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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The year has really flown by

2011 TN State Fair:  Starship 2000

2000 has really gone by fast, hasn't it. I mean 2011, of course. I suppose I qualify as being old enough to remember when something futuristic had the year 2000 added to it, like this centrifuge type ride on the midway at the 2011 Tennessee State Fair.

If you never saw any 2011 State Fair photos, in addition to the few fair photos I have uploaded to flickr of to the blog, I have many more which have been added to this gallery on the SeeMidTN.com website:

Friday, December 30, 2011

Jack Daniels Barrel at Lynchburg Town Square

Jack Daniels Barrel at Lynchburg Town Square

At Jack Daniels, they don't just throw away the barrels they crafted to let the whiskey mellow. You can buy a barrel from Jack Daniels. Well, let me rephrase that - if you buy enough whiskey that you have purchased all the whiskey from one barrel, they will send you the barrel for free. As that much whiskey costs thousands of dollars, it's a little too pricey for the average person. However, if you take the Jack Daniels factory tour they have a hall of fame room where they have listed on the wall everyone to have purchased an entire barrel. From there, there's an elite ring of people who have purchased 7 barrels over the years, with an Old No. 7 next to their name. (Most of these elites are of course liquor stores.)

A common usage of the old barrels around the town of lynchburg is to convert them into flower planters, or with the one seen here, a trash barrel. The Moore County Courthouse is seen in the background.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Old Scott County Jail - Huntsville, TN

Old Scott County Jail - Huntsville, TN

This historic jail built in 1907 is on the National Register of Historic Places and is located on the other side of a parking lot from the county courthouse. The crenelated wall is made by five by four by three foot blocks of local red sandstone. The jailers quarters are on the first floor. Maximum security prisoners are on the third floor, which was added in 1922.

A replacement jail was built in 1963. Later after a few prisoners escaped, this building was renovated to be the jail again. No prisoners had ever escaped, which is what you would expect from this place, which has the appearance of an impenetrable fortress.

This jail did finally close down in late 2008 with the building of a modern Justice Center a couple of miles away. In the mean time, the city isn't sure what to do with their historic structure. At the time of the closing, it was the second oldest county jail in use (after the Bledsoe Co. Jail in Pikeville). For more info: www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/jul/27/historic-scott-co-jail-...

I saw a picture of this jail from the late 70s. Since then, the front awning has been added, but back then they still had a soda machine out front.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Jordan Motel sign - Jamestown, TN

The Jordan Motel sign

Jamestown, Tn along U.S. 127. This Motel is along the route of the World's Largest Garage Sale, and one of the most popular stops - I would guess it sells out far in advance.

Much of the sign and the exterior of the motel is made of Crab Orchard stone, which is prevalent in the area.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Frozen Shoreline of Percy Priest Lake

The Frozen Shoreline of Percy Priest Lake

On a freezing evening, It looks as the water came in to shore, it would splash over the rock and then freeze before it could come down on the other side.

A couple of days after a big snow and freeze, when the sun came out I went to Percy Priest Lake by the dam. Years ago, this was my favorite place to feed the ducks and is now my favorite place to photograph them.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Neon Ice Cream - Clarksville, TN

Neon Cream City Ice Cream

Here's hoping your Christmas had an extra cherry on top!

Part of the Cream City Ice Cream sign. The cherry on top moves. Right now, it's in the "up" position, but it also takes the outline of the red.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nashville's Christmas Tree 2011

Nashville's Christmas Tree 2011

Merry Christmas!

Located in front of the Davidson County Courthouse, Nashville's Christmas tree is lit with lights of Blue, Green and Red. The best I can tell, it looks the same as Nashville's 2010 Christmas Tree. However, this year, the Courthouse has Red and Green lights on it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 Tennessee State Capitol Christmas at Night

2011 Tennessee State Capitol Christmas at Night

The Tennessee State Capitol sits upon Capitol Hill in downtown Nashville. It was designed in a Greek Revival style by prominent architect William Strickland and completed in 1859.

For Christmas, all of the lights along the base of the capitol have added a red tinting which colors most of the building. Only the lights for the cupola have not changed to red, however the lights inside the cupola window are green if you look closely.

