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Monday, January 31, 2011

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 weatheres 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.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fox's Donut Den neon sign

Fox's Donut Den neon sign

Norman Fox's Donut Den has been a popular place with the locals for a few decades with his store along Hillsboro Rd. This neon sign was newsworthy a few months ago. The property owners of the strip mall in Green Hills wanted to give their area a facelift, perhaps to make it look more upscale. they decided to remove the Popular Donut Den's 30ish year old sign. The public protested, and the property owners put it to a vote. By a wide margin the people decided the sign should stay.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mt. Pleasant Confederate Civil War Monument

Mt. Pleasant Civil War Monument

This is located in the town square of Mt. Pleasant, in southwest Maury County, along TN243 (Old U.S. 43). It i in honor of Bigby's Greys, a company of a hundred local men who were sworn into Confederate service here on April 20, 1961.

Carved in the monument:
"Crest to crest they bore our banner; Side by side they fell asleep; Hand to hand we rear his token; Heart to heart we kneel and weep."

History has shined them immortal.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cripple Creek Cloggers

09 TN State Fair #170: Clogging

During the Festival of Nations event during the 2009 Tennessee State Fair, many cultures around the world, including America, were celebrated. Representing Appalachia were the Cripple Creek Cloggers from Murfreesboro.

A video of this performance is on youtube:

Here is their website:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Trinity Church

Trinity Church

This old brick church is located on TN252 (Wilson Pike) and back at the time was the Harpeth Turnpike. It's in Eastern Williamson County.

From the historical marker:
This United Methodist Church was an outgrowth of Mt. Zion Methodist Church, established about 1840 in Burke Hollow near the Tom Page house. Mt. Zion was destroyed in 1863 by Union Soldiers who used its materials for a signal station on Daddy's Knob. Trinity Church was organized in 1865 with most of its founders being former Confederate soldiers. On this site in 1869, a two-story brick building was completed with a school and Masonic lodge located above the church sanctuary. After damage by a tornado in 1897, the church was rebuilt on the same stone foundation with original handmade bricks. The second floor was not rebuilt. In 1909, the bell tower and the north and east walls were damaged by a tornado.

If you look at the front door, the window above that is stained glass with TRINITY and the dates of 1865, 1897 and 1909. The church is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Here is a picture of the historical marker:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rusty Mechanism - Franklin, TN

Rusty Mechanism

Rusty Mechanism is a 20 ft. statue sculpted from recycled mechanical parts located at The Factory in Franklin, TN. It was installed in 2008 after 6 years and 2,500 hours were put into the construction.

The Factory was built in 1929 to be the Dortch Stove Works. After several years of no use, the building was converted into retail shopping, restaurants and meeting facilities. (for instance a high school reunion was held out here.)

To read more about it, see these two markers:


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

James K Polk Statue - Polk Memorial Gardens

Polk Statue - Polk Memorial Gardens

This statue of President James K. Polk is located in Polk Memorial Gardens cemetery on the south side of Columbia, TN. The cemetery is located on highway TN243 (Old U.S. 43) on the road to Mt. Pleasant in Maury County

On the left side of the statue, it reads:
"Napoleon of the Stump"
1st dark horse candidate to become president
1st and only speaker of the house to become president
1st man younger than age 50 to become President
1st President to commit to a single term
Died 3 months after leaving office

On the back:
1795 Born Mecklenbug Co., NC
1806 Moved to Tennessee
1818 Graduated Univ N. Carolina
1820 Admitted to the bar
1821-1823 Chief clerk of the State Senate
1823-1825 State House of Representatives
1825-1839 U.S. Representative
1839-1841 Governor of Tennessee
1844 Elected as a Democratic President
1845-1849 11tn U.S. President
1849 Died Nashville, TN

on the right side:
"Young Hickory"
Accomplished all four campaign promises
1. Reduction of the tariff
2. Re-establish independent treasury system
3. Settlement of Oregon Boundary dispute
4. Acquisition of California
He did not seek a second term

Monday, January 24, 2011

Williamsport, TN Post Office Artwork: Uncle Sam

Williamsport, TN Post Office Artwork 2: Uncle Sam

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.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Old Street Sign - Sweetwater, TN

Old Street Sign - Sweetwater, TN

The way street signs used to be! A few of these old markers, such as Main St. at Walnut St., are preserved in downtown Sweetwater, where Main St. is also the Lee Highway and US11.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Louisville City Hall Tower & Jefferson Monument

Louisville City Hall Tower & Jefferson Monument

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

The Thomas Jefferson Statue is on the next block, in front of Louisville Metro Hall. This status was made by Moses Ezekiel and given to the city in 1901.

