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Monday, February 28, 2011

New Extended Gallery: Historical Markers of Giles, Lawrence and Maury

Up to now, with the Historical Markers galleries, the counties I have put online so far have had enough markers to warrant one gallery for that county. These Have included Nashville, Williamson County, Rutherford County and Montgomery County. None of the other counties in Middle Tennessee have enough (that I have found so far) to warrant their own) so I will be grouping nearby counties. The newest gallery is:

Historical Markers of Giles, Lawrence and Maury Counties.

By the way, just because I publish a gallery, doesn't mean I'll stop adding content. For instance, I just added a couple more to the Rutherford County gallery.

If you like this kind of thing, Enjoy!

Coca-Cola: Relieves Fatigue

Coca-Cola: Relieves Fatigue

Relieves Fatigue
Sold Everywhere
5 cents

Faded wall ad seen from Highway US41 in the center of Guthrie, KY. Guthrie is a small town in Todd County just north of Springfield and Adams just across the Kentucky border if you stay on highway 41.

The door to the left of the 5 cents seems to have caught fire at some point!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Who's Ready for Spring to Get Here?

Unsafe Ice

In the mean time, you can get out to Centennial Park on a day warm enough to run the fountains on Lake Watauga, before they pack up the Unsafe Ice signs until next winter.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Still Waters of the Piney River

The Still Waters of the Piney River

The Piney River runs through Hickman County until it eventually empties into the Duck River. There's a small little area to pull over and look around where highway TN230 crosses the river near Nunnelly.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Smyrna Rexall neon sign

Smyrna Rexall neon sign

It's good to see that the Rexall Drug Store in Smyrna is still doing well and their neon sign is in good shape.

US 41/70S is the main road through town, and is named Lowry St. Lowry St. is named for Dr. J.S. Lowry who ran the Smyrna Rexall in the 1920's. So, it's fitting that in late 2008, the Smyrna Rexall relocated to the street named for their former owner.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Old Crystal Cave sign

Old Crystal Cave sign

Crystal Cave
Chattanooga's Best Attraction
Or Your Money Back

A sign that is falling apart on a barn that is falling apart. The sign has to be at least over 30 years old because Raccoon Mountain Caverns hasn't gone by that name in that long. Around the corner is a sign for Rock City (picture available Here). This is on highway U.S. 11 (Birmingham Highway) just south of Trenton, Ga

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cream City Ice Cream neon sign in the day - Cookeville, TN

Cream City Ice Cream neon sign

Cookeville, TN at the train Depot. This sign still works and is turned on occasionally and it looks great at night. The old Cream City Ice Cream manufacturing plant has turned into touristy, antique and specialty shops in this revitalized area of town.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pancake Pantry - Gatlinburg, TN

Pancake Pantry - Gatlinburg

I have eaten at the Popular Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg as often as I've eaten at the one in my hometown of Nashville - all of one time.

I believe the one in Hillsboro Village in Nashville is the original location and the one here is their second one. I might try to go to the one in Nashville if there wasn't a huge line out the door every time I drive by.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Follow SeeMidTN.com on Twitter and Facebook!

SeeMidTN.com now has a Twitter feed and a Facebook page! Feel free to follow either one if you want to keep track of the latest from either service.

Follow SeeMidTNdotcom on Twitter

The Twitter feed will repost everything that appears on the daily blog, which includes the daily photo of the day, website updates, and new book suggestions.

SeeMidTN.com on Facebook

On Facebook, everything from the Twitter feed is posted, plus all of the latest Flickr photo uploads.

I hope to see you there!

Photomosaic: The Letters of Nashville

Photomosaic: The Letters of Nashville

Here is something I put together about 5 years ago? Do you recognize where each of the letters come from? I think 4 or 5 of them are not around anymore.

