned its lesson and had better fire-fighting practices in place, which saved the building. Steel girders and beams in the ceiling were anchored in cement keeping the lower floor intact, although the roof and tower collapsed. After inspection, the remnants were deemed structurally sound and the building was rebuilt with a new clock and the soaring bronze eagle was reinstated in his aerie on the top.

On March 20, 1976, heavy winds caused the eagle on top to be blown off and it was feared to be lost but eventually found and reattached.

Disaster struck again on Jan. 22, 1999, when an F4 tornado struck downtown, crippling the courthouse and causing $74 million damage to the city. Sections of the roof and spires were ripped away, the clock tower was leveled and the east wall was collapsed. The eagle was never found. After considering building a new courthouse, city leaders decided to rebuild this one again. The exterior was rebuilt to look just like it had been and the interior was redesigned. A replicated tower and eagle was again placed on top. All repairs were completed in the fall of 2002.

How long will it last this time? Clarksville has a very storied past of disasters with fires, tornados and floods. At least the May 2010 couldn't reach it.

Here is the courthouse marker:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Southern Tourist Trap T-shirt

Southern T-Shirt

How you know you're at a southern Tourist stop...

when GOD SAID, "Repair it", 2 Chr 24:5, He probably meant

For good measure, the operators of the establishment provided context and typed out 2 Chr 24:5 and taped it (with masking tape) on the shirt. Since this is a lousy photograph,I'll cut and paste that verse:

He called together the priests and Levites and said to them, "Go to the towns of Judah and collect the money due annually from all Israel, to repair the temple of your God. Do it now." But the Levites did not act at once.

seen at a gift shop at the town square in JackDanielsville Lynchburg, TN

I'ts not too late to drive to Lynchburg and get this for your hard-to-shop-for relative as a Christmas present.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tennessee's 2010 Christmas Tree at the State Capitol

Tennessee's 2010 Christmas Tree at the State Capitol

The 2010 Tennessee Christmas Tree is located in front of what I consider the main entrance of the State Capitol in downtown Nashville. This is the side that faces Charlotte Ave and Legislative Plaza

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tough to see Rock City Barn

Tough to see Rock City Barn

This Rock City barn goes way back on a highway that goes way back...

This is on an old but still drivable strech of the Dixie Highway, which later became US41. When traffic demands became higher, a newer Joe Frank Harris Pkwy was made parallel to the old Dixie Highway, but the stretch of Dixie Highway is still drivable.

As for the barn, it's tough to tell exactly how many decades ago this was painted, but it must have been a long time ago. Perhaps the only reason any of the letters on the side of the barn survived is because the barn owner added the extension to the barn, keeping the paint from the elements. If you look at the barn from the side, you can see the word Beautiful in script and then a large block ROCK CITY. Also, if you look closely at the roof of the barn, I can tell that it used to have part of the message too (The paint colors cause different shades of rust) but It is unreadable now.

This is located just north of Adairsville, GA in Bartow County about 1000 feet south of the Gordon County line.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Driving around Raccoon Mountain

Driving around Raccoon Mountain

This...Whatever this is...can be seen while driving through the Raccoon Mountain TVA area. The Tennessee River is in the background. Driving up this road will eventually take us to the observation point which gives a good view of Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga Below. This street also takes us to the Raccoon Mountain reservoir which is part of the TVA power system. However its just odd to see this machinery on the side of the road in an otherwise scenic setting.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nashville's 2010 Christmas Tree

Nashville's 2010 Christmas Tree

Located in the Public Square in front of the Davidson County Courthose and Public Building. I like the blue light theme.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Melrose Springhouse - an Eden in Nashville

Melrose Springhouse - an Eden in Nashville

This springhouse was on land occupied by Governor Aaron V. Brown (Gov of TN in the 1840s) a historical marker says: "Melrose. Former Home of Gov. Aaron V. Brown. The Confederate Works ran 200 yards south of the residence. Thence turned west so as to pass in front of Berry Home."

In the 1960's Lillian and George Forehand bought the property, cleaned up this Springhouse, converted the Gov. Brown's residence into a newer property, had two historic cabins moved here, contructed a pond that ducks and bass enjoy and posted historical markers for the buildings.