Friday, December 23, 2011

See Beautiful Rock City To-day

See Beautiful Rock City To-day

Not far from Sevierville, TN, this See Rock City Barn is located along the Chapman Highway (U.S. 441 and U.S. 411) at the intersection with Garner Hollow LN. Those going westbound will see this.

Of note to Rock City Barn enthusiests, the way the "Today" is painted is different than it used to be. It is all block lettes now, but used to be in cursive script. The cursive part has been painted over in black but barely can be seen below the TY in CITY. Click the photo below to see a closeup.

See Rock City "Today"

Right behind me is a small hill that many people choose to climb when photographing this barn.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

International Plaza - Nashville

International Plaza

Here's a distinct office building in Nashville! The gold-tinted glass windows which cover the exterior of this nine story building next to the airport can be seen for miles. I'm not quite sure how old the building is or even when it got its name. It probably predates when the airport got the International moniker a couple of decades ago. Maybe it's because it's built in the "International Style" which includes buildings completely covered in glass. About a decade ago, I worked here for about half a year on the top floor. Boy did I hate the fire drill.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Riverboat and a Courthouse

A Riverboat and a Courthouse

Today, the blog takes us way north of Middle Tennessee, all the way to the northern end of Kentucky. Here are two vintage things that don't get seen together all that often. This view as you can see is taken from across the river in downtown Cincinnati.

In the foreground, Docked along the banks of the Ohio is the Cincinnati Belle Riverboat. In the background, a couple of blocks away, is the Campbell County Courthouse of Newport, Ky.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christ Church Cathedral Pipe Organ - Nashville

Christ Church Cathedral Pipe Organ - Nashville

This is inside the Sanctuary of Christ Church Cathedral along Broadway in Downtown Nashville, TN. The Pipe organ is in the balcony in the back. The congregation dates back to 1829 and the building opened in 1894. They frequently host arts and music events at the building as part of their Sacred Space for the City series, which is why I was here on this particular day.

I generally don't like taking HDR pictures because of the extra effort involved. However, tonight I was standing in just the right place that I felt it needed to be done. (Some people love HDR, but I tend to be more on the documentary / stock side of photography instead of artsy. However, HDR works magnificently in Cathedrals!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Wonderland - seen at the 2009 TN State Fair

09 TN State Fair #154: Winter Wonderland

In the Creative Arts building of the 2009 Tennessee State Fair was this interesting entry. I believe this wasn't a cake design but it was nearby with other decorative desserts, maybe a "cookie." Whatever it is, liberal use of white frosting makes for a nice snow scene.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cumberland Co. Courthouse: full straight view

Cumberland Co. Courthouse 3: full straight view

Located in Crossville, TN, this courthouse was built in 1905 to replace the older courthouse located across the street. The older courthouse was damaged but not completely destroyed by a fire. The damage was severe enough that a new courthouse was needed, but the old courthouse was repaired and is now used as a military museum.

The building, like many in the area, is construced using the distinctive local Crab Orchard Stone.. This stone is a rare sandstone from nearby Crab Orcahrd Mountain and is noted for it's color streaks and differing shades of brown.

The courthouse cost $23,000 to build in 1905. It's two stories and has a monumental entrance consisting of dual arches, large 2nd story windows and a stepped gable.

Around the rest of the exterior on the first floor is a strongly articulated horizontal stone course, whereas the second floor has a smooth aslar finish. Atop the courthouse is an elaborate clock tower in the center of the roof. At each corner of the building are slightly lowered projecting octagonal bays.

Although there are several unusual features, this courthouse is similar to the now gone Lawrence County Courthouse which was also built in 1905. The courthouses are also listed on the National register of Historic Places.

About a year ago, in April 2008, the lawn of the courthouse was newsworthy. The county had established this area as a free speech zone, which prompted people leaving permanent displays there. The county was fine with this until they received many complaints of a statue of the Flying Spagetti Monster, and they announced that all displays had to be taken down. The full story is here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

UT Raggedy Ann - Seen at 2010 Lincoln Co. Fair

2010 Lincoln Co. Fair: UT Raggedy Ann

There was a UT Raggedy Andy right next to Ann, but the display was behind chicken wire, so the view of both of them together would not have come out too well. Raggedy Ann and Andy are perhaps the most well known rag dolls. The one here has the usual Raggedy Ann red hair changed to orange as well as a shirt full of Vols logos.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bedford County Courthouse at Christmas

