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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fireman Fountain - Chattanooga, TN

Fireman Fountain - Chattanooga, TN

In 1887, Chattanoogans wanted to honor their faller Fireman heroes and the town erected this cast iron fountain near the courthouse square. Along with a Spanish-American War Cannon the fountain is located in a small triangular area bounded by 6th, Georgia and Lookout streets.

Soon before this photo was taken in the fall on 2009, the fountain was restored to its original condition. The fireman is holding a firehose, and the fountain water shoots up out of that hose.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dade County Courthouse - Trenton, GA

Dade County Courthouse - Trenton, GA

The Courthouse is the only thing in Dade County listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The brick building was built in 1928 and located in the middle of the traffic circle in the town square.

Dade county is the most northwestern county in the state. The county geographically feels seperated from the rest of the state, as Lookout Mountain divides the county from the rest of the state. (For many decades, to get anywhere else in GA, you'd have to travel into Tennessee or Alabama and go around the mountain. For this reason, and for the story told below, the county is often called the "State of Dade."

The following story may not be how it actually happened, but it's how the locals tell it (and even appears this way on a historical marker at the courthouse). When Georgia was considering whether or not to secede from the Union and join the confederacy, the residents of Dade County became impatient and voted to secede from the state and the country on their own, becoming their own state. After the civil war, when Georgia rejoined the Union, it was assumed that "State of Dade" rejoined with them, but since they had seceded from the state, they never actually confirmed their readmission to the union. The Confederate flag continued to fly over the courthouse. Finally, in 1945 many locals gathered in a ceremony here to replace the Confederate Flag with a US Flag, officially rejoining Georgia and the Union, with President Truman acknowledging the event.

For the full story:

The story continues: In 1999, when the first U.S. state quarters were being minted, the Georgia quarter had an outline of the state omitting Dade County in the corner. We'll never know if this was intentional or not, but you can see a picture of it here:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Post Card Tuesday: Robertson County Courthouse

Court House, Springfield, Tenn

The center of the building was constructed in 1879. The clock tower and wings on either side were added in 1930, so this post card is newer than that. The exterior of the building went through renovations in 2006. Main Street is also old highway U.S. 41 and old U.S. 431 and a cross street in TN49

Robertson County Courthouse - Springfield TN

This looks like the same side, but it is actually the back. Because it's the sunny side and not on a busy street, this is the side photographed more often. Here's a black & white view of the front, but not from the same corner seen on the card:

Robertson County Courthouse - Springfield TN

Monday, May 28, 2012

On Memorial Day, Remembering Those Who Gave All

Murfreesboro 2011 Flags of Remembrance

If you live near Murfreesboro, I recommend you check out the Flags of Remembrance. The grassy lawn on Medical Center Parkway next to The Avenue has been transformed into an awe-inspiring field of over 1500 United States Flags in honor of those Americans who serve and sacrifice.

Many cities and counties build memorials to remember the local people who died for our country and our freedom. Here is a sampling of some of those memorials.

Stewart Co. Veterans Memorial Veterans of Sullivan County memorial - Blountville, TN

First is the Stewarts County Veterans Memorial in Dover, TN, and the Sullivan County Memorial in Blountville, TN

Dickson Co. War memorial Hickman Co. Veterans Memorial

Here is the Dickson County War Memorial behind the War Memorial building in Dickson, and the Hickman County Memorial in Centerville

Simpson Co., KY war memorial Bradley County War Memorial

Here we have the Simpson County Memorial in Franklin, Ky and the Bradley County memorial in Cleveland, TN

PFC Jerry Gentry Memorial Memorial to Sgt. Francis Green

Finally, we have a couple of memorials to a couple of specific soldiers. On the left is a memorial to PFC Jerry Wayne Gentry in Cartersville, GA whose actions saved the lives of four other soldiers. On the right is a memorial to Medal of Honor winner Sgt. Francos Green in Erin, TN.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Small World

Small World (version 2)

Known to many as the strange looking house near Warner Park, "Small World" is probably Nashville's most unusual design of modern home architecture.