Friday, January 21, 2011

William Chaney's Rock City Barn

William Chaney's Rock City Barn

This old tobacco barn was painted in the early 1940's to advertise to westbound motorists coming from Newport to Seveirville along highway US411.

World's 8th Wonder
NEAR Chattanooga Tenn.

We can safely assume the website address wasn't there in the 40's. That's because this once crumbling barn was restored.

In 2000, this barn became a project for the Hampton Hotels Save-A-Landmark Project. On June 15 that year, Hamptom employees and local volunteers met together to restore this barn by rebuilding the walls, doors and roof, and then repainting it. Then Tennessee First Lady Martha Sundquist was on hand assisting the efforts to restore the six decade icon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stong Building - Chattanooga

Stong Building - Chattanooga

This flatiron shaped building is next door to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo at the corner of Market and 14th and was operated as the Terminal Hotel to serve reailroad passengers until 1930. The Hotel was operated by Chester Davis who worked at the Choo-Choo termial as a porter and then saved his tip money to purchase this building.

The building was vacated in the 80's and looked ready for demolition until it was purchased in 2006. The new owners in 2009 opened this as the Terminal Brewhouse. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and had been on the Tennessee Preservation Trust’s Top 10 list of endangered buildings.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Music City Aspirations


This country guitar duo would play for anyone who would listen.

During the 4th of july festivities one year on the Shelby Street Bridge in Downtown Nashville.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yeoman's in the Fork - Lieper's Fork, TN

Yeoman's in the Fork - Lieper's Fork, TN

This house, originally built by Dr. J.W. Allen is 1881 is now known as Yeoman's in the Fork bookstore. The beautifully restored home has quite the collection of rare books and documents, including a document or letter signed by every U.S. President.

When I originally shared this photo with my facebook friends, one of my high school classmates wrote me and said she used to live here. I was perplexed and asked her to share more information.

In the early 80's, my friend's parents bought this house when it was a fixer-upper and Lieper's Fork wasn't the tourist destination that it is today. At one time, the house belonged to someone who was related to or friends with Jesse James. When they would work on renovating the house, the townspeople would come out and watch in case large piles of cash were ever discovered. (They never were.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Old Fading Shelbyville Mural

Old fading Shelbyville Mural

It's just a couple of blocks from the county courthouse but seems to be in a place where not many people drive by to see it. There's a lot of things here that I don't recognize. I'd like to know more about it.

Walking Horse Capitol of the World

Wilodean's Boarding House upstairs
Mrs. Payne's Private Schooling Best in Bedford

The 2 signs above the red truck
Lynchburg Jack Daniels ->
<- Nashville Grand Ole Opry

Crowell's Country Store
5c Drink ice cold CocaCola
Clean Restrooms
Live Bait
Granny's Pies
Nina's Home cooking
Homegrown Tomatos & Corn
Ice Cold Watermelons 50 cents

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mt. Roosevelt Firetower

Mt. Roosevelt Firetower

This goes back to the days when fire departments operated by putting a tower on top of the tallest mountain, and someone at the top looked to see where the fire was coming from. Mt. Roosevelt is the tallest mountain near Rockwood, TN along the western edge of Roane County.

I'd heard you weren't supposed to go up there, but the lock on the fence was cut open and I thought I could get a great view up there. As I started the climb, I tried to take another step and the step wasn't there - so I came down.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House Restaurant

Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House Reastaurant

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as "Bobo Hotel", this former place to stay the night is now one of the most popular places to eat in Tennessee. They're so popular that you need to make reservations in advace, such as two weeks early. I've never eaten here, but my parents have a couple of times. It is now managed by the Jack Daniels people.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cowan, TN Depot (now a Railroad Museum)

Cowan, TN Depot (now a Railroad Museum)

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.

I tried to visit the museum twice in 2008. The first time, I got there minutes after it closed for the day (usually at 4pm). The second time, I got there a week after it closed for the season. I'll get to it someday!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ghost Congregation

Ghost Congregation

Not only is it an old decrepit church building which is begging you to keep out, but it's also located in Adams, TN, the state's favorite ghost town with the Bell Witch.

