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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Rock House

The Rock House

This is an old Toll House built in the 1830's. It's Located on the old road out of Sparta up the hills toward Crossville. Current US70 now runs just a few feet behind the Rock House. It is listed on the Nat'l Register of Historic Places.

To the right is a small D.A.R. marker
Rock House DAR marker

Monday, August 30, 2010

W.T. Reed Groceries - Gainesboro, TN

W.T. Reed Groceries

This building on the town square in Gainesboro gives some insight on what small town architecture used to be like. There's a couple of old murals on the side, including a nice vintage Coca-Cola lady-drinking-a-coke silhouette and one for Wild Goose Flour. Also along the top of the store front are small concrete animals. I think there were three lions and a rooster.

W.T. Reed Groceries \ Coca-Cola Coca-Cola drinking lady mural detail W.T. Reed Groceries animal details Bake with Wild Goose Flour

Murfreesboro's Laotian Buddhist Temple

Murfreesboro Temple

If you've ever ventured along the Old Nashville Highway between LaVergne and Murfreesboro, you've probably been caught off-guard by seeing this temple. I was tracing the old Dixie Highway from Nashville to Chattanooga the first time I ever saw it. There are resident Buddhist monks living here, so that makes it a Wat Buddhist Temple.

Murfreesboro has a large Laotian community, including several friends I work with. I have heard if you stop by here, they are friendly and will sometimes allow you to look inside if you are nice.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

See Rock City barn along US 41A

See Rock City

This was the third rock city barn I ever visited almost 3 years ago. Now that I live in this county, I shall likely pass by more often. It is a few miles south of Eagleville, TN on U.S. 41A on the road to Shelbyville. Within 5 miles of here is another Rock City Barn that's crumbling, one that has been removed in the last five years and another that was painted over, which will give you an indication these barns are a dying breed. Several years ago, this barn was painted light blue instead of red.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gasthaus Sampler for 2 - Manchester, TN

Gasthaus Sampler for 2 - Manchester, TN

I haven't discussed food too often on this blog, but for once I'll point out something that we don't see too often in these parts...

After spending the day at Old Stone Fort Archaelogical Park in Manchester, TN, my wife and I were hungry. We were surprised to find a German Restaurant in this medium sized town. The Sampler for 2 was litterally a little of everything and much more than two of us could eat. We washed it down with Spezi. Here's a list of the items here, I think:
Spatzle (Homemade Noodles)
Here's their website

Friday, August 27, 2010

Drake Hardware Plumbing Supplies

Drake Hardware Plumbing Supplies

Here's a neon sign that would have been great to see when it was working. The store had been out of business for many years. Nashville's skyline is in the background. It's located along Dickerson Pike (US31W/41/431) part of North Nashville, which is a rough part of town, so be cautious if you venture this way.

There's a phone number on this sign and it goes back to the days when the seven digit phone number included exchange letters (CO2).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

the Eiffel Tower of Paris, TN

Eiffel Tower - Paris, TN

Paris, TN might be known for two things by casual visitors: The wordls largest catfish fish fry, and having this replica Eiffel tower. If you are travelling on Highway US 79 or US 641, look for the small sign on Memorial drive which will point the way. This tower was built by students at Christian Brothers University and given to the city in 1992. Unfortunately, rains stemming from Hurricane Rita were here the same day I was.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So you're a UT Vols fan with a big yard...

So you're a UT Vols fan with a big yard...

With college football season about ready to start heating up, I thought it would be a good time to post this.

So you're a fan of the University of Tennessee Volunteers and you have a big yard, this is how you show your pride...

This yard was just outside of Kingston, TN as this yard slopes down to the Clinch River. Visible from the Highway 58 bridge over the river.

It's football time in Tennessee...

After I first posted this photo online, the owner of the property left me this message:
"It was my daughters idea in 2002. It been there off and on ever since."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Duffy's Motel - Only $17.95 a night

Duffy's Motel - Only $17.95 a night

Who's willing to try it out? The sign says new rooms are open, never mind how old and rusty the sign is.