The flat triangular design of a house lies along chickering Road, a street that is otherwise lined with more conservatively designed mansions. Contrasting the white exterior is the black cone, as if it were a wineglass and the house is lined with windows of small circular bubbles.

The house is owned by Richard and Rhonda Small. (Get the pun?) Richard Small is a Nashville Businessman who is the CEO of H.K.Co., a maker of Gauges and valves.

Curious what it looks like from above?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sterchi's Barn - Old US 31E, Sumner County

Sterchi's Barn - Old US 31E, Sumner County

"It costs less at STERCHI'S to furnish your home"

Sterchi Barns are an elusive thing. As someone who looks far and wide for advertising barns, there aren't many of these to be found, but they're not really near each other. There's this one near blountville, this one between Pulaski and fayetteville, and my favorite one north of Fayetteville. The one here is painted similarly to the previous two. During their heydey, the were the largest furniture store in America. Long out of business, their old warehouse in Knoxville has been turned into loft apartments.

The road to find this barn is a bit of an elusive thing, too. There are two old routes between Nashville and Louisville, which have been signed US31E and US31W. From there, almost all of US31E between Gallatin, TN and Scottsville, KY has been replaced by a modern smoother and straighter highway. If you'd like a slow leisurely drive that doesn't take you anywhere fast, I'd suggest you get your GPS and drive the old winding road between the two cities. This barn is a couple of miles north of Westmoreland. Before the days of US highways having numbers, back when they were called Auto Trails, this was known as the Andrew Jackson Highway, which follows a small stream through the area. This route dates back to 1911 and connected Chicago and New Orleans via Nashville.

There's one more thing that's been elusive. Sadly, that's been me taking a photo of the barn I could be happy with. The day I stumbled across this place, I noticed there was nowhere to pull over and there was just enough traffic that I couldn't just stop in the street. The same ad is painted on both sides, and I drove back and forth past it a couple of times. Then, I found on what otherwise owould have been my best shot, the sun was hitting the roof is such a way to wash out any evidence of writing. I made a return visit a few months later and again I didn't get a good shot, plus the barn's owner didn't take too kindly to me taking a picture of his barn. (at least that was my impression, I didn't stay any longer to find out.) It pains me that I'll settle with the photos uploaded today, where I've picked one from each side, one frome each visit.

Friday, May 25, 2012

New Gallery: Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Congo, the Male Giraffe - Nashville Zoo

Note: I posted this a few days ago, but forgot to actually link to the gallery. That is now corrected.

After some recent visits to the Nashville Zoo, located at the historic Grassmere Farm, I have enough photos to create a new Extended Gallery on the website. While Congo, the male Masai Giraffe, doesn't seem thrilled about it, you may be if you like that kind of thing.

Nashville Zoo Gallery

Rhinocerous Hornbill

I thought I'd share a couple of bird photos, also. Above is a Rhinoceros Hornbill. The first thing you notice about this bird is the large colorful curved casque atop it's bill. The species is native to places like Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Below is the Great Horned Owl is one of the largest owl species in the Americas. One of the most noticable features are the large tufts that resemble ears, but they are not ears. The owl is not part of an exhibit, but is seen during one of the shows.

Great Horned Owl

Nashville Zoo Gallery

Wartace Caboose

Wartace Caboose

I was in Wartrace looking at the L&N Caboose in the center of town when a real train, CSX 567 decided to come through.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Biggest Ball of Phosphate in Middle Tennessee

The Biggest Ball of Phosphate in Middle Tennessee

This reminds me of the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota. This is one of those really exciting tourist destinations that for some reason isn't listed in any tour guide or travel brochures. I actually ended up here looking for something else. I googled this before uploading the picture and got absolutely no results. Maybe somebody dropped this off in the middle of the park without getting permission first and then town officials thought it was too heavy to move so they just left it.