Bedford County Courthouse at Christmas

The courthouse located in Shelbyville's town square isn't too different than normal. There's a large wreath on each side and the light poles have Christmas lights on them that come on at night.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bonnie Kaye Theater - Elizabethton, TN

Bonnie Kaye Theater - Elizabethton, TN

From the Elizabethton Walking tour brochure (Stop #29)

The Bonnie Kate Theater, another Classical Revival
Design, formally opened on May 16, 1926. All 500 of
the seats were filled and the audience enjoyed the
showing of a silent film. A local music program
"Barrels of Fun" originated here in the 1930s and in the
1940s was broadcast by two radio stations (one next
door) to a listening audience of 3.2 million people in
the southeast area. This was the first theater East of
the Mississippi to have rocking chair seating (1969).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lawrenceburg Mexican War Monument

Lawrenceburg Mexican War Monument

Civil War monuments are aplenty around the united states, but if you are looking for a monument remembering the Mexican-American War of the mid 1840s, there are only 2 in America, one of which is shown here in Lawrenceburg, TN. Planning began on the War Monument in 1849 and the city legislature passed a resolution on 1/9/1850 to appropriate $1,500 to erect it. The monument was created to perpetuate the memory of the "Lawrenceburg Blues" and Captain William B. Allen who fought in the Mexican War. It has a four square base supporting a shaft running skyward and is on the north side of the Lawrenceburg town square.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

NOEL in Franklin, TN

Noel in Franklin, TN 2007

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

Monday, December 12, 2011

Book Suggestion: a couple of books about Church Hymns

I have a couple of suggestions for books about Christian Worship hymns with a Tennessee tie-in.

First of all, We have Abide With Me. In this book, local resident and Lipscomb professor John H. Parker presents this excellent coffee table book exploring the beginnings of some of our best loved hymns. Included with this book is a cd of performances of the songs discussed in the book. The cd was compiled by and in part performed by Ray Walker, another Middle Tennessee resident, who is a singer for the Jordanaires who frequently sang backup to Elvis.

For suggestion number two, we have Smoky Mountain Hymns: Beautiful scenes and timeless hymns from the Great Smoky Mountains. This book focuses more on some of the best loved southern gospel songs with stunning scenes from the the East Tennessee Mountains.

Ferguson Hall - Spring Hill, TN

Ferguson Hall - Spring Hill, TN

This Antebellum home dates back to 1853 and was the home of Martin Cheairs. During the Civil War, it was the headquarters of Confederate General Earl Van Dorn in April and May of 1963.

On May 7, 1864, local physician and politician Dr. George B. Peters visited Van Dorn here to discuss allegations that Van Dorn had an affair with his wife. Dr. Peters shot and killed Van Dorn in the back of the head with a pistol.

After the war, this became the Branham-Hughes Military Academy and today is part of Tennessee Childrens Home. The home is located on highway US 31 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. For More info:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hickman Springs Waterfall - View from the road

Hickman Springs Waterfall D - View from the road

If you look closely, there's a rainbow effect hitting the waterfall here.

Here's an easily accessible waterfall that I drove near 3 or 4 times without getting right up to it. You can see it from the street, Hickman Springs Rd.

The waterfall comes from a nearly flat area at the top, and then tumbles 20 feet to the base, where the water continues to trickle down the terrain.

Driving here is easy. Parking isn't. All the area at top is private property. There's a little space to pull over if you're driving back down the street.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shelby Reinhart Bridge - South Pittsburg, TN

Shelby Reinhart Bridge 4

Built in 1981, the Shelby Reinhart Bridge is used to carry highway TN156 across the Tennessee River to connect the towns of South Pittsburg and New Hope in Marion County, Tennessee. Before the bridge, there was a ferry just a few thousand feet south of here.

The big blue bridge is a metal through arch bridge and is 1,514 ft. long.

This view was taken from the now mostly forgotten old ferry road that became obsolete after this bridge was built.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Lynchburg Christmas - Lights on the Courthouse

A Lynchburg Christmas 8

I love what they do at the Courthouse for Christmas, with the lights along the top, electric candlelights in the windows and the wreaths at the doors. This is a nice town square to visit at any time of the year, but the deep red colored building is great especially now.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jonathan Webster House - Cross Bridges, TN

Jonathan Webster House

Jonathan Webster (1767-1854) was a veteran of the American Revolutionary War from Georgia and purchased land in what is now Cross Bridges, TN in Maury County. He came here when the area was a wilderness and was credited with killing the last panter in the area. He started building this house in 1810.