Want to know where these come from, the answers appear after the break.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cannon County Courthouse and Car Show - Woodbury

Cannon Courthouse & Car Show 1

My wife and I were travelling to Woodbury, TN one Saturday afternoon in the fall. We stopped at a restaurant on the town square, and while we were eating, a bunch of classic cars pulled up to the square and a car show broke out. My father-in-law has a '49 Plymouth that he takes to shows, but beyond that, I don't know what I'm looking at. My interest is more in courthouses, and I thought this made for an interesting photo opportunity.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Otey Parish - Sewanee, TN

Otey Parish - Sewanee, TN

It's not the most famous church on the University of the South campus, but it's still a fine looking one on this autmn day. This Episcopal Building was built in 1891 and named in honor of the first Episcopal Bishop in Tennessee

Friday, February 18, 2011

Drive-Thru Waterfall near Highlands, NC

Drive-Thru Waterfall

This is the 120 foot Bridal Veil Falls in Western North Carolina. As part of the Nantahala National Forest, Highway US64 ascends a mountain between Franklin and Highlands in Macon County.

The road you see in this photo was at one time the highway! Over time, I suppose this became problematic, especially when the water freezes. Now, the highway bypassed going under the falls (you can barely see the shoulder of the road at the very bottom of this picture) but you are more than welcome to still drive under it, if you like. The extra advantage of the newer stretch of road is you can get a much better view of the waterfall, especially the cascading at the top.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vintage A+W Drive-In Neon sign - Erin, TN

Vintage A&W Drive-In Neon sign - Erin, TN

I can only assume that this used to be a chain of the A&W fast food restaurants which used to be one of the most prevalant chains in the 70's, and is still around today, but in smaller numbers. Today, this place is known as BJ's Family Diner.

If you look just below the ice cream cone, you can see the faded A&W. When it ceased being an A&W, you can see that someone went to the trouble of removing the A&W neon tubing, but not repainting that area. Then they put in new neon tubing for solid lines. It makes you wonder why they went to the trouble if they weren't going to repaint it.

I'd like to see if the neon still works, although I suspect it doesn't if a light pole sticks out from it. There's neon tubing around the ice cream swirl at top, as well as the cone. Under the three lines is the red section with the white DRIVE IN with the letters and the shape of the arrow in neon. (apparently, BJs still operates as a drive in.) Finally, the last segment says in neon letters "GOOD FOOD"

Seen in Erin, TN on the west side of town along Main St. (TN highway 49)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's Fun for the Family in Rock City

It's Fun for the Family in Rock City

This is known as "Leon Thomas's Rock City Barn." It is located on U.S. Highway 41 in Hillsboro, TN which is about 8 miles north of Monteagle. This is in Coffee County.

You might notice the 3 wooden slats on the right are a slightly different color. Over 15 years ago, a tornado came through this area and ripped that portion of the barn off. The wood was replaced, and then repainted.

Decades ago, this barn did not have the front extension. Underneath the "Rock City" was the edge of the barn. At one time, This vertical section had an ad for "Wonder Cave" which is in the area.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Skyline Drive-In / Double Cola - Pulaski, TN

Skyline Drive-In / Double Cola

This now out of business drive-in with the uncommon Double Cola sign is along the south side of Pulaski, TN in Giles County along highway 31.

I really like the way the late afternoon sun was hitting the building. Plus, the other side of the sign was missing to illuminate the old sign.

Monday, February 14, 2011

New Extended Gallery: Waterfowl in Winter

A couple of days after a big snow and freeze, when the sun came out I went to Percy Priest Lake by the dam. this has been my favorite place to feed the ducks and is now my favorite place to photograph them. If you like this kind of thing, there's about 50 photos in the new extended gallery.


Sample photos:

Waterfowl in Winter: Female Mallard in Shallow Water Waterfowl in Winter: Duck in flight
Waterfowl in Winter: The head of a Canadian Goose The Frozen Shoreline of Percy Priest Lake

Valentine Square - Winchester, TN

Valentine Square

It's probably not what you were expecting for Valentine's Day, but I decided to go with it.