But seriously, the "Largest Phosphate Rock Mined in Middle Tennessee" is a testament to the biggest industry in Maury County many decades ago. Most phosphate rock is the size of a pebble but this one is 12 feet long and weighs 30 tons. It was mined in 1964 by the Farmer Construction Company for Monsanto. At that time, Monsanto operated the largest Phosphorous plant about 5 miles from here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Christopher Taylor House - Jonesborough, TN

Christopher Taylor House - Jonesborough, TN

When visiting historic Jonesborough, this two story log cabin is located along Main St. from this historical marker:

About one mile southwest of this location, this log house was built in 1777 by this officer who was a veteran of the French and Indian War and a major in the American Revolutionary War. He is buried in the family cemetery nearby. Andrew Jackson lived here in 1788-89 wile practicing law in Jonesborough. The house was moved intact to this site in 1974 to preserve it from demolition.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Post Card Tuesday: Steamboats in Downtown Nashville

Scene on the Cumberland, Nashville

This is what the area of Downtown Nashville which is now Riverfront Park looked like 100 years ago. This post card was postmarked in 1910. It goes back to a time when goods were shipped by boat and train to get them to arrive the fastest. Also, a couple of bridges are seen crossing the Cumberland River off in the distance.

At the time, Nashville was a relatively important river traffic town, despite being so far inland. the Nashville Bridge Company, which transitioned to making barges was across the river, where LP Field is today.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rock City is Beautiful Beyond Belief

Rock City is Beautiful Beyond Belief

If you've looked through my photostream, you'll see lots of Rock City Barns! I have books, I have maps, I have charts, I have notes from the time I've looked on the Internet to find out where all these barns are. And yet, I missed it. Oh, I was looking for it. I just missed it.

It was about 6 years ago, and my wife and I went out towards Cumberland Falls in hopes of catching the famed Moonbow, and along the way. My gracious wife humors me on these trips as we take a way-out-of-the-way route often with the hope of finding barns. With a dozen or so plotted, we made our trip. Sadly, it's not unusual to miss one. The books are a few years old and some have been torn down right before I got there and others have been razed since the day I was there. If I don't see it, I just assume it's gone for good, and go along my merry way.

Sometimes, it's hidden. For instance, I might look in the right place, but the wrong direction. I thought this one had been gone for good, like so many along the ever-expanding US27 tend to be. Then one day, one of my flickr friends uploaded their picture of the barn, and then it had been in the back of my mind for the next four years as I needed to go look again.

It's one of those areas that far away enough that it stretches the limit of what a day trip can accomplish, but too close to make a vacation out of. I picked a Saturday near the longest day of the year and made my way out there. And I missed it. Again. Thus, I began to wonder if I just wasn't meant to see this one. Of course, I turned around and couldn't miss it.

It's located in Scott County, TN along US27 near Winfield, TN about a mile south of the Kentucky border. As you can see here, there's a lot of greenery surrounding it. To my recollection, it's the only one I've seen with the message the Rock City is Beautiful Beyond Belief.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Grace Episcopal Church - Paris, TN

Grace Episcopal Church - Paris, TN

This is the oldest church building in town, dating back to 1895. J.P. Morgan donated $250 to help pay for the roof.

The large rose windows on this side of the building were replaced in 1966. These windows were made of stained glass shards gathered from cathedrals in Europe destoyed during the world wars. Some of those pieces date back to the 15th century.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dover Hotel (Surrender House)

Dover Hotel (Surrender House)

Built around 1851, this inn on the 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, May 18, 2012

Tomorrow is Free Day in May

Are you in or near Rutehrford County and looking for something free to do? Well this Saturday is the annual Free Day in May for several attractions. Included among the places you can see for free is the Sam Davis home in Smyrna and the Oaklands Historic House and Museum in Murfreesboro.

