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Monday, April 30, 2012

What the Nashville Sounds Have Been Known for

What the Nashville Sounds are known for

Several years ago, this is what caused the Nashville Sounds to receive national attention. Their "Faith Night" games where the stadium giveaway was a bobblehead of a Bible Character. Jonah (seen here) was given out at the June 16, 2006 game. Purity Dairies, another Quintessential Nashville company, was the title sponsor. The first 2000 people through the gates got one. Characters in the past include Samson, Moses and Noah, with no plans to ever make a Jesus bobble.

The idea was the brainchild of former Lipscomb University pitcher, and then Sounds employee Brent High. High then went on to create Third Coast Sports, a company that developed other religious-themed promotions for other sporting events

More info can be found in this NPR article.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lorikeet feeding

Lorikeet feeding

This is seen at Kentucky Down Under near Horse Cave, KY. The guide said if you've ever been somewhere else where you get to feed lorikeets (such as the Nashville Zoo), they probably came to research how at KDU, the first place to offer this attraction.

There must be something about the way I sweat, but at both KDU and the Nashville Zoo, several lorikeets came up to my face and started licking me. I liked it at first but it became disconcerting after a short while.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Burial Place of President Zachary Taylor - Louisville, KY

Burial Place of Zachary Taylor - Louisville, KY

At the time of President Zachary Taylor's death 1850, he was temporarily buried in Washington DC. A few months later, his body was moved here to the family cemetery near Louisville which was then part of the ground's for their home, Springfield. In the 1920's, the cemetery was enlarged, becoming a National Cemetery, and the presidents remains were moved to this mausoleum. it has a limestone exterior with a granite base with a marble interior. The entire cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1991, this place made the news as the body was exhumed to see if he had been poisoned.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Painted Black Bears of Cherokee, NC

Cherokee Bear: Sequoyah Syllabeary

"Sequoyah Syllabeary"

Since the thing for towns to do these days are to have statues of a mascot animal (like a few years ago Nashville had their catfish and Atlanta had their cows) Cherokee, NC has black bear statues all over town. This one was seen while driving highway US441 through town. There are many around town and here is a sampling.

Cherokee Bear

Cherokee Bear

Cherokee Bear: Eagle Dancer Bear
"Eagle Dance Bear"

Cherokee Bear: Pottery Bear
"Pottery Bear"

Cherokee Bear

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Crockett Tavern (replica) - Morristown, TN

Crockett Tavern (replica) - Morristown, TN

At this location in the 1790's, Davy Crockett's parents, John and Rebecca Crockett established and operated Crockett Tavern. The tavern also served as Davy's boyhood home for the Tennessee pioneer and political leader. The Hamblen County chapter of the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities opened the replica in 1958.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sam Davis Statue at Giles County Courthouse

Sam Davis Statue at Giles County Courthouse

The Sam Davis Monument on the south side of the square, was erected in honor of the young "Boy Hero" confederate scout who was captured on the old Lamb's Ferry Road south of Minor Hill and executed in Pulaski on November 27, 1863. The monument was erected through the joint efforts of the John H. Woolridge Bivouac and the Giles County Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy and cost $2,000.00. The same Italian sculptor who carved the figure marking the grave of Governor John C. Brown in Maplewood Cemetery carved the statue. The monument in front of the ornate courthouse cupola was dedicated October 11, 1906 as a part of the program of the Confederate reunion which met in Pulaski at that date.

Speaking of the courthouse, a different courthouse would have made the backdrop when the statue was built, the same one seen in a famous civil war photograph. In that photo, many citizens are lined up along the street when Sam Davis was to be hanged. That courthouse burned down in 1907, and the current courthouse was completed in 1909.

There is another Sam Davis statue on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol and also, the Sam Davis Mansion in Smyrna, TN is available for tours. Finally, there's a monument where he was captured at Minor Hill. For all my Sam Davis related pictures, Look Here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Post Card Tuesday: Giles County Courthouse

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.

Giles County Courthouse 1

The exterior of the courthouse has remained virtually unchanged several decades later. Of course now there's a huge tree in the view. (If I was standing on the other side, there would not be a tree in the way.) It also looks like there used to be rows of trimmed bushes lining the walkways.

