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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Home of Buford Pusser - Adamsville, TN

The Home of Buford Pusser - Adamsville, TN

Buford Pusser is the small town sheriff who became legendary because of the film "Walking Tall." Pusser returned to McNairy County to find things weren't like they used to be, then successfully ran for Sheriff to clean up the corruption. After a couple of terms as sheriff, he became the Adamsville constable. Then in 1974, he died in a one car crash. His home has since been turned into a museum and there's a second museum inside the bottom floor of the McNairy County Courthouse in Selmer.

Today, the home he lived in is preserved as a museum.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mill Mountain Star - Roanoke, VA

Mill Mountain Star - Roanoke, VA

The Roanoke Star is the World's Largest freestanding illuminated man-made star, which I am sure will give everybody goosebumps just thinking about it. It was constructed in 1949 and placed atop Mill Mountain, facing towards the city, causing Roanoke to get the nickname "Star City of the South"

It was placed at its location permanently in 1949 to kick off the Christmas shopping season. Once it proved to be popular, it was decided to be lit year round. At first, it was all white. Next, red was added, but only illuminated for one day to indicate a traffic fatality.

As part of America's Bicentennial Celebration in 1976, the current design was created, consisting of one red outer star, two white middle stars and two inner blue stars. Sometimes, the look would go to just a red star, like a flag being displayed at half-staff, or blinking-alternating colors. To commemorate September 11, 2001, the star has since remained at this same classic red, white and blue combination (with the exception of a temporary change in memory of the Virginia Tech shooting and also for routine maintenance. Starting Sunday, September 11, 2011 to mark the 10-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, the star went back to being all white again, except for special occasions.

Mill Mountain Star - Roanoke, VA

Friday, March 29, 2013

Parham School House

Parham School House

OK, this kind of picture deserves to not be taken with a guardrail in the foreground, but there was nowhere to park and this was a drive-by shooting (in a camera sense.)

This one room schoolhouse was built in 1919 and typical of the types of schoolhouses in the area.

This is stop #22 on the TNTrailsandByways.com "Old TN Trail"

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Schurz / Von Steinwehr Monument

Schurz / Von Steinwehr Monument

This Civil War Monument is located in Chattanooga and is visible from Interstate 24. (Since you don't want to park on the interstate, Parker Ln will lead you to this vantage point.) This monument was erected by the state of New York to remember the actions of the Battle of Wauhatchie. On the Night of October 28-29, 1863, elements of General Carl Schurz’s and General Adolph von Steinwehr’s divisions (Union) were positioned on this small knoll, known locally as Tyndale’s Hill. Nearly a month later, Maj. General John Hooker watched the Battle of Lookout Mountain from near this spot.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lutino Rosy-faced Lovebird

Lutino Rosy-faced Lovebird

The Rosy-faced Lovebird is also known as the Peach-faced Lovebird. This species has multiple color variations. The standard color outside of the peach-face is green. When they are mostly yellow like this one, they are called Lutino. This one was in a walk-in aviary at the Jackson, MS Zoo.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fleetwood Coffee + Butternut Coffee barn - Meigs County, TN

Fleetwood Coffee + Butternut Coffee barn - Meigs County, TN

This barn is along highway TN58 in Meigs County between the Hiawassee River and Decatur, visible to northbound traffic. The other side is a Ruby Falls barn. It took me a while to figure out what was written here with the help of some readers. The right half was for ButterNut Coffee. The other side is for Fleetwood Coffee. I have since seen other Fleetwood Coffee barns in Tennessee, such as along TN61 between Oliver Springs and Oak Ridge and US411 south of Benton.

Monday, March 25, 2013

First Presbyterian Church - Clarksville, TN

First Presbyterian Church

This church on Main St. in Clarksville, TN was completed in 1878 with a neo-gothic architecture at a cost of $43,000. It's one of several historic churches in Clarksville and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bradley Academy - Murfreesboro, TN

Bradley Academy - Murfreesboro, TN

The Academy has a history dating back 200 years, and was the first school in Rutherford County. The first building was a log cabin on the land of Revolutionary War officer John Bradley. A few years later, a brick building was built on Main Street in Murfreesboro.

