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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quarry Falls - Near Highlands, NC

Quarry Falls

Driving highway US64 between Franklin and Highlands, NC is a great place to see waterfalls.

As you drive the winding road up the mountain, you will first past the most impressive and least visible (and nowhere to stop and park) Cullasaja Falls. Next on the drive, you will pass this one, which is the smallest and most overlooked, but there is a small pulloff from the highway. As you continue on, you'll see Dry Falls and then Bridal Veil Falls.

This is a popular but still the least impressive because it is the smallest, as it isn't one big plunge but a series of cascades totalling 20 feet. This is the Cullasaja River in the Cullasaja Gorge in the Nantahala National Forest. It's alternative names include Upper Cullasaja Falls and Bust-Your-Butt Falls.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

First Presbyterian Church - Jonesborough, TN

First Presbyterian Church - Jonesborough, TN

The congregation that eventually built this building started as the Hebron Presbyterian Church in 1790. In 1816, the congregation moved to Jonesborough and bought land between 2nd and Washington on the north side of Main St.

This building was built in a Greek Revival style in 1850. Plans for the building were drawn up by a Mr. Clise of nearby Kingsport. The bricks and window shutters were all handmade and are originals.

The original design specified wide outside front steps but female modesty wanted that changed. (One's ankles should not be revealed while wearing a hoop skirt!) While the view is partially obstructed, you won't see steps. The terrace surrounding the steps were enclosed, and they became indoor steps. Thus, the main entrance to the building looks like it is on a second story balcony behind the six columns.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Spot where Abe Lincoln's Dad & Stepmom Married

The Spot where Abe Lincoln's Dad & Stepmom Married

The spot, which is now a parking space in front of an office supply store commemorates the event. Elizabethtown, KY, about a block away from the town square

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cheekwood: Glass Bridge

Cheekwood 3: Glass Bridge

Although the popular Chihuly exhibit isn't at Cheekwood anymore, it's about time for the flowers to bloom. If you like botanical gardens, it will soon be time to go out there. In the mean time, there are some interesting permanent exhibits.

Included with the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail, this is the Glass Bridge made in 2003 by Siah Armajani.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lake Woodhaven Spillway Dam

Lake Woodhaven Spillway Dam

This is located inside Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson County, TN. The Dam was built by the New Deal era Civilian Conservation Corps on Four Mile Creek in the 1930's

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Medical Arts Building - Knoxville, TN

Medical Arts Building - Knoxville, TN

The Medical Arts building was constucted in downtown Knoxville with the style of Gothic Revival wth Art Deco influence. When construction began in 1929, plans were to make it 13 stories tall, but with the great depression, it was reduced to 10 when building was complete in 1932. Today, it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ad Barn: It Costs Less at Sterchi Bros.

Sterchi Bros. Stores Barn

"It costs less at"
to furnish your home.

Sterchis barns are a real dying breed of advertising barns. The company is long out of business and their old warehouse in Knoxville is now turned into lofts. Who knows how many barns they ever painted. This is the 4th one I've found and they all could be 80 years old. At their height, they were the largest furniture chain in America.

The other barns i've seen all looked the same, with the message painted on the roof like this one.

Compared to the others I've seen, this ad is painted on the side of the barn instead of the roof, and that has helped preserve the color. The slogan stays the same on all of the barns I've seen except the others say "Sterchi's" where this one says "Sterchi Bros." which sounds like something that makes this as barn even older than any other I've seen.

You can see this barn if you travel highway TN126 west of Blountville on the way to Kingsport in Sullivan County.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mrs. Grissom's neon sign at night - Nashville

Mrs. Grissom's neon sign at night

At the top of the sign in a picture of a tub of Pimento Cheese Salad. If you've never heard of Mrs. Grissom's, they make that and chicken salad and tuna salad and not mixed greens tossed salad. I ate a lot of pimento cheese sandwiches as a kid, but I didn't pay attention to brand names back then. To cut and paste from their website:

"Grace Grissom began making her delicious salads on Nashville's Historic Second Avenue back in 1955. If you've lived in the South very long, chances are you grew up eating Mrs. Grissom's delicious pimento cheese spread, chicken, ham, and tuna salad."