The way I can tell what side I'm looking at is the the Hotel in the background on the left. That was the St. Giles Hotel, and while it has been gone for over 25 years, this marble plaque is at the site today.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gillespie Stone House

Gillespie Stone House

According to the historical marker along nearby US 11E/321:

This was built in 1792 for George Gillespie by Seth Smith, a Quaker stone mason from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. An early fort originally stood on the site, and was the dividing line between Washington and Green Counties in 1783. The house was purchased in 1842 by Jacob Klepper and has been preserved by his descendants.

Today the house is on the National Register of Historic Places as Col George Gillespie House. (The register also lists the address as being on highway US411, but 411 has been decommissioned around here. The road is old TN34.) Also, the county lines must have shifted some as it is now fully in Washington County. The town of Limestone is nearby.

For more info:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Downtown Louisville at Night

Downtown Louisville at Night

Across the Ohio River, in Clarksville, Indiana, there's a lovely little spot that's a perfect place to sit on a park bench and get a good look at the skyline.

On the left, you can see the rather new KFC Yum! Center. The Aegon Center is the tallest with the illuminated dome up top. The Galt House is in front of it. The E.ON U.S. Center is the one on the left with the green light on top. Next to that are the two Waterfront Plaza towers.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Old Sterchi's barn - North of Fayetteville, TN

old Sterchi's barn

This barn, with its weathered wood, stone blocks, rusty metal roof and vines (which may be still holding it up) is my favorite sight along the stretch of highway US231 between Shelbyville and Fayetteville in Lincoln County, TN.

If you look closely, there's a faded advertisement for long gone Sterchi's Department store. The painted letters rusted into the roof in a different shade of rust than the background.

The words read:

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Log Cabin Restaurant neon sign - Frayser, TN

The Log Cabin Restaurant neon sign - Frayser, TN

Seen along highway US51 in Frayser, a subrub of Memphis to the north. The sign has seen better days, but they still look to be open.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Nora" - Clarksville, TN


This bronze statue of Leonora "Nora" Witzel (1875-1968) is located at the northeast corner of the brick sidewalk of the Montgomery County Courthouse in Clarksville, TN. She is honored for breaking the glass ceiling and being prominent in local Portrait, Architecture and Landscape photography. The statue was sculpted by Andrea Lugar and dedicated five years ago on April 19, 2007. Part of her collection is on display at the Custom's House museum.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Doe River Covered Bridge - Elizabethton, TN

Doe River Covered Bridge

Built in 1882, this is the oldest covered bridge in Tennessee.

Constructed at a cost of $3,000 by contractor Dr. E.E. Hunter, George Lindamood and three carpenters, it spans the Doe River for 134 feet, resting on earth and limestone abutments. Hunter hired Colonel Thomas Matson, who had engineered the narrow guage Tweetsie Railroad, to design the bridge and serve as construction chief. Hunter made a profit of $5 on the bridge, so one of its names is the "Five Dollar Bridge"

The original structure was made almost entirely of wood; mainly mountain oak and white pine beams that were hauled down the steep slopes of the mountains by draft horses and mules, weatherboard of mountain poplar, and shingles cleaved by mallet and fro from chestnut. Hand forged steel spikes and hand threaded bolts fastened together the massive pieces of oak flooring. Termed an engineering feat, and listed in the Historic Engineering Record, the Covered Bridge survived numerous floods, including the great May flood of 1901, which destroyed all the other bridges in the county that crossed the Doe River. It is one of two bridges in Tennessee identified by a Tennessee Historical marker and is included on the National Registry of Historic Sites. The Covered Bridge remains the most photographed and most admired historical structure in Carter County.

The bridge contains one span and is of Howe Truss design. Inside the bridge is one lane of vehicle traffic, plus a pedestrian walkway, although the bridge is now closed to motor vehicles. Each end of the bridge features a projecting truncated gabled roofline.