The old church (and I can't find any description anywhere what it used to be) has several warning signs, rope tied around the door, weeds growing through the sidewalk, and an upper window boarded up with a campaign sign for Emerson Meggs. (A quick google search of Mr. Meggs reveals he was a funeral director and Robertson County executive 1982-1994. That makes the sign in the window about 20 years old, I suppose.)

The building is located in the old center of Adams with several decaying buildings along Murphy St. Across the street is an old Masonic Lodge, and a row of three vacant storefronts.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Belcourt Theater

Belcourt Theater

It wasn't too long ago that the residents in and around Hillsboro Village had a massive campaign to save this local landmark. You may remember the Belcourt YES! signs.


From the historical marker:
Hillsboro Theater
in 1925, the Hillsboro theater opened as a silent film house with its entrance on 21st Avenue South. The stage arch was decorated by Italian craftsman Raffaelo Mattei. It was the home of the Children's Theater of Nashville after 1931, the Grand Old Opry between 1934 and 1936, and the Nashville Community Playhouse after 1937. It became the Belcourt Cinema in 1966.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hatch Show Print sign daytime view

Hatch Show Print sign - downtown Nashville

the turned off neon sign for the famous poster shop on Broadway in Downtown Nashville.

Hatch Show Print purchased this sign in 1948. Roy Acuff was the Republican Governor Candidate that year and he ordered so many posters from them that they had the money to purchase this sign.

***** Book Recommendation *****

Hatch Show Print: The History of a Great American Poster Shop

If you've ever seen a Hatch Show Print Poster, you have seen how their look is distinctive. They essentially still make the posters today the same way they did when they first opened many years ago. If you've ever wanted to know more about how they make the signs, the history of the company or just want to see images of their more famous posters through the years, this is the book for you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Art of E.T. Wickham: Sam Davis & Bill Marsh

Art of E.T. Wickham: Sam Davis & Bill Marsh

Enoch Tanner (E.T.) Wickham was born in 1883 and lived as a farmer most of his life in the small town of Palmyra, TN on the western side of Montgomery County. After retiring in the early 1950's, E.T. started quite a hobby.

Starting then and continuing for nearly two decades, he started making concrete statues. After each statue was built, it was places on the side of the road on his property. Soon, after he started building these, he put up a sign that said Wickham Park, and that is what the place became known as. The statues started with animals and family members but soon became famous Tennesseeans and Americans.

E.T. Wickham died in 1970.. The many statues were enjoyed by the locals, but unfortunately the elements and more importantly frequent vandalism took their toll on the statues. (which is the obvious reason why there are things missing from these pictures.)

Luckily, the family has stepped in to preserve the statues (or what's left of them) and the memory. In 2006, some of these statues were moved to a better location, making them easier to see, but also behind a barbed wire fence to cut down on vandalism. They also have a website wickhamstonepark.com/ which provides very thorough information on the statues.

Pictured here is the statue of Civil War heros Sam Davis and Bill Marsh. Sam Davis is the famous Civil War hero who grew up about a mile from my house and was executed for not giving up the name of his informant. Bill Marsh, you've never heard of, so it's explained on the side:


On the front:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stay on TN58 and SEE...

Stay on TN58 and SEE...

This is a Rock City Barn, but the area that was painted to say ROCK CITY has been removed. I suppose that would look strange if you didn't know what the barn was referring to. This is the perfect place to paint an ad on the side of a barn, since the street bends around the barn. TN58 does continue on to Chattanooga, and then up the side of lookout mountain to go to Rock City. I think there is a Christmas light on top of the 5. I like how the TN58 road sign has been painted onto this barn.

Rock city used to also sell a magnet of artwork of this barn.

See Rock City barn magnet

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Church Street Methodist Church - Knoxville

Church Street UMC

Along Henley St. in Downtown Knoxville. For what it's worth, the congregation used to meet at a building on Church St., but that building burned down and this one was built in 1930.

Apparently, FDR once remarked, "That is the most beautiful church I have ever seen."

Today, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dunbar Cave

Dunbar Cave

Dunbar Cave is a scenic State Natural Area in the middle of a residential area in Clarksville, but a hundred years ago it was a rural tourist destination.

At one time, a resort hotel operated here. More significantly, the opening of the cave became a popular party spot for big bands in the 1930's and 40's. (So popular, that Roy Acuff bought the area in 1948).