Sam Davis Home 1

Oakland's Plantation House

For full details, check out this story on the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal website, DNJ.com:
'Free Day in May' to kick off the 2012 tourism season in Rutherford County

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lee & Gould Furnace - Bucksnort, TN

Lee & Gould Furnace - Bucksnort, TN

In 1833, Samuel B. Lee and James Gould built the furnace as part of an ironworks that employed hundreds. They located here due to the proximity of the raw materials needed to produce iron - iron ore, limestone, sand, wood for charcoal to fuel the furnace and water to power the air blower that intensified the heat. In 1835 it ceased operation due to a shortage of economical iron ore. The furnace stands as a reminder of an early industry that employed many Hickman Countians. Interstate 40 runs right behind this furnace on the National Register of Historic Places and is accessible from the Bucksnort exit along highway TN230.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Ledges - Lewisburg, TN

The Ledges - Lewisburg, TN

The Ledges, also known as the Joe Chase Adams House is on the National Register of Historic places, notable for it's Queen Anne architectural style.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Gallery: Great Tennessee Air Show

It was cloudy all weekend, but that didn't stop me from having a good time at the Smyrna Airport.

2012 Smyrna Air Show: Navy Leapfrogs with U.S. Flag 2012 Smyrna Air Show: P-51 with Scooter Yoak

The show opened with presenting the U.S. Flag with a Navy Leapfrog Skydiver. Also, a P-51 with Scooter Yoak.

2012 Smyrna Air Show: Jason Newburg Knife-Edge Takeoff 2012 Smyrna Air Show: F4U Corsair with Dave Folk

Jason Newburg Makes a Knife-edge Takeoff. F4U Corsair with Dave Folk.

2012 Smyrna Air Show: B-1 Bomber 2012 Smyrna Air Show: Pyrotechnics

A B-1 Bomber makes a flyby and then a Pyrotechnics Display Explosion.

2012 Smyrna Air Show: Blue Angels Inverted Flight 2012 Smyrna Air Show: Blue Angels Diamond Formation

A Blue Angels pilot flies upside-down, and then the Diamond Formation.

2012 Smyrna Air Show: Blue Angels High-Speed Pass 2012 Smyrna Air Show: Blue Angels Breakaway

Blue Angels high-speed pass and then a Diamond Breakaway.

If this kind of thing interests you, or you're a fain of Air Show or general aviation photography, I invite you to check out my website's new extended gallery where I have an additional 200+ photos taken at the show including photos of each performers.

Check out the Air Show photos here:

Post Card Tuesday: Ozone Falls

Ozone Falls on U.S. Highway No. 70
In the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee

Ozone Falls is one of those places that is very scenic but not as popular as it was perhaps 50 years ago. It is really convenient to the Older US70, as there are several gravel parking spaces right along the highway. But these days, people may travel through here along US 70 if they're going to Ozone Falls, as Interstate 40 is a much more convenient method of getting up and over the mountains between Cookeville and Crossville.

Now personally, I've stopped here twice. You get out of your car, and it's about a minute walk to get to the top of the waterfall. There's no guardrails, or any other safety measures here, so it may not be the best place for pets or unsupervised children. Also, to get the view in the picture here requires going to a little effort, and both times I didn't have the time to make the effort, so I've only seen it from above. It's not as impressive, but I did see this:

Impressed by the 100 foot drop

A senior tour group also stopped to see the top of the falls. Impressed by the 110 foot drop, the lady in green wanted a picture, so she's hanging her head and arms over the edge to snap a shot. The lady in red is holding the feet of the first lady. The lady in brown is there I guess in case the lady in red keels over, or somesuch. Finally, the guy wants no part of it.

MariLynn admiring / respecting the 110 foot drop

My wife wanted a look, but I chickened out, so I took a picture of her being brave.

This is not a state park, but is designated a state natural area. Finally, the Disney movie Jungle Book had some scenes filmed here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Adventure Golf: Sign with T-Rex and Jaws

Adventure Golf: Sign with T-Rex and Jaws

"Big Jim" Sidwell worked at his family's furniture business in Murfreesboro, TN. He was looking for an outlet for his creativity when he and his family visiited Goofy Golf on a vaction to Florida. In his backyard, he built a large dnosaur out of wood and wire mesh, and then another and another.