Two other nicknames of this bridge are "Queen of the South" and "The Kissing Bridge." Every year in June, elizabethton has a festival called the Covered Bridge Celebration.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Post Card Tuesday: Sam Davis Statue at State Capitol

This vintage post card depicts the Sam Davis Statue at the State Capitol. It is located at the Southeast corner of Capitol Hill. There are stairs that lead up to the statue and a concrete bench allows people to sit at the base on either side.

The biggest change between now and then has to do with the landscaping. Back then, you can see red flowers were planted to spell out his name, but today this entire area is just grass.

Sam Davis Statue

Monday, April 16, 2012

ReLeaf Nashville Plaza - Centennial Park

ReLeaf Nashville Plaza

14 years ago today was the day of the Nashville Tornado. Three years to the day later, this memorial in Centennial Park was dedicated. The only person to die in the tornado was at Centennial. The plaque reads:

ReLeaf Nashville replanted more than 6,500 shade trees in ten neighborhoods and fourteen city parks hit by tornadoes on April 16, 1998.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

See Rock City & Country Trading Post

See Rock City & Trading Post

A few months ago, I got an email from a lady named Sharon, who found this photo online. As it turns out, this barn used to belong to the family of her husband.

Near the small town of Lake Tansi in Cumberland County, TN along state highway 282 is this See Rock City Barn. The barn was built in the 1930's when the family of Sharon's husband moved there. The Rock City ad hadn't been added until after that family had sold the property in the late 60's.

This may be one of the newer Rock City barns, as it isn't listed in the thorough David Jenkins boook Rock City Barns. The current owners have converted the barn into the Country Trading Post, however they weren't open on the day I visited. They also have quite the liscense plate collection, (See large size).

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Trenton TN's 31 MPH Speed Limit

Trenton TN's 31 MPH Speed Limit

In the early 1960s, Mayor Lawler and the aldermen in town couldn't agree on whether the town speed limit should be 30 or 35. 31 was proposed as a tounge-in-cheek compromise and it was adopted by everyone involved.

About 15 years later when the first round of signs were getting rusty, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, who didn't like the non-uniform speed limit, offered to pay for all of the replacement signs if they'd change it to 30 or 35. When asked about it, then mayor Glen Hurt said, "Of the people that have talked to me, a big majority of old people and young people think it's unique and want it to stay as it is." It has now stayed that way for half a century. Thus, if porcelain veilleuses (teapots) aren't you're thing, you still have a reason to visit Trenton.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cream City Ice Cream sign at Night - Cookeville, TN

Cream City Ice Cream

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. I'd describe how the sign works, but it would be quicker to look at the video.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The "General" and Great Locomotive Chase

Locomotive "General" marker

About 6 A.M. on April 12, 1862, a Federal spy and contraband merchant, James J. Andrews, of Ky, together with 18 soldiers and one civilian seized "General" and three box cars while the train crew and passengers were eating breakfast at the Lacy Hotel. Intedning to sabotge the state railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga, the raiders steamed north to destroy track and burn bridges. They were foiled in this attempt by the persistant pursuit of conducter of the train Capt. W.A. Fuller, Fireman Jeff Cain and Anthony Murphy of the Atlanta Railroad shops, after a chase of 87 miles at the tracks a few feet from this location.

William A. Fuller marker

Both of the markers above, one for the "General" and one for William A. Fuller, are seen in downtown Kennesaw, GA. Today, that locomotive is the centerpiece of the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, also in Kennessaw.

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

Little General - Marietta, GA

Little General - Marietta, GA

This replica train is located in Glover Park, in the middle of the town square in Marietta, GA. It's a smaller version of the "General" which was a part of the Great Locomotive Chase.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

KFC signs: Old and New - Corbin, KY

KFC signs: Old and New

KFC started as Harlan Sanders Cafe in Corbin, Ky. He owned a motel and a restaurant along highway US25. When the interstate was built, fewer people drove past the place, and it almost went out of business until he passed the fried chicken recipe to a franchise. Now, the 11 herbs and spices are eaten everywhere.