This is an example of an old hotel that is on an old highway and still in business because of a lucky location. In this case, right off I-75. Today, and for decades, many families have come through here on their way to Florida. Who knows how far back the hotel goes but the road goes back to the 30s as the Dixie Highway, and today as US 41. Either way, most everyone from here to Chicago would pass this way.

I was by myself when I took this picture. When I showed it to my wife, she asked if it was near Calhoun, GA. Indeed, this is at the I-75 exit for Calhoun. Apparently when she was a kid, her family stayed here several times on the way to the beach.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bridgeport, AL Depot

Bridgeport, AL Depot full view

Built in 1917, this is the NCStL depot in the important railroad town of Bridgeport soon before trains cross the Tennessee River. The Sequatchie Valley Railroad also came through here. Today it is CSX along the tracks with some Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific coming through.

The architecture here is an unusual design for this part of the country, a Spanish Mission style that you would more likely see in St. Augustine or San Antonio.

Today, the depot is a museum operated by the Bridgepoort Area Historic Association (BAHA).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Grinder's Switch Depot

Grinder's Switch Depot

Grinder's Switch is a real place made famouse as the hometown of fictional character Minnie Pearl. Instead of being an actual town, it was just a railroad switch. There was a depot at this switch, part of the NCStL line, and an employee there was the father of Sarah Colley Carter, the real life person behind Minnie Pearl.

That original depot is long gone, but some people in Centerville want to take advantage of the Minnie Pearl heritage (just like Loretta Lynn has done in Hurricane Mills). In the 1980's, these people planned a park, and needed another depot, so they purchased this L&N depot from the tiny Dickson County town of Slayden. Additionally, they put some vintage farm equipment here, but that park never fully materialized. However, they built a nearby Ag Expo. The train tracks are right behind me here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Corporal Brian Schoff Memorial - Manchester, TN

Corporal Brian Schoff Memorial - Manchester, TN

Corporal Brian James Schoff
Nov. 27, 1983 to Jan. 28, 2006
2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
"Operation Iraqi Freedom"

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul, and the other for your freedom. What we do for ourselves dies with us - What we do for others lives on forever."

Provided by the citizens of Coffee County"

This memorial is in the town square in Manchester, TN on the lawn of the Coffee County Courthouse

Friday, August 20, 2010



It may be tough to read now that is red on black, but the words say Take U.S. 41 to Rock City. I guess this technically is not a barn but this was painted by the Rock City Barn Painter. This is an Antique Store on U.S. Highway 231 in Wilson County in the stretch from Lebanon, TN to Murfreesboro. The sign reccomends in Murfreesboro that you turn on US41 to get rock city. I think the Red used to be white but rusted and probably was easier to read decades ago when first painted. I am not sure the antique store was open, but there was lots of junk in the yard.

If you are interested in old highways, US 231 from Lebanon to Murfreesboro is quite a straight shot, but the old version of the highway winds back and forth a little bit while paralleling the modern highway. This store is at a spot where the old highway became the new highway.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kayak Ramp

Kayak Ramp

The Narrows of the Harpeth State Park is an ideal place to go kayaking. Park your car, take your Kayak down the ramp, row for a couple of miles downstream, and then you end up a few hundred feet from here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Try not to laugh

Try not to laugh

This reminds me of the song:

beep beep
beep beep
his horn wen't beep beep beep
--The Playmates - 1958
(I know it's not a Nash Rambler)

The next time you are pulled over for speeding, be thankful you weren't pulled over by this. This Tennessee State Trooper VW bug was seen on display at the Wilson County Fair a few years back

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wilson County Fair Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel  #2 blurred motion

The Wilson County Fair is going on this week and is one of the most popular fairs around. If you like Ferris Wheels, they have them. In 2006, when I took this picture, they had three to choose from as they have one of the largest midways I have seen at a fair.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Old Graveyard Memorial Park - Pulaski, TN

Old Graveyard Memorial Park - Pulaski, TN

The first cemetery in Pulaski was then on the outskirts of town in 1817, in a field between what is now S. 1st St. and 2nd St. at Cemtery St. Interments continued here until 1883 when all of the lots were full. Many prominent early citizens were buried here, such as 10 mayors.