This home built in 1899 and located in Winchester, TN is on the Nat'l Reg. of Historic Places.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bonus waterfall at Rock Island

Bonus waterfall at Rock Island

We went to Rock Island the day after a heavy rain. As we crawled to the areas where people can play in the water, we walked past this spot where water was pouring out of the side of earth.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Smoky Mountain Pancake House

Smoky Mountain Pancake House

There's no lack of Pancake breakfasts in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area. Based on viewer feedback, I'll say this place has the most popular sign. (Or at least three black bears agree.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

A blue Hyacinth Macaw eats a nut

A blue Hyacinth Macaw eats a nut

While you can also see some of these at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, this blue Macaw is on display at the newer side of the Chattanooga Aquarium.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Robert E Lee Motel sign (refurbished)

Robert E Lee Motel sign (refurbished)

About a year ago, when driving the old Lee Highway north of Bristol, I went looking for the old Robert E Lee Motel, which had a wonderful neon sign but had closed a few months earlier. The neon sign was gone and the motel was in serious disrepair. I ended up staying the night in the non-chain motel across the street. The lady at the front desk told me the sign was removed just a week before my stay and even though they were the competition, she was sad to see them go out of business.

Fast-forward to about a year later. I'm driving the Lee Highway again, but this time I'm going further north to Abingdon, VA. Much to my shock, there's the sign! The neon tubes have been removed, but the sign has otherwise been restored to its previous glory and permanently mounted at RC's Storage. I believe they will take care of the sign as they had other vintage things on display here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Book Suggestion: Adam Huntsman: The Peg Leg Politician

Adam Huntsman: The Peg Leg Politician

Local author and historian, Kevin McCann tells the interesting story about the fascinating yet often forgotten politician from the early days of Tennessee government.

Here is the description:
Adam Huntsman plagued David Crockett in his reelection campaigns for Congress in West Tennessee. The frontier lawyer and politician who wore a wooden peg leg eventually beat Crockett in 1835, leading to his journey to Texas and heroic death at the Alamo. "Since you have chosen to elect a man with a timber toe to succeed me," he said, "you may all go to hell and I will go to Texas." Known by his friends and adversaries for his wit and sarcasm both in speech and print, Adam Huntsman served 10 years in the Tennessee state senate and was a member of the 1834 state constitutional convention, helping craft the amended document that endured until the end of Reconstruction. He served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives (1835-37) before devoting himself to the campaign efforts of the Democratic party in West Tennessee. His individualistic spirit put him at odds with Andrew Jackson and helped bring about the first two-party politcial system in Tennessee history.

In an effort of full disclosure, I'll admit I'm a little bit biased towards this book. Earlier today, I posted two photos of Markers of the former Capitals of Tennessee. Both of those photos appear in this book.

Former Capitals of Tennessee markers

To my knowledge, there are three places in Tennessee that have markers commemorating their place as a former state capital.

In 1949, the state government decided to place markers around the state for all the locations where the state capital was located before Nashville.

Knoxville was the first Capital, and here is its marker:

Knoxville, Capital of Tennessee Marker

The side of this marker mentions Gov. Browning and the 76th General Assembly who made it happen.

Marker #2 is in Kingston and I don't have a photo of it available right now. We'll move on to #3

Monument: Murfreesboro as TN State Capital

Murfreesboro was the state Capital from 1818 to 1826.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Minnie Pearl Statue of much discussion, Centerville, TN

Minnie Pearl Statue, Centerville, TN

This statue honoring Country Music and Grand Old Opry legend Minnie Pearl is in the Town Square of Centerville, TN with the Hickman County Courthouse in the background. The statue was unveiled in 2005. This photo was taken in 2006. That's where the story falls apart.

The town of Centerville decided too many people were coming into town and clogging up the square, such that something had to be done. The statue was to be removed while the town came up with a plan. In the meantime, the guy responsible for raising the finds to get the statue there in the first place decided to remove the statue on his own (Partially upsetting some of the private donors.)

The statue for a while was moved into the lobby of the Commodore Hotel in Linden, and soon after moved to a private residence where I think it still resides. In the meantime, all through traffic is routed along the West side of the town square instead of having to travel all the way around, so the square is now able to support the level of tourists a statue would bring.