James K. Polk attended this well-known institution of the time. Also attending the school at that time was John Bell, a long-time opponent of Polk, U.S. Speaker of the House and Presidential Candidate.

Bradley Academy then merged and moved in with nearby Union University in the 1850s, leaving the building vacant for about three decades. In 1884, the Bradley Academy served a new purpose, it was the first black school in America. Over the next few years, enrollment continued to grow, with a need for expansion.

This building seen here was built for the expanding school in 1917. By 1955, city school integrated and no classes were held here anymore. By 1990, Friends of Bradley Academy sought to preserve the school's history and heritage. Today, the 1917 Academy building is a museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For more info:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Marion Memorial Bridge update

Marion Memorial Bridge (Fall 2012 Update)

This bridge was built in 1929 to cross the Tennessee River for a new alignment of the Dixie Highway. Originally, there were toll booths on either side but they were removed in 1947. In the mid 1960's with the building of Nickajack Dam just downstream, which formed Nickajack Lake, the water level rose. The Bridge was rehabilitated and also hydraulically lifted 21 feet so that barge traffic could still pass below. While not the Dixie Highway anymore, it did carry the Cummings Highway, which is US41, US64 and US72.

After Interstate 24 was built near the same place, traffic on this bridge shrank. A friend of mine who lived in the area told me how she always hated driving across this bridge because it is narrow and you fell like you could fall off the side. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

Recently, the bridge was determined by the state to be structurally deficient. Early in the year, on Jan. 9, 2012, the bridge was officially closed. In a couple of years, there will be a new, wider bridge at this location. For the full story, read this article:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Acworth, GA Caboose

Acworth, GA Caboose

Main Street of Acworth is part of the old Dixie Highway which is now Old US highway 41. This caboose with the Acworth logo on it is near the downtown historic district

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rutledge House - Blountville, TN

Rutledge House - Blountville, TN

Along the main street in historic downtown Blountville are several historic properties in a row. This one is next door to the Deery Inn, the most famous building in town.

On the left is a black metal gate. There is a marker on that gate that it was designed by Adolph Cluss, and displayed at the Smithsonian from 1879-1910 and then brought here in the 1940s by Virginia Caldwell. On the right there's a historic marker for hall-of-fame long bow fiddler Ralph Blizard. The Traditional Appalachian Musical Heritage Association which was founded by Ralph Blizzard plans on converting this house into the Ralph Blizard Bluegrass Museum.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Georgia/Tennessee State Line

GA/TN State Line

There's a small town divided by the border between Georgia and Tennessee. Step on the left side and you're in McCaysville, GA in Fannin County. Move over to the right and you're in Copperhill, TN in Polk County. Through town, a blue line is painted on the street to point out the division.

Where the border meets main street is this nice sign labelling GA and TN. While the sign makes it look like the border is a river, it's not. However, the Toccoa or Ocoee river passes through town, and changes names at the state line. The sign here is also relatively new. Based on other pictures I've seen, it's newer than 2008 as older pictures have a simple GA and TN divided by a dotted line.

<-- GA. || TN. -->

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fayetteville, TN Confederate Statue & Courthouse Tower

Fayetteville, TN

In the foreground is the Fayetteville Confederate Statue, unveiled of the Fayetteville Town Square in 1906. In the background is the clock tower of the Lincoln County Courthouse which was built in 1972.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Union City, TN Depot and GT Locomotive

Union City, TN Depot and GT Locomotive

The train station in Union city was built in 1922 by Gulf, Mobile & Ohio (GM&O) and also serviced NCStL. The design is a mixture of Mission/Spanish Revival and Bungalow/Craftsman. Today, the building is restored and serves as the Obion County Chamber of Commerce. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On the day that I took this photo, I started by parking at the Depot, as I was walking to the GT 5848 crossing the street. I went over to the town square and an hour after I had started, I was back where I started and the same locomotive was crossing at the depot where I started. GM&O eventually merged with Illinois Central, who along with Grand Trunk & Western are all owned today by CN.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hillbilly Village - Pigeon Forge, TN

Hillbilly Village

It's not a wacky tourist stop in Pigeon Forge unless it has a shotgun wielding moonshiner!