In the foreground is the original Sanders Cafe sign which sticks out of the entrance. In the background is the really tall 1980's bucket sign that you can see from the interstate. Of course, these days the powers that be market the fast food chain in most places as KFC and not Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Post Card Tuesday: Nashville's National Military Cemetery

This cemetery which primarily contains the bodies of Union soldiers from the Civil War is located off of Gallatin Pk. in north Nashville, just north of Briley Parkway. The date on the cemetery gate is 1867, and several decades later, the postmark date on the post card in 1915. Today, the columns and arch of the main entrance are still there, but it's not used as an entrance anymore. The stone fence on either side of the entrance is now gone and cars enter on the right and leave on the left.

This is what it looks like today.

Statue honoring U.S. Black troops in the Civil War

This is a statue at this cemetery honoring U.S. Black troops in the Civil War. The Statue was dedicated in 2003.

Monday, April 9, 2012

In the news: Rock City Barns being repainted

There have been several stories lately about how the folks at Rock City have had some of their old barns repainted. They've hired Jim Byars, son of the original painter Clark Byars to visit a few of the barns. His painting partner is Don Parris.

First, here's a gallery of a barn on US27 near Lafayette, GA getting redone:
Repainting Rock City Barn

And then, here's a video Chattanooga News Channel 9 showing this barn being painted.
Rock City Barns, A Southern Icon

More recently, a barn along Interstate 40 in Roane County was repainted just a couple of days ago. Here's what it looked like when I was there:
Millions Have Seen Rock City
(It looked freshly painted back then, about 5 & 1/2 years ago.)

Here's a story about this barn's repainting:
Rock City Barn Messaging Going Strong Even After 80 Years/

This article mentions the Henderson Barn along Little River Canyon Parkway near Ft. Payne, AL. Here's a photo of that barn, also from nearly 5 and 1/2 years ago.

See Beautiful Rock City Today

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Clifton First Presbyterian Church

Clifton First Presbyterian Church

During the Civil War, Late in December 1863, teh 2nd Tennessee Mounted Infantry (US) occupied Clifton and placed a garrison on Stockade Hill, located right behind this church, which Confederates had used as a hospital. The Federals used it as a livery stable and a blacksmith shop. The damage the building suffered resulted in a claim against teh United States, which compensated the congregation with $780 in 1915. The congregation used those funds to contruct the steeple seen here.

If you look at this picture full sized, you may notice how the bricks around the front door don't seem as uniform like around the rest of the building. Federal Troops enlarged the front door, since they used the building as a stable for their horses. After the war, the original door was replaced. Today, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dover Hotel (Surrender House)

Dover Hotel (Surrender House)

Built around 1851, this inn on teh banks of the Cumberland River accomidated riverboat travelers before and after the Civil War. However, the hotel is best known for an important event to end the Civil War Battle of Fort Donelson.

Confederate General Simon Buckner used this location as his headquarters during the battle. Despite the Confederates having a strong hold on the area after a couple of days of intense fighting, they were in a difficult position. Buckner sent a note to his friend, Union General Ulysses S. Grant requesting a cease-fire and generous term of surrender. Grant responded with a letter stating he would have nothing short of "Unconditional Surrender" which is a phrase that then became synonomus with Grant.

Grant came here to meet Buckner on Feb. 16, 1862 to negotiate that surrender. For the full story, read the rest here:

On a personal note, I am reminded of a time I spent with my grandmother who likes shopping at garage sales. I was in the 4th grade at the time, and at a sale I found a medallion commemorating this place, and I got my grandmother to buy it for me. At the time, I knew nothing about Fort Donelson, but just thought it looked neat.

A couple of years later as a sixth grader, our cless took a field trip to Fort Donelson, and we saw this place. It was some time after that that I put two and two together and realized the building we visited on the class trip was the same place on the medallion.

Have you ever had a feeling where you revisited something you saw as a kid, and now that you're bigger the place looks a whole lot smaller than the way you remember it? That's the way I feel on the day I took this picture. I could have sworn this place was much bigger. I's still noit completely certain this is the same place, and it's been a couple of house moves since I've seen the medallion, so I can't be certain.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Standing Stone Monument - Monterey, TN

The Standing Stone Monument - Monterey, TN

The sandstone rock atop this lighthouse-shaped pedestal is the only known remaining fragment of the 16 ft. dog shaped monolith that stood for centuries about a half mile west of here. Nobody knows exactly how many centuries ago Indians placed the stone, which likely marked an area of peace for those who traveled and hunted along the Cumberland Plateau.