Today, they are located in Melrose, very close to the state fairgrounds.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Gallery: Waterfowl in Spring

Waterfowl in Spring: 2 Ducks

A couple of months ago, I went to my favorite spot at the lake (specifically, the spot at Old Hickory Lake near the dam) where all the Waterfowl congregate and I put on my website a set called Waterfowl in Winter.

Now, that Spring is upon us, I have gone back to the lake for a continuation of the series.

Waterfowl in Spring: Crested Duck Waterfowl in Spring: Black and White Duck

Extended Gallery: Waterfowl in Spring

If you like this photo, or ducks and geese, check it out!

Waterfowl in Spring: Duck

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vanishing Soon: The Cal Turner Barn

Cal Turner's barn

I hate to report for a second day on a row that something is going away. Unfortunately, this icon along Franklin Road (US31) in Brentwood may be torn down soon. A couple of weeks ago when a huge windstorm blew through the midstate, the roof was blown off this already fragile barn. By the time you read this, it may already be gone.

This barn is located on the family farm of Cal Turner, the deceased founder of Dollar General. It has been best known for the large Nativity painting which is draped on the roof every Christmastime (and preserved in storage the rest of the year.) If the family were to sell the farm, it could fetch a large amount of money being in some incredibly prime real estate area. In the background is the bottom half of the WSM 650 AM radio tower, which, when it was built in the 1930's was proclaimed as the tallest radio tower in the country.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vanishing Soon: Hermitage Liquors Neon Sign

Hermitage Liquors sign

I have recently received word that this sign in the Hermitage area of Nashville along Old Hickory Blvd. may be gone in the next couple of days.

I got a note from Debra Jane Seltzer (aka Agilitynut) who maintains perhaps the best website in America chronicling Roadside Architecture. She said:

This sign is going to be removed March 23. The owner wants to sell it but if not... I don't know what will happen with it. The Witt Sign Co. is removing it. I sure hope somebody can save this one!!

If you want to see an old sign in Nashville before it's too late, I'd advise you go soon.

Hermitage Liquors sign - Illuminated cloudy version

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ransom's Mill Dam - Murfreesboro, TN

Ransom's Mill Dam

This old dam on the Stones River in Murfreesboro is now a nice swimming hole. This area is easily accessible from the Manson Pike Trailhead on the Stones River Greenway system. I don't have any info on the history of the mill.

This photo was taken the day before the big May 2010 flood, but this same spot made the news in August. A lightning strike shut off power at a sewer treatmant plant, causing sewage to make it into the river a little upstream from here. So for a short while, there was no swimming here.

News story:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

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:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rock City: World's 8th Wonder

World's 8th Wonder

See Beautiful ROCK CITY. The rest of the wood has been replaced, but you can see the top of the W on the left and some of Wonder on the right. This is on Highway US64, the classic highway that runs from Memphis to Chattanooga. This barn is in Giles County, within a mile from the Lawrence County border.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Have a Great St. Patrick's Day!

Have a great day!

Here is a restaurant storefront in Erin, TN looking to capitalize on the town's Irish heritage with a leprechaun, clovers and a pot o'gold at the end of the rainbow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The old Only Bridge

"Only Bridge" 3

This long unused derelict bridge used to carry highway TN50 across the Duck River near the town of Only, TN in Hickman county. The truss bridge was built by Nashville Bridge Company in 1907 and was rendered obsolete by another bridge right next to it in 1962. The largest span is 225' with a total length of 395'. If this is something you want to see for yourself, this is less than a mile off Interstate 40.

Here's two more views:

"Only Bridge" 1 "Only Bridge" 2

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In Tennessee, even the caboose is orange!

In Tennessee, even the caboose is orange!