Over the next few decades, the area fell into advanced degredation. Nobody else could be buried here and over time, fewer people had loved ones to visit. Many of the tombstones had fallen over or broken and the vegetation had grown out of control.

some 80 years after the last body was buried here, the city wanted to clean up the area, and turn it into a place that could be enjoyed again. With assistance from the federal government (HUD), the city of Pulaski started an urban beautification project here. The overgrowth was cleared out. All of the headstones were located, identified and cleaned. The headstones were then mounted; the smaller ones were embedded into curved structues on the ground and the larger ones were mounted into a stone wal along the back of the park. A few monuent markers that were still standing after the years were left where they were. Finally , landscaping, paved paths and lighting were added.

Today, this passive park which "reopened" in 1969 is a hidden gem in Giles County. A large stone marker in the middle of the park gives an index to where specific headstones can be found. If you are interested in this park, I have an additional 40 photos of the park, which can be found on my website here:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wayne County Courthouse

Wayne County Courthouse 2

I was visiting an antique store on the Waynesboro town square when the store owner saw me picking up a county brochure.

"You're not from around here," he said with a smile.

I told him that I like taking pictures of courthouses.

He said, "You've come to the right place...except ours is ugly!"

I pointed to the county tourism brochure and said, "The word they used was 'different'."

"Well, that's the kind way of saying it."

From him, I learned the old courthouse had burned down due to an arsonist. Plans were drawn for the replacement courthouse to be built at a shopping center, hence the shopping center look to the building. Then, I guess some people went sentimental and wanted the new courthouse in the center of the square, but it was too late to change the design. Therefore, as the store owner put it, it was a double mistake.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

City Market with a background of the new courthouse

City Market with a background of the new courthouse

This building was built as the City Market in 1922, which remained there until the Farmers Market opened up where the Bicentennial Mall is Today, then it became the Ben West building functioning as city hall. Now, among other things, it is used as law enforcement offices with the old courthouse across the street and the new courthouse in the background. Of architectural significance is the Dome on top with a monopteron and the portico main entrance. Other important Nashville buildings with a dome are the Social-religious building of the Peabody campus and the Woodland Presbyterian Church.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Shelburne-Smithson House

Shelburne-Smithson House

aka the Nathaniel Smithson House
Peytonsville, TN

The house was built in 1832 in a Greek Revival style with the front porch added in 1870 by Nathaniel Smithson. The house was then sold to the McGee family in 1922. Today the home is on the National Register of Historic Places

...and I'm not use to seeing a bunch of cows in front of old mansions.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Dome Building - Chattanooga

The Dome Building - 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.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Old, Old Jail - Franklin, TN

The Old, Old Jail - Franklin, TN

There are three jails in Williamson County, but of course the newest one is the only one still used as a jail. This is the Old, Old Jail and is next door to the Old Jail.

The Old, Old Jail was built in 1905 for $10,000 by the Pauley Jail Company of St. Louis and was the fourth ever jail in town. The two story brick building included space for living quarters for the sherriff's family. Heavy steel grating over the windows and and a hanging hook with trap door beneath are still in place.