Over the years, weather and souvenir seekers who would carve off a tiny piece of it almost entirely dimished the stone to a height of 3 1/2 feet. Local travelers used the remnant as a hitching post until the railroad came through and blasted it to smooth out a railroad bed. Of that, the largest remaining peice was placed atop the pedestal in a ceremony in Oct. 1895.

Since 1979, the town has celebrated Standing Stone Day each year on the 2nd Saturday in October. A highlight of the festival is when a wreath and tomahawk are placed at the base.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Old Post House - Clarksville, TN

Old Post House - Clarksville, TN

Located in a part of town that used to be called Oak Grove, this is midway between the center of Clarksville and Hopkinsville, KY. This served as a stop for the triweekly stagecoaches which operated between Nashville and towns along the Ohio River. The building was erected in the 1830's (possibly sooner) and also was used as a post office, a church storeroom and a private residence.

Today, you can find this along highway US 41A as it runs along the entrance to Fort Campbell. As the highway had to be expanded, this was considered important enough to build around as this is between the northbound and southbound lanes, along with Bethel United Methodist Church and Patriot Park. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The city renovated it, which was finished in the fall of 1990.

Historical Marker:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

JFG Coffee sign - Old City, Knoxville, TN

JFG Coffee

JFG Coffee was started in Knoxville in 1919. For many decades, they were located in several buildings in the Jackson Avenue Warehouse District, an area that today is known as Knoxville's Old City.

The main factory building has a large JFG sign atop it. The sign has the company's slogan atop a steaming cup of coffee. The sign still lights up at nights, although many of the bulbs are out.

JFG is now owned by Luzienne Tea and not located here anymore. this area is a popular spot for loft apartments and is today the JFG Flats.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Post Card Tuesday: Home of Sgt. Alvin York - Pall Mall, TN

For this week's post card, we have a linen-era card labelled as the Home of Sergeant Alvin C. York, of World War Fame, Pall Mall, Tenn. "Photo by Tenn. State Dept. of Conservation." This card was probably designed before World War II, or the title would have described Sgt. York of World War I fame, instead of just World War. He lived until 1968, so he would have still been living here at the time.

Here is a photo of the home today:

Alvin C. York's Home

The area is now known as the Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Site and includes the home, his burial site and the mill across the street where he worked. Today, the home is preserved as a museum, displaying several York artifacts and exhibits. The home and State Historic Site are conveniently located on US Highway 127 in Fentress County in the small town of Pall Mall, which on some maps may be listed as Wolf River.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Newbern April 02, 2006 Tornado Memorial

Newbern April 2006 Tornado Memorial

Newbern is a city in Dyer County in West Tennessee. 6 years ago, the city was hit by a devastating tornado. This memorial is located in front of the train depot in Newbern, TN,

It reads:
For as long as the Train rolls by let the whistle sound the remembrance of these we love & miss.
(Then the 16 names are listed)
Along the railroad are 16 Dogwoods planted for each friend. Each tree greets visitors to a community who cares.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy April Fools Day!

A Midsummer's Nightmare 23

For me, the highlight of the yearly RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival was a play starring the locals, young and old. It was low budget and put on by volunteers. However, I liked how you could see that they put in a lot of effort and it had a lot of that quaint small town charm. The story was essentially the pairing of Mr. RC Cola and Miss Moon Pie loosely set to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream. As an added bonus, for no apparent reason, most characters acted their parts while standing in a wading pool.

In this scene, those who attempt to translate the king's riddle make no sense, thereby confusing the rest of the cast. Some characters are seen wearing an outfit of GooGoo clusters. While the GooGoo is another Middle Tennessee delicacy, the are the enemy to a town full of Moon Pie lovers.

The 2012 Bell Buckle event is on June 16