The marker here reads: "HOSPITAL WATER SOURCE. Because of the Generous Water Supply available from this spring, the area around it was selected as a hospital site for treatment of soldiers wounded in the Battle of Nashville which took place during the War Between the States."

This property was soon completely surrounded by the Woodlawn Funeral Home and is now in the middle of that cemetery. Mr. Forehand passed away a few years ago. The last I heard, Mrs. Forehand recently moved to an assisted living facility, but comes back almost daily to feed her cats which still live here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chattanooga Aquarium

Chattanooga Aquarium

as seen from the Fatcat Ferry on the Tennessee River. The original Freshwater part is on the right and the newer Saltwater part is on the left. One ticket gets you in to both sides

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tennessee Electric Motor Company neon sign

Tennessee Electric Motor Company

This neon sign has something in common with yesterday's Walter Nipper Nashville Catfish. Sadly, this is another neon sign that is now gone, as the new Nashville convention center is going to be located where this building was. This photo was taken in 2007.

The Company part is replacing an older word. According to their website at the time, they had been around since 1936.

Rewinding? Like what? VHS Tapes? Odometers?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nashville Sporting Goods Catfish Sign

Nashville Sporting Goods

The Nashville Fish sign of Walter Nipper's Sporting Goods store is sadly not anymore on display at the store's location at 8th Ave in downtown Nashville. This is what it looked like in 2007.

If you didn't notice, the A in Nashville fell off and is stuck to the S. I saw a picture of this sign in a book printed in 2001 and the A was in the same place. Wild speculation....98 Tornado did it?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas at Centennial Park: Red and Green Parthenon & reflection

Christmas at Centennial Park #10: Red and Green Parthenon & reflection

For Christmas, the Parthenon is illuminated with red and green lights, which is seen here reflecting into Lake Watauga. This picture is a 6 second exposure. During this time, two ducks were swimming in the water, one remaining still and the other swimming. You might see the still one below the tree, with the moving one to its right.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cookeville's 509

Cookeville's 509

The Tennessee Central Depot in the heart of Cookeville has been turned into a museum, and is known as "The Crown Jewel of the Tennessee Central Railway." Several train cars are outside and part of the museum, led by Locomotive.

As a side note, this reminds me of the song "The Railroad Comes through the middle of the house" as one of the lines is: Here comes the 5:09.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Dome ceiling inside the Chattanooga Choo Choo

The Dome ceiling inside the Chattanooga Choo Choo

This information was taken from the Chattanooga Choo Choo website:

The Terminal Station was erected in 1908, with its centerpiece - a magnificent dome - that rose majestically over the concourse. Built of steel and concrete and buttressed by huge brick arches, the dome rested on four steel supports 75 feet apart. Suspended from the ceiling were four brass chandeliers, each with 40 lights circling an 18-inch opal globe. From an architectural standpoint, this dome over the entire 68 x 82 foot general waiting rooms was the most attractive design feature of its time.

It was on the underside of this dome, the part in view above the waiting room, that the only attempt to decorate in colors was made -- artistic plaster embellishments of heraldic emblems, which are now fully restored. The dome was truly lavish and beautiful in its different prismatic colors, especially when lighted at night.


This photo was taken near dusk on a clear night.

Train service stopped in 1970, and the depot was converted to a Hotel. The main room with the dome is now the hotel lobby

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Pigeon Forge Christmas

Pigeon Forge Christmas

There's a open year round Christmas store at the Apple Barn complex in Pigeon Forge, TN. Santa is down with that, along with a member of his reindeer posse.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winner of the Strangest Mailbox award

Winner of the Strangest Mailbox award.

I found this when driving the really off the beaten path roads of rural Rutherford county. Someone guessed that's a cream separator, but I wouldn't know.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thomas Drug Store - Cross Plains, TN

Thomas Drug Store

Established 1928, but the building was built in 1915. In the small old town of Cross Plains, TN, where two old stagecoach highways crossed. This building is now onthe National register of Historic Places and is best known now for still having an authentic Soda fountain. If you drive on Interstate 65 through the area, the highway sign mentions the Historic Soda Fountain.

Monday, December 6, 2010

World's Tallest (decorated) Fraser Fir Tree

World's Tallest (decorated) Fraser Fir Tree

Located in the heart of Elizabethton, TN, in front of the 1861 Folsom House is a 78 foot tall Fraser Fir Tree. The tree was planted by Henderson Folsom, who was a Confederate Major in the Civil War.