Ok, so it's an Illinois Central caboose, but who cares? This is one of the trains on display at the Tennessee Central Railroad Museum, which is a nice free train museum just east of downtown Nashville.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cumberland Falls

Cumberland falls

as seen from the lowest observation spot at the park. The waterfall is 60 feet tall and 125 feet wide. For all of my fellow Nashvillians who'd never heard of this place, It's the Cumberland River upstream near Corbin, Ky (sorta halfway between Knoxville and Lexington). Some people call it "Niagra Falls of the South."

This picture was taken close to dusk, as we had hoped to see the famed moonbow at the right moment, but it was too cloudy that night. When the moon is full, if you're standing at the right place you see something that looks like a rainbow, but it's illuminated by the light of the moon and not the sun. You can't see that too many places.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Giles Co. Courthouse at Dusk - Pulaski, TN

Giles Co. Courthouse at Dusk

The Giles County Courthouse in the center of the town square in Pulaski, TN was completed in 1909. It's a large 3 story brick structure measuring 60' x 150' with a large central cupola. The neoclassical design is marked by tall Corinthian Columns. On the inside, a balcony encircles the third floor while 16 caryatids (female faces) hold up the arched vault of the rotunda with a stained glass skylight. Inside the top of the cupola, a bell forged in 1858 strikes on the hours.

When this courthouse was built, they set out to be the nicest courthouse in Tennessee. It is certainly one of the best in the state.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cool Springs House - Brentwood, TN

Cool Springs House - Brentwood, TN

This is the Cool Springs that the mall and surrounding area is named after. The house was originally a two story log house built in the 1830s by James Carothers. It was expanded to with a frame addition in the 1870s by his son, Dr. Robert Blake Carothers.

This home was originally located on Mallory Road and ironically needed to be moved because the Cool Springs area has grown so much comercially that the house would have been removed with commercial development. In 1993, it was moved to Crockett Park in Brentwood.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Altamont Mormon Church

Altamont Mormon Church

The building seems to be in a little disrepair. The date listed on the front of the building is 1944.

In the area is one of the oldest mormon churches in the Southeast US. Then some of the Mormons from that church moved into this building into the 40's and into a newer building in the 80s.

This building is located on the old town square in Altamont and the old county courthouse was across the street until it burned down in the 90's. For a short while until the new courthouse was built, this served as a temporary courthouse for a short while.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Williamson County Courthouse - Franklin, TN

Williamson County Courthouse

Williamson County's first two courthouses (one log and the second of brick) were located in the center of Franklin's town square. This one is the third, completed in 1858 at a cost of $20,000. There are about 7 antebellum courthouses still in use in Tennessee.

The Four iron columns were strip-mined from deposits along the Caney Fork Creek, smelted in nearby Fernvale and cast at a Franklin foundry. The brick walls are 24 inches thick and the doors are of quarter inch sheets of wrought iron.

During the Civil War, it served as the federal headquarters. Then, after the Battle of Franklin it served as a hospital.

In 1880, a lynch mob hung a man from the railing of the second floor balcony while forcibly restraining the judge and sheriff.

The interior was remodeled in 1937, 1964 and 1976. An annex was added in 1976. A photo of the building from the mid 1970's shows the entire exterior was painted white, although I'm not sure when that was first done, or when the original brick was restored. Today, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the center of the town square today is a confederate statue and four cannons, one at each corner.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rubber Duck collection

2010 TN State Fair: Rubber Duck collection

This impressive collection was on display at the 2010 Tennessee State Fair. From Dracula to Rudolph to Grease.

The state fair has been in the news a lot over the past couple of months. I am glad to hear that they will at least remain in their same location for a couple more years. The 2010 fair was a huge success and the venue brings in millions of dollars to the city.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Athena's Nike Inside the Parthenon

Athena's Nike

If you've never heard what is inside the Replica Parthenon at Nashville's Centennial Park, there is a replica of the statue of the goddess Athena that appeared in the original Greek Parthenon. Sculptor Alan LeQuire went to great detail to recreate the statue so that it would be as close as the original as possible, despite the limited information available on the original. The statue was many years in the making.