He was also known as the person who brought mules to Maury County and was the first local breeder. His actions led to the county becoming the Mule Capital of the nation.

This is stop #45 on the TNTrailsandByways.com "Old TN Trail." It is also on the National Register of Historic Places and is located on Hampshire Pike (US412)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Levy Building - downtown Louisville

Levy Building - downtown Louisville

The Levy Brothers wanted to open an upscale clothing store at the corner of Third and Market in Downtown Lousivlle in 1891. The building was designed by Charles Clarke and Arthur Loomis in a Richardsonian Romanesque style.

The five story building is constructed with red and yellow bricks with red terra-cotta details articulating the arches, windows, cornice and tower. The tower joins the two exuberant facades as the windows have varying shapes and sizes.

Levy Brothers closed their store in 1979. After a few years of renovation, Old Spaghetti Factory opened a restaurant on the main floor. Later, the other floors became condominiums. The building is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

Levy Building tower - downtown Louisville

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Town Hall - Cannonsburgh Village

Town Hall - Cannonsburgh Village

Cannonsburgh is a collection of log houses and other vintage buildings which have been relocated to a park not far from the center of Murfreesboro. I don't know if the tall leaf-less tree makes this look creepy or Christmas-y. I'll leave that up to you to decide.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sam Jones Memorial Methodist Church

Sam Jones Memorial Methodist Church

This old church building is in the heart of Cartersville, GA named in honor of local preacher Sam Jones. Today their old sanctuary is on the National Register of Historic Places.

For those of you with Nashville connections, like me, Sam Jones came to Nashville to preach in 1885 and converted riverboat captain Tom Ryman. Ryman later built Union Gospel Tabernacle which later became the famous music venue Ryman Auditorium.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Place Where Sam Davis was Captured

The Place Where Sam Davis was Captured ver# 3

If you are a fan of Civil War Confederate Boy Hero Sam Davis, there are two well known places to visit, his mansion is Smyrna and his museum in Pulaski. There is a third spot which has become more forgotten, perhaps because it's more in the middle of nowhere.

The area is known as Minor Hill, a rural area in Giles County. It's just off of highway TN11 just 2 or 3 miles north of the Alabama border. The actual street this is located on is Sam Davis Dr. To help you spot it, between Sam Davis Dr and TN11 is a small street with a median named Monument Dr.

On the top of the monument is a capital D in a circle, then this text:

Place where Sam Davis was captured Nov. 19, 1863. Minor Hill, Tennessee
Executed at Pulaski Tenn. Nov. 27, 1863
When Offered his freedom for information, his answer was, "No, I cannot, I would rather die a thousand deaths than betray a friend or be false to a duty."
No Greater Love hath man that this: Life for one's friend to give, that soul divine, speaks to his foe, "I Die that you may live.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Opryland Hotel Poinsettia lights

Opryland Hotel Poinsetta lights

When you drive by opryland, they always have a really, really tall string of lights, and at the base are these poinsettia lights.

For those of you who are familiar with camera filters...To think I was never going to use my Snow Cross filter (aka starburst 6 point), I've now found a use for it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Alvin York's Moonshine Still?

Alvin York's Moonshine Still?

Located at the Alvin York State Historic Park in Pall Mall, TN near the large red mill, however it is missing some important parts. I guess the feds (or the "Revenooers") decided to leave this for it's historical significance.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Winstead Hill Monument: Cockrell's Missouri Brigade

Winstead Hill Monument: Cockrell's Missouri Brigade

Winstead Hill Park is a part of the Battle of Franklin National Landmark on the south side of Franklin, TN in Williamson County along highway US31 (Columbia Pike).

I should have posted this yesterday. On Nov. 30, 1864, Confederate General Hood stood here to observe the Union troops two miles away. Starting here, many regiments consisting of 19,000 soldiers formed a line two miles wide to drive the union back. At 4pm from the hill, the signal was given launching the single largest attack in the Civil War. The Federal soldiers never forgot the the sheer spectacle of the grays sweeping across the fields near here with one Union soldier writing, "We were spellbound with admiration, although they were our hated foes."