Since a typical Fraser Fir grows to about 40-50 feet, townsfolk wondered just how special their 78" fraser fir was. After searching for similar trees, this tree was declared the tallest Fraser Fir tree in the world.

Unfortunately, a taller Fraser Fir was eventually found. Undaunted by this discovery, the townsfolk strung some Christmas Lights on it in 1988 and declared this to be the official Elizabethton Christmas Tree. Now, they can claim this is the tallest decorated Fraser Fir tree in the world!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The "Bleeding" Mausoleum - Cleveland, TN

The "Bleeding" Mausoleum

The Craigmiles famly is an important one in Cleveland, TN.

In 1864, tragedy befell the family when young Nina Craigmiles went on a buggy ride with her grandfather. She was steering the horses when she lost control of them. The horses ran into an oncoming train, killing Nina instantly.

Nina's father John Craigmiles arranged with the local Episcopal congregation to build them a church building in her honor along with this mausoleum at the rear of the property.

The Mausoleum was built using fancy Italian marble. The walls are four feet thick and the entire memorial is 37 feet tall.The marble spire is topped with a cross. On the inside is a marble sarcophagus stnding in the center, surrounded by six shelves.

Tragedy continued to befall the rest of the family. First, another child was born but died very soon after childbirth. Then, John Cragmiles fell on an icy street and soon thereafter died of blood poisoning. Finally, the mom Adelia was killed when she was hit by a car. Each family member was buried here.

Now, for the "bleeding" part.

Townspeople soon began to notice after Nina was buried here that a red substance over time begane to eminate from the marble. It would be cleaned only to reappear later. According to legend, after each death in the family, the redness got more intense. Some of those red streaks can be seen in the picture, but you probably can't see it here unless you click on the image and view it large size.

There is a logical explanaiton, albeit boring if you like the haunted tales. Italian marble can contain small traces of lead, and lead will turn red over time when exposed to the elements.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Rose Hill - Rutledge Hill area of Nashville

Rose Hill

One of the old houses on Rutledge Hill, located on the corner of Rutledge & Lea. It was originally the home of Henry Middleton Rutledge and Septima Sexta Middleton Rutledge. They were 1st cousins and children of 2 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Edward Rutledge and Arthur Middleton.

The original portion of the home was built in 1814 but much of it burned during the civil war. The front of the home, shown here, is a newer addition. Another owner of the house was Edmund Baxter, brother of railroad magnate Jere Baxter.

Now, the house is used by the law firm of Blackburn & McCune.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Opryland Hotel Christmas Front Entrance

Opryland Hotel Christmas Front Entrance

It's good to know that Opryland Hotel is back in business again. It's now been about three weeks since it reopened following the May flood damage. It's about time for me to get back out there and see what 2010 decorations they have and what else is new for 2010.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Williamsport, TN Post Office Artwork

Williamsport, TN Post Office Artwork 1

Williamsport is a tiny little community is Maury County on Highway 50 between Columbia and Centerville. The small post office is also a convenience store and has three paintings on the side of the building. They are signed by Bonnie Callewaert.

The Old lady does not approve on the young lady's immodest clothing. The old lady also has a bottle of prune juice in her coat pocket

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Coffee County Courthouse at Christmas

Coffee County Courthouse at Christmas

This Courthouse in Manchester, TN was built in 1871 in an Italianate Style. Every year, it is nicely decorated for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

See Beautiful Rock City

See Beautiful Rock City

Rock City Barn along U.S. 64 in Giles County, TN close to the Lawrence County border. US64 is the old way from Memphis to Chattanooga

The line where the wood has been replaced said "World's 8th Wonder"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ober Gatlinburg Tramway

Ober Gatlinburg Tramway

The premise here is that you pay $9 for a 15 minute aerial tram ride packed with a hundred people to get to the Ober Gatlinburg park. It's a scenic view if you can get one. I suppose it's ideal for the people walking the town, however Ober Gatlinburg does have a parking lot you can drive to. Besides, do you really want to be carrying your skis on this thing?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oldham Theater - Sparta, TN

Oldham Theater - Sparta, TN

Oldham theater was built in the 1930's. It is now used as a sparta Visitor's Center as they try to refurbish the building to its older glory. Unfortunately, I believe the entire inside has been gutted so that it couldn't be used as a theater anymore, but the town at least wanted to keep its iconic front.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Market Street Bridge - Chattanooga