Hillbilly Village is one of the oldest tourist traps in Pigeon Forge. When it opened up in the 60's, there was vacant land on either side of the place. Now, there's no vacant space to be found anywhere along the main strip in Pigeon Forge. For years, their advertising material has pointed out that they have a real Moonshine Still out back, which really isn't that hard to find in the south. The day I was there, it was closed.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sam Davis Executed here

Sam Davis Executed here

The Boy Hero of the Confederacy was executed at this spot in Pulaski, TN on Nov 27, 1863. A small museum was erected near this spot. This area of town is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Sam Davis Avenue Historic District.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cowan TN typical brochure view

Cowan TN typical brochure view

The sign reads:
Named in honor of Major John Cowan, early pioneer settler Major William Russel first settled here in 1800, his home serving as the first Court House 1807-1814

N&C Railroad constructed the world's longest tunnel and steepest grade railroad

9 mi. spur line to Sewanee Mountain completed by Sewanee Mining Company.

Confederate and Federal Armies camped in Cowan.

Failure of Confederate Forces to destroy the tunnel provided General Sherman with a direct line of supply for his march through Georgia.
Erected 1974

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cannon County Courthouse & Car Show

Cannon Courthouse & Car Show 3

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

Other readers helped me out to identify the cars seen here:
The beautiful black coupe in front is a '37 Chevy for sure. Not a good enough view of the red one behind it to say for sure, the missing hood-sides are a hindrance, but it looks like a '36 Chevy. The red pick-up is a '55 thru '57 Chevy, the unique difference between those years is the grilles which we can't see in this shot.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Very old & faded ad for Wonder Cave

Very old ad for Wonder Cave

When you look through my photos, you realize that I really love old painted barns of Rock City, but ads for Rock City and Sequoyah Caverns, or anything else will do. I look for these. I almost missed this one. Almost.

You'll have a tough time determining what this says, but I caught a glimpse of the word Wonder, did a U turn in the street and went back to take another look. On rock city barns, a popular slogan is "World's 8th Wonder" and maybe that's why I even saw the word Wonder.

This is instead an old ad for Wonder Cave, which I think went out of business for good about 20 years ago. It was at the base of the drive up Monteagle in Grundy County just off Highway US 41 near a small town called Pelham. This is Approx 6 miles north of that

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jellico Motel & Restaurant

Jellico Motel & Restaurant

Quite the large sign and it's easily viewable from Interstate 75 and US25W in Jellico, TN not far from the KY border. Based on this post card which was probably printed in the late 60s, it used to be a Quality Courts Motel.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Delta Queen just before Sunset

The Delta Queen just before Sunset

The Delta Queen is a famous steamboat and is a National Historic Landmark which is now docked in Chattanooga, TN serving as a floating Boutique hotel.

The Delta Queen steamboat is 285 feet long, 58 feet wide, and can hold 176 passengers. Its two steam engines can produce 2,000 horsepower for a stern-mounted paddlewheel.

The Delta Queen dates back to 1926 where it served passengers between San Francisco and Sacramento. At the time, it and the sister ship Delta King were the most expensive and lavish steamboat ever commissioned. New highways made the steamboats unneeded in California so during World War II it was requisitioned by the U.S. Navy. Since 1948, it has run passenger service along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers while changing ownership several times. It was listed on the the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and a National Historic Landmark in 1989.

At the end of 2008, all passenger service stopped and was again put up for sale. In Feb. 2009, the steamboat arrived in Chattanooga at Coolidge Park Landing along the Tennessee River across from the downtown area. The Delta Queen hotel officially opened on June 5th of that year. Since then, ownership has changed again, but in the mean time it still operates as a fancy place to spend the night. There's even one room that is said to be haunted by Mary Green, the boat captain in the 40s.

for more pictures of the Delta Queen, check out my website's Coolidge Park gallery:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Davy Crockett Museum - Lawrenceburg, TN

Davy Crockett Museum

This cabin museum is a replica of Davy Crockett's cabin just a couple of blocks south of Lawrenceburg's town square on Military Ave.

Historical Marker:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Rutledge Falls statue and a mystery.

Rutledge Falls statue

Don't most waterfalls have statues at them?