In 1961, he opened Jolly Golf in Gatlinburg with many of his creations. He went on to build more mini golf parks in Daytona, Marietta and Lake of the Ozarks. When other attractions which also wanted his dinosaurs came calling, he started a fiberglass dinosaur factory in Murfreesboro. In the late 70's his tourist attraction vision expanded to a theme park in Pigeon Forge called Magic World.

At the gateway of the smokies, tourist attractions come and go, but one of the Sidwell family's parks is still open. Pigeon Forge exploded in popularity once Gatlinburg couldn't expand anymore. Adventure Golf along US441 looks like it remains popular after all these years. It has a charm I like that many oif the newer large corporate parks don't have.

There's a large Dinosaur by the entrance and a shark in the pond right by the 18th hole. Perhaps the most noticable thing is the oversized octopus in another pond and one of its many tentacles is raised up in the air!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Burial Site of Davy Crockett's Mother

Burial Site of Davy Crockett's Mother

Happy Mothers Day!

Rebecca Hawkins Crockett was born in Maryland and moved with her husband to east Tennessee. David Crockett's mother followed him through several residences before moving in with a daughter in West Tennessee.

About 10 miles away from where his mom and sister were living, David Crockett built a farm, which would eventually be his last residence. Soon thereafter, he went to fight in the Texas battle for independence and died at the Alamo in 1836.

About halfway between the two locations is the town of Rutherford, TN. The townspeople took the remaining logs from his last house which had fallen apart, and assembled them to make "Davy Crockett's Last house and Museum." They also reinterred the body of Mrs. Crockett here on the property with the marker shown here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Park Theatre - McMinnville, TN

Park Theatre - McMinnville, TN

This once thriving theater in downtown McMinnville, built in 1939, by Cowan Oldham, held 1,000 people, with one screen. This building was shut down in 1986, due to a contract with the Cumberland Amusement Company. The building is closed, but was bought out by a private group, and is currently being renovated to be a live entertainment center, and multi-use facility. The Theater is located along Main St., which is also old US70S (and TN1)

Park Theatre Neon Sign - McMinnville, TN

Friday, May 11, 2012

Moore Co. Courthouse - Lynchburg, TN

Moore Co. Courthouse 3 - Lynchburg, TN

Moore County is the smallest county in Tennessee in terms of both size (130 sq.mi.)and population (5,740). Lynchburg, the only city in the county is known by most people as the home to Jack Daniels, yet is a "dry" county. One author described Lynchburg as a place so out of the way that you can't accidentally stumble into the town, Lynchburg has to be your destination to end up there.

This courthouse was built in 1885. The walls are 20 inches thick of brick fired in town and held together with sand and lime. the building was renovated and expnaded in 1967-68 using matching foundation stone from Fayetteville and brick from Shelbyville. Listed on the National Registry of historic Places.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

R.C.May Jeweler neon sign - Columbia, TN

R.C.May Jeweler

Genuine - registered
Artcarved - Diamond Rings

Now that we are over a week into the month of May, here's a neon sign of a company whose owner is also named May.  This business and sign are located on the town square in Columbia.   I have been in the town square at night and not seen the sign lit up.  As a side note, I once heard this store referenced in a sermon since I had taken the picture.  I guess our preacher knows the owner.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Blue Angels fly over the Gulf of Mexico

Blue Angels fly over the Gulf of Mexico

The Blue Angels are stationed at a Naval Base in Pensacola, FL. On vacation two weeks ago, my wife and I were walking along the beach at Peridio Key Beach (about 10 miles away) as they flew by in formation.

Well, they must be following me. This upcoming weekend, they will be appearing at the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna, at the airport about a half mile from my house. I will see them again at the air show, but the flyby on the beach was for free.

The Smyrna air show usually happens every two years, but the 2010 show was moved to 2011 so they could get one of the premier acts. Here is a gallery of the 2011 show. The 2008 air show was the last time the Blue Angels came to Smyrna. Here is a gallery of that show. In 2006, I was walking along the shore of Percy Priest Lake when I heard the planes roar overhead and I realized I forgot to check on the date of the show. In a few days, be looking for a 2012 air show gallery.