Market Street Bridge B

The Market Street Bridge in Chattanooga, TN just a couple of months before its exstensive renovations were finished. What makes this bridge different that any other bridge I've seen is its a Double-Leaf overhead counterweight Bascule Bridge. Has anyone ever seen, or ever photographed this bridge in it's "open" position? I'm not sure that I have recently.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Impressed by the 100 foot drop

Impressed by the 100 foot drop

If you can see the water to the left of these people, that is Fall Creek which goes over the edge 110 feet to the bottom of the gorge to become Ozone Falls.

These people, who drove up from Florida really want to see over the edge. The lady in green is holding her digital camera to shoot strait down while the lady in red holds her. It's quite a scary spot that I wouldn't want to walk to - I'd probably crawl to the edge as well.

Ozone falls is an easily accessible waterfall - at least at the top. You can get to this spot with about a two minute walk from the small parking area by walking across flat rocks. However, there's no guard rails anywhere so it's not the best place for children. A better view of the falls can be had from below in a short but strenuous trail.

One final note: Certain scenes from the 1994 Disney movie Jungle Book were filmed at this waterfall with it's easy to reach base.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

09 TN State Fair #40: Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!
(However you choose to enjoy it!)

Have a good day, whether you spend the day with family around a blessed meal, watching football, or mounting a fake turkey atop a remote controlled Jeep.

Seen at the 2009 Tennessee State Fair, submitted under the category of FFA (Future Farmers of America) Agricultural Equipment Exhibit: Small Outdoor Recreational Equipment.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Drink Chero Cola - Shelbyville, TN

Drink Chero Cola

Drink Chero Cola
There's None so good
In bottles 5 cents

Chero Cola became Royal Crown Cola in 1934, so this sign is at least 73 years old! This is located along Main Street in Shelbyville, TN in the town Square. it's painted on the building which used to be home to Pope's Cafe.

Just two or three years ago, I think there used to be a building here which would have prevented me from taking this picture. Now only the frame of the building remains, including the 2 beams in the picture. Before then, to view this ad, you would have to do so from an angle.

"There's none so good" could be an insult if you think about it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ernest Tubb Record Shop Guitar Neon Sign

Ernest Tubb Record Shop

This is the original sign which used to be at the store on Broadway. When I saw it in 2005, it was part of a Temporary Exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum on the roots of country music. The sign that appears at the store today is quite possibly more famous, as it revolves with three different sign fronts on it

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunsphere View: Baker Federal Courthouse cupola

Sunsphere View: Baker Federal Courthouse cupola

The building originally started as the headquarters for Whittle Communications. Then when that company went out of business they had a large vacant property downtown.

In 1998, the building was renovated and added onto to become the Howard H. Baker Jr. Federal Courthouse. The cupola with a large copper dome seen here was one of those additions added in 1998.

The Sunsphere was built for the 1982 Knoxville World's Fair. Not too long ago, it reopened as an observation deck. The views are a little blurred in places and off-color due to the windows that we look through, but still it makes for a great vantage point of the city.

New Sunsphere Gallery

New to the website is a gallery of other landmarks you can see from the Susnphere as well as the round markers at the top. If that interests you, check it out here:


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Inside the State of Franklin Replica Capitol

Inside the State of Franklin Replica Capitol

If you've never heard the story, before Tennessee was a state, a small region in what is now eastern Tennessee formed a state named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. This state never became an official United State and after about 4 years it disbanded. The Capitol was Greeneville and this replica is a reproduction of a building in the main intersection of town which was believed to be the Capitol Building from 1785 to 1788.

The original Capitol was preserved for many years. You can see a picture of it HERE. The building was carefully dismantled and reassembled in Nashville in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Celebration. However, the logs never made it back to Greeneville. That made it the lost capitol of the lost state of Franklin.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ruby Falls 3D art

Ruby Falls 3D art

In downtown Chattanooga, TN, located inside the northern terminal for the free electric shuttle, known as CARTA, is a series of 7 3D art / paintings focusing on local attractions. This image represents Ruby Falls with a tourist family of four and the ivy covered observation tower
The spikes were added to prevent birds from perching there.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Orme, TN Train Depot

Orme, TN Train Depot

There's no reason imaginable that anyone would want to see Orme unless you like looking for old train stations. To get to here, I started in South Pittsburg, TN and followed highway 156 as it winded up the mountain. From there, I turned onto Orme Mountain Rd. which was a gravel road that winded down the mountain. I later learned that if I drove from the other way, it's flat the entire drive and passes by Russell Cave in Alabama.