Rutledge Falls is a popular waterfall on private property near Tullahoma. As long as visitors respect the property and keep it free from trash and vandalism, it will remain open to the public. They provide a trail from a small parking area on the street where it's about 1,000 feet to get this view.

The statue was originally a decoration at the State Capitol where it was cast in 1859. There were three of these statues representing three different styles: Morning, Noon and Night. (This one is night as the lady is about to pull a cloak over her head.) After they were on display for several decades, the Capitol grounds went under some renovations in 1958 and these statues were relocated to storage at Ellington Agricultural Center.

Now for the Mystery part. It isn't so much about how this one statue got here but about whatever happened to the rest of them. Now, nobody knows where they are. The owner of the property here was TN State Senator Lyndon "Pop" Jennings and he came across one of them and asked permission for it to be "The Lady of the Falls" a couple of years after the Capitol renovations

The full story can be read here.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cumberland Furnace, TN Depot

Cumberland Furnace, TN Depot color

Cumberland Furnace is north of Charlotte, TN in Dickson County. The city was a prominent producer of iron many decades ago, which was the primary use of the depot back then when it was the end of a spur line of L&N. The wood station dates back to 1891.

Cumberland Furnace Depot front

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lookout Mtn Tourist Lodge

Lookout Mtn Tourist Lodge

Located along the base of Lookout Mountain along the Will Cummings Highway (US 11/41/64/72). I'm guessing this was at one time one of the finer hotels in the area, but now is a little on the grimy side. Above the lettering on the sign is a horseback Indian chief.

Since I first posted this photo, one of my friends told me that decades ago when it was a nice place, she and her husband came here on this honeymoon. It's sad to see how most of the nicest old places are turning not so nice, but it's an economic reality that probably can't be fixed. Of course, the alternative is it closing and having a sign removed altogether.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Vintage Rock City Hand-painted Billboard

Rock City Hand-painted Billboard

Located north of Nashville on US41A (Clarksville Highway) in Cheatham County

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Athena from outside the Parthenon

Athena from outside the Parthenon

On rare occasions, the large doors to the Parthenon are opened. The statue of Athena is about 60 ft. tall. This photo was several years ago and was done in conjunction with a free concert held on the inside that night.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Nashville in the 1940's painting replica

Nashville in the 1940's painting replica

This painting is reproduced in a lobby at the downtown Nashville public library.

A little game you can make out of this is to find the man-made structures that are still standing today. After looking for a minute, I count 7, which means that there are probably a few more than that. (It's probably easier at the largest size.)

1) The state Capitol
2) Ryman Auditorium.
3) The Nashville Bridge Co. Building.
4) St. Mary's Church.
5) the War Memorial Auditorium
6) Hermitage Hotel
7) Shelby Street Bridge

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tracy City Mini-Park

Tracy City Mini-Park

Located just a couple of blocks from the main intersection in town and along US41, this mini-park, in addition to the autumn scarecrows has a gazebo, a fountain, and a railroad switchman statue.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Remains of the 1846 Wilhoite Mill

Remains of the 1846 Wilhoite Mill

The remains of the original penstock piers can still be seen along the bank of the Duck River in Marshall County. Here, water was diverted to turn two turbines. The mill was rated at 60 barrels of flour and 150 bushels of corn per day. The Mill and a nearby bridge were destroyed by a flood of March 28, 1902, but a newer mill was built higher up along the bank, and some of those remains also survive today.

After the Civil War, a small community sprung up around the mill, which included a general store, a blacksmith, a post office and some housing. Today, little remains of the Wilhoite community other that what is left of the two mills. This can be seen as part of the Wilhoite Mill trail at Henry Horton State Park, and is across the duck river from most of the rest of this park. The entrance to the parking area can be seen along US31A.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Eiffel Tower of Paris, TN

The Eiffel Tower of Paris, TN

Paris, TN might be known for two things by casual visitors: The world's largest catfish fish fry, and having a replica Eiffel tower. If you are travelling on Highway US 79 or US 641, look for the small sign on Memorial drive which will point the way. This 1:20 scaled tower was built by students at Christian Brothers University and given to the city in 1992. Engineering students built the 60 foot replica in 1990 for the yearly Memphis in May festival which was highlighting France that year.