Caves tend to maintain a nice cool temperature, and having lots of people hang out by the entrance would be a cool place on a hot summer evening, plus the rock formations around the entrance make for a nice bandshell. The springs from the cave were dammed to make the picturesque Swan Lake.

The typical picture of the area shows the triple arches of the white concrete. As soon as I got here, I went down there, and there was nothing there. It looks like it should be an entrance, but it isn't. Instead, it's purpose from the big band era was to hold up the concrete dance floor. The reason the arched area was made accessible was so you could walk the nature trail along to the other side of the lake. The actual entrance is of course above the arches.

Today, Dunbar Cave is owned by the state and operated by the State Park service. As of the day I was there (July 2010), the actual cave itself and maybe all commercially open caves in the state were closed while researchers study the white nose syndrome which has been plaguing bats in many caves around the country. Now that it just turned 2011, I haven't heard whether or not they have reopened. A cave is one of those attractions you can enjoy in the winter.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bird's eye view of the 1896 TN Centennial Exposition

Bird's eye view of the 1896 TN Centennial Exposition

This painting depicts what the famous Tennessee Centennial Exposition would have looked like from above. (from A hot air balloon perhaps?) If you are not familiar with the area, this is what is now Centennial Park today, but little has remained the same.

Although we hear it still today, "Athens of the South" was a more prominent nickname for Nashville at the time, so to represent Nashville, a replica of Athens most prominent building was constructed. The Parthenon is around today, but it is a rebuilt parthenon. Lake Watauga is still around, but is not as large now as it was then. (side note: in the 1920's park officials thought it would be a good idea to put crocodiles in the lake, but people complained when they killed all the ducks.) To the right oif the parthenon is a pyramid representing the city of Memphis.

The exposition lasted over a year and had large crowds. When it was over, the land was sold at a discounted rate to the city of Nashville, and the city's park department was created.

I've seen this image in several places, but this particular reproduction is in the downtown Nashville Library.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Goodbye...Tell Your Friends...

Goodbye...Tell Your Friends...


Out of all the Rock City Barns there's ever been, this might be the only one that doesn't suggest you "See" Rock City, and also might be the only one that you see when travelling away from Chattanooga.

If you are travelling west on I-24, this is between exit 158 and 155. It'll be on your right and you'll be looking down on it from the Interstate.

I don't know how many times I drove right past it until I made a conscious decision to hunt it down - not from the interstate - but from the rural street where you can get a better (and safer) view.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dolly Parton Statue, Seveir County TN courthouse

Dolly Parton Statue, Seveir County TN courthouse

In Honor of Dolly Parton's years of service encouraging millions of vacationers to come to Seveir County tourist destinations of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to spend all of their money, They erected this statue in her honor in front of the courthouse.

If you look closely, part of the status is a butterfly which has landed on the guitar.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Donoho Hotel

The Donoho Hotel

Along with The Armour and The Cloyd (now the Thomas House) it is one of the big three old fashioned resort hotels of Red Boiling Springs. Of the three, I think this one looks the most Majestic, as the entire building is more than twice as wide as what you can see here.

This goes back to the days, for instance the 1920's, when people couldn't travel as far as they do today, plus people believed in the mystical healing powers of bathing in mineral water which bubbles up from the ground. Today, this hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Tennessee Highway 1

I looked through my photos and couldn't find anything with a New Year's theme, so I thought I would highlight the number 1, for the first day of this new year.

Here's a road sign I didn't think I'd ever see. For the most part, highway 1 was swallowed up by US highways, and there was no need to display both signs. When highway US70S was rebuilt as a two-lane divided highway from McMinnville to Sparta, TN, they left about a 1 mile segment of the Old 70S in Sparta with the Tennessee 1 designation.

Here's a basic description of highway 1:
The five-hundred-mile-long Memphis-to-Bristol Highway, although not originally an interstate route, tied in with other highways and functioned in much the same way. Local businessmen formed the Memphis to Bristol Highway Association in 1911 to promote its development. Soon after its creation in 1915, the Tennessee State Highway Department designated this corridor as State Route 1 and made it the top road priority. In 1926 the state designated about two-thirds of it as U.S. 70, the major east-west corridor in the region. In the late 1920s the entire route became part of the Broadway of America Highway from California to New York. State Route 1 remained the main east-west route through the state until the completion of Interstate 40 in the late 1960s.