Athena is holding Nike in her Right hand. Nike was the Greek goddess of victory. Nike is about as tall as a real person. Notice the snake bracelet.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lines of the Tennessee Tower - Downtown Nashville

Lines of the Tennessee Tower

Also known as the William R. Snodgrass Tower, this skyscraper was built in 1970 by the National Life and Accident Insurance company, and this was called the National Life Tower. L&A seemed to compete with L&C (National Life and Casualty) in everything. When built, this 31 story building became the tallest building in Nashville, surpassing the L&C Tower. L&A's motto was "We Shield Millions" which was abbreviated to WSM for their new radio station 650 AM. L&A was responsible for starting the Grand Old Opry and everything Opryland. This building was purchased by the state of Tennessee in 1994 to house many government offices.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Big Falls - Old Stone Fort Park - Manchester, TN

Big Falls - Old Stone Fort Park

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park is an American Indian ceremonial site estimated to be 2000 years old. The site is situated between two forks of the Duck River and both forks have several waterfalls. The two waterfalls on the northern fork are easily accessible and are magnificent.

Big Falls is the tallest waterfall with a drop of 30 feet. It's easy to perch on a rock right next to the falls but is not easy to get below in a way to look up at the falls.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Stone House at 511 5th Ave in Downtown Nashville

Stone House at 511 5th Ave

One stranger homes I've seen in the Nashville area. One of the few remaining in this area, just a few blocks south Country Music Hall Fame. it was built in 1931. I suppose it could be a duplex with two front doors. In the bottom right corner is the end of a stone concrete fence that runs in front of the house and it has a small rusty metal gate in the center. Apparently, this house was built by an Italian sculptor.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Doc. The L&N LeprechauN - Erin, TN

Doc. The L&N LeprechauN

I love this. it combines the two things Erin was known for, it's Irish Heritage and it's placement as a railroad stop on the line that used to run from Memphis to Clarksville

The city of Erin was initially inhabited by Irish laborers working to contruct the railroad and the city has remembered its Irish heritage. When the railroad completely pulled out, the town decided to constuct a park in the heart of town where the tracks used to be. This park is Betsy Ligon Park.

Among the things you can see in the park are a blue L&N Boxcar and Red L&N Caboose (both seen in the background) and a picnic pavilion made to look like a train depot.

I think the highlight here is Doc the leprechaun. He's wearing an L&N Logoed cap, with rail worker overalls and gloves. He also has the leprechaun shoes and socks with a clover on his front.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oldest Church Building in Tennessee

Oldest Church Building in Tennessee

The Sinking Creek Baptist Church building was built in 1783 and remained in use until 1924. They now have a relatively more modern building next door, but keep this one well maintained. It's located on highway TN91 (Old Us321), the older road from Elizabethton to Johnson City in Carter County.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Lost County: James County Courthouse - Ooltewah, TN

James County Courthouse - Ooltewah, TN

Many Tennesseeans are not familiar with James County. Soon after the civil war, portions of Hamilton County (Chattanooga) and Bradley County (Cleveland) voted to form their own county and named it after Jesse James. (not that Jesse James! A local state senator, Elbert James, wanted it named after his dad.)

Ooltewah, TN was the county seat and this, the third court house was built in 1913.

The county went bankrupt in 1919 and the county was absorbed by Hamilton County.

Today, this is the Mountain Oaks Wedding Chapel: www.wedd4love.com/

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The little bit uncovered of the Sedberry Hotel - McMinnville, TN


When workers were renovating the alley between the Park Theater and the Cumberland Bank in the older business district in McMinnville, Tn, they discovered this sign for the famous Sedberry Hotel. Contractors decided to leave this part of the sign showing and framed it with new brickwork and lights.

The Sedberry Hotel was one of the premier establishments in the Midsouth in the early 1900s, playing host to many of the era's celebrities and foreign dignitaries, reportedly including a nephew of the Czar of Russia, politicians Huey Long and Cordell Hull, gangster Al Capone and baseball great Babe Ruth, all of whom either stayed or dined at the Sedberry.