There hasn't really been any news on this lately that I have heard. The guy with the statue is in no hurry to put it back. I've read that the city has considered looking to use city funds to purchase a replacement. Lots of people will be unhappy however this turns out.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Creature of Sugar Flat Rd. - Lebanon, TN

Creature of Sugar Flat Rd. - Lebanon, TN

Forget the Wilson County Courthouse, the Neddy Jacobs Cabin or the monument to Confederate General Robert Hatton, this is what visitors to Lebanon's town square want to see. In a town with about 30 antique stores within a few blocks of the town square, the creature head in the window of Cuz's antique store is what many people come for, even though it isn't prominently displayed.

The hand-written sign says:
Is this an Alien?
Ran over by car on Sugar
Flat Rd. in Lebanon, TN
Jan 5th 1989 - Never

When you go in the store, you can pick up a brochure that tells the whole story. To read the whole story, read it on my old blog:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fishing at Nice Mill Dam Park

Fishing at Nice Mill Dam Park 1

This place is only 5 miles from my house, but I had never heard of it before. I just stumbled across this place by accident a couple of years ago. On this day in 2009, it was warm enough outside to go with the highwaters, even though it was still February.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hurricane Mills, TN since the 2010 Flood

Hurricane Mills, TN

This is the mill of Hurricane Mills. Today, this area is much better known as being part of the Loretta Lynn Dude Ranch, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state.

This mill, and other historic spots nearby are on the National Register of Historic Places listed as the "Hurricane Mills Rural Historic District." According to a plaque across the river from the mill, this mill and dam were built by James T. Anderson in 1896. "Though wool was carded here, grain processing predominated, corn meal and flour were shipped through the south."

In the mid 60's, Loretta and Mooney Lynn purchased the 1876 mansion across the street from the river. Over the next few years, they preserved many of the nearby buildings and commercially opened the area as the dude ranch. Today, you can take a tour of the area, or just walk around some of the places, like I did. The mill's water wheel was removed and placed nearby.

Today, the mill serves two purposes. First, it is one of three gift shops on the ranch. Second, it is opened as the "Loretta Lynn Doll and Fan Museum"

Unfortunately, the Middle Tennessee May floods were not kind to Hurricane Mills. Just a few feet downstream from the mill, there was an iron bridge built in 1911 that used to carry highway TN13 (but had been replaced by a newer bridge) was completely washed away. I can't find any confirmation of this, but I suspect the mill suffered much damage as well as it looks like the exterior is almost completely rebuilt with new wood. (If you find any pre-flood picture, the mill is painted a deep red.) The area was closed for a couple of months after the flood and just reopened July 3.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Church Halfway up the Hill

Church halfway up the hill

Tuckasegee Weslyan Church
Tuckasegee, NC
seen along highway NC107

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Salt House - Jonesborough, TN

The Salt House - Jonesborough, TN

Salt is needed for curing meat, but during the civil war it was in short supply. In Jan. 1864, Washington County purchased 4500 dollars worth of salt to be distributed for $15 per sack. That salt was stored here in a building by the train tracks and roughly a couple of blocks from the town square.

The building was recently renovated and there were plans to turn this into a restaurant, but with the for sale sign in the window (Sept. 2009), I suppose that's not happening.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Prarie Dog, Chattanooga Zoo

Prarie Dog, Chattanooga Zoo

Happy Ground Hog Day! I've never gone to see Punxsutawney Phil, so this is the next best thing, hopefully.

This black-tailed prarie dog took a very brief pause from digging. This is one of the animals at the Warner Park Zoo in Chattanooga, TN

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Old Springfield Furniture Co. building

Old Springfield Furniture Co. building

Photo taken soon before dusk.
Springfield, TN in the town square.
Localted on Main St., which used to be US41 and US431

Decades ago, there used to be a painted mural on the bricks on the right side of the building, but that has long since faded away.