This jail was in use until the fifth jail, The Old Jail was built in 1941. Since then, it has has several functions, such as Community Thrist Shop in the late 70's, offices for the county cable television network in the 80's and a couple of bars, taverns or restaurants since.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Flynn's Lick Baptist Church

Flynn's Lick Baptist Church

Along TN53 southwest of Gainesboro, TN. It looks like the place might fall in, but there was a sign out front that they still have services. Notice the window on the left is bigger. If you get right up to the building, you can see vines growing on the inside of the wood. Maybe that's what holds it up!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The steps to Loretta Lynn's Yard & Mansion

The steps to Loretta Lynn's Yard & Mansion

Hurricane Mills, TN is essentially all Loretta Lynn's perosnal tourist attraction now. For a modest fee, one can take the tour of the mansion, of, like me, for free, one can take a picture from the curb.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cream City Ice Cream sign (video)

One of the prettiest signs I've ever seen, and on my third visit to the old depot district of Cookeville, TN, the sign was lit up in all it's glory. It's not always on, but the owners apparently fixed it, so they could have it on more often.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lynchburg Hardware & General Store

Lynchburg TN Hardware & General Store

"All Goods worth price charged" is the store slogan underneath the name.

I believe this is today the Official Jack Daniels gift shop.

located on the Lynchburg Town Square.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Historic Ye Ole Jail (Fentress Co.)

Historic Ye Ole Jail (Fentress Co.)

The new jail is now an addition onto the county courthouse. This old jail is on the Jamestown town square. The building is now used as the local Chamber of Commerce and the headquarters for the 127 Sale aka "World's Longest Garage Sale." which is taking place this weekend

The jail is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building is over 100 years old and made of native sandstone.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Laurel falls - Smoky Mountains

Laurel falls

If you want to get up close and personal with a waterfall, this one is for you. The trail takes you right up to the base of the falls, goes along flat ground for about 5 feet and then there is a second waterfall. In other words, it's not possible to move further back than where I am already at. It's the perfect place for a wide-angle lens, which I do not own. It's one of the most popular waterfalls in the Smoky Mountain National Park.

A heavy rain had just come through, so there is more water to the waterfall than typically seen in pictures here. I didn't think it was possible to view the lower part of the waterfall that is behind me, but I've seen one pic on flickr of it, so maybe there is a side trail.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dinty Moore's Restaurant

Dinty Moore's Restaurant

I assume these are the people that sold the cans of beef stew. This sign is in the old business district in McMinnville, TN just a couple of blocks from the Warren County Courthouse. Dinty Moore's is out of business but the neat neon sign was left behind. The previous occupant here was the Regal Begal restaurant but they too are gone.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blurred Motion: Ion ride

Blurred Motion: Ion ride

This is part of my effort to take interesting blurred motion pictures of some of the lesser photograped rides. This was seen at the Williamson County Fair.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Endless Supply on random knick-knacks

Endless Supply on random knick-knacks

If you're into this type of thing, but haven't seen it yet, this upcoming weekend is the Worlds Longest Garage Sale, aka the 127 Sale. The title of this photo is a good description of the World's Longest Garage Sale

In a span of 5 minutes, I saw a vintage Star Trek lunchbox, Michael Jackson trading cards and bongs. This specific stop on the route is in Dunlap.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A nearly forgotten ad for a nearly forgotten tourist spot

A nearly forgotten ad for a nearly forgotten tourist spot

This is what I think it says:
15 MI. TO

15 miles out from this is close to Waynesboro, TN, and I'd never heard of anything like this in that part of the state.

I emailed the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce and learned about it. There is indeed a Natural Bridge in Wayne County. In fact, it's a double-decker natural bridge, and there may not be anything like it anywhere else. At one time, it was a state park, and over the years, it has had various private owners, such as those who ran it as a Motel & Campground. Today, the area is operated as Tennessee Fitness Spa and non-customers can stop by and see the Natural Bridge on Sundays from 10 to 2.

Now, as for the actual building shown here, I'm not sure what it used to be. A service station? I vaguely recall seeing a picture of this place several years ago, so I was happy to stumble across this place.

Highway U.S. 64 between Lawrenceburg and Pulaski is segmentally being upgraded to a two-lane divided highway, but most of the old highway is still accessible. However, this place is on a tiny stretch of old 64 in western Lawrence County that's blocked off and won't take you anywhere.