The tracks are long gone and it looks as someone has turned this station which probably looked very nice in it's day into a personal residence.

At one time, Orme was a huge coal mining town and had a population of thousands, but the 2000 census reports 124 in the city today. In 1902, the Sequatchie Valley Railroad built this depot and a 10 mile branch, known as the Orme Branch. The spur was completed in 1904 and connected Orme to Bridgeport, which was a major railroad hub. The tracks were removed in 1942.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stones River Battlefield: Hazen Brigade Monument

SRNB:  Hazen Brigade Monument

The Stones River National Battlefield is a park in Murfreesboro, TN along the Stones River in Rutherford County, TN. The park commemorates the Civil War battle that took place here on Dec. 31, 1862 and Jan. 2, 1863. The park was established using public and private funds, with significant help from the NCStL railway, and is now under the oversight of the U.S. National Park Service.

The Hazen Brigade Monument, built in 1863, is the oldest surviving Civil War monument standing in its original location, being finished before the war was even over.

The markings on the monument are rather weathered but the inscriptions read:

Hazen's Brigade to the memory of its soldiers who fell at Stone River Dec. 31, 1862. "Their faces toward Heaven, Their feet to the foe." Inscribed at the close of the war.

The veterans of Shiloh have left a deathless heritage of fame upon the field of Stone River.

Erected 1863 upon the ground where they fell by their comrades

The blood of one third of its soldiers twice spilled in Tennessee crimsons the battle flag of the brigade and inspires to greater deeds.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Louisville City Hall

Louisville City Hall

Perhaps the most achitecturally interesting government building in downtown Louisville, the City Hall was constructed from 1870-73 (it says 1871 along the front.) It was built with Indiana Limestone at a cost of $464,778. while the interior has been completely overhauled a few times, the exterior remains unchanged except for basic renovation.

The architectural style is a blend of Italianate and Second Empire style. The pediment over the main entrance features a relief of the Louisville city seal plus a steam train with the word "Progress" inscribed on it. Atop many of the windows are engravings of livestock heads. The building is three stories tall plus a raised basement.

The most prominent feature is the clock tower. The original tower burned after only a couple of years but this one was rebuilt in 1876. the tower is 195 feet tall and has a clock face on all four sides, plus a mansard roof. Inside the tower used to be a three ton bell that rang until 1964 when the clock broke. (it was repaired but soon broke again).

Today, it's primary function is housing the metro council offices and chambers. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

World's Oldest Coca-Cola Mural

World's Oldest Coca-Cola Mural

You see the old Coke murals all over the place, and it had to start somewhere. Not surprisingly, it wasn't far from Atlanta. This mural was painted on the side of Young Brother's Pharmacy in Cartersville, GA.

In 1894, James Couden, a Coca-Cola syrup salesman, felt the vast exterior of the building would make a great location to advertise his product. 100 years later, preservationists wanted to see what this sign originally looked like and 25 layers of paint were carefully removed. Thus, in 1994 the sign was repainted and preserved to look like it did a century earlier.

This sign is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. When it was painted, the target audience would likely be train passengers (railroad tracks are right behind me.) but a few decades later, the Dixie Highway passed by also.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Redneck Replacement Window

Redneck Replacement Window

Seen along old Highway 15 in Giles County, TN

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mark Twain Inn - Jamestown, TN

Mark Twain Inn - Jamestown, TN

Mark Twain never lived 'round these parts, but his parents spent some time here in Jamestown. John Clemens was the town postmaster for a while, as well as a lawyer. Mark Twain Inn is across from the county Courthouse. Twain did talk about Jamestown in his writings, caling it Odebtown, after the nearby Obed River.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A drive through the Appalachians

A drive through the Appalachians

The interstate doesn't always make for picturesque views. However, when I-40 is about to go through the mountains around Tennessee and North Carolina, I believe the view is breathtaking. And then we drive the interstate up there and it gets even better.

This is somewhere around mile marker 442 in Cocke County