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Monday, September 30, 2013

Union Camp Falls

Union Camp Falls

Union Camp Falls is a small waterfall in a beautiful setting in Macon County, TN. An ankle-deep stream by the name Long Fork tumbles about 8 feet over the rocks here. The area got it's name because apparently some union soldiers camped here during the Civil War.

To get here, take highway 262 (also known as Union Camp Rd.) southeast away from Lafayette. After a few miles, on your left will be a road that slopes down from the highway for Union Missionary Baptist Church. Drive down this road past the church for a few hundred feet and you'll see a spot where a very small stream flows over the road. Before you cross that, to your right will be a place for a car or two to pull over.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Delta Queen at Night - Chattanooga

The Delta Queen at Night - Chattanooga

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:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Old Railroad Bridge: Gate to Block the tracks - Florence, AL

The Old Railroad Bridge View #5 Gate to Block the tracks - Florence, AL

The Old Railroad Bridge dates back over 140 years as an important crossing of the Tennessee River between Florence and Sheffield in The Shoals area of Alabama.

Back in 1840, the first bridge at this location opened. It significantly damaged by tornadoes and storms all through the 1850's and eventually that bridge was destroyed during the Civil War.

In 1870, the Memphis & Charleston Railroad decide to build another bridge at this spot. Over the next 120 years, there is quite a lengthy history about who got to use the bridge and changes to the bridges configuration. I'll hit some of the highlights, but below I'll link to a thorough history.

Originally, there was not a method for tall ships to go through, so a drawbridge was installed in 1872 along the northern end. A new drawbridge was installed in 1906. In 1948, the drawbridge was replaced with a turn span was installed. (When the bridge was open to tall ship, this span pivoted or rotated counter-clockwise and had stone piers to rest upon.) In 1962, this segment was changed again to a lift bridge, raising to 350 feet of clearance over the water. In 1988, all railroads abandoned the bridge and the lift section was completely removed.

This bridge not only carried railroads on the top, but also had a lower deck for vehicular traffic. This closed in 1939 with the opening of the O'Neal Bridge.

Other railroads that used this bridge were Virginia & Georgia; Nashville, Florence & Sheffield; L&N; Southern; Around 1903, a streetcar service also used the rails to get passengers from one side to the other and it lasted until 1933.

The complete history is here:

In 1990, a preservation society began in an effort to restore the bridge. The old railroad bed leading to the upper portion of the bridge now has a large gate in front of it, so you can look across it, but go no further. Down below, the access area was cleaned up and the wood that had been rotting for over 50 years was replaced. Today, this lower deck is a pedestrian bridge where you can walk about 1500 feet to where the segment is missing, and then you have to turn around.

Here are all 9 photos in my set

Finally, the Library of Congress has some photos of this bridge dating back to 1976

Friday, September 27, 2013

Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Originally known as Chattanooga's Terminal Station, this formerly important Passenger train depot now serves as a popular hotel.

The station was built in 1908 and the centerpiece of the building was a large concourse. (Inside is a large dome.

In 1970, train service stopped and a few years later it became the Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel. The large concourse is today the main lobby.

On top of the building is the famous sign. Here is the sign at night.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Maury County Courthouse at night

Maury County Courthouse at night

Located in Columbia's town square, this Courthouse was built in 1906 for $120,000. The top of the tower is 132 ft. above street level. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Columbia Commercial Historic District.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Very faded "See Rock City" barn

Very faded "See Rock City" barn

You have to look very closely to see any of the paint. At one time, it said:
World's 8th Wonder

When travelling southbound on US11 from the city of Sweetwater, this old barn is on the left, and this farm land is right next to an Ingles grocery store. This could be some prime real estate, so who knows how much longer this barn will be here. (Of course, I thought the same thing when I first saw it in 2007.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kayaking in the Hiwassee River

Kayaking in the Hiwassee River

In Polk County is one on the most popular Kayaking spots in Tennessee. Here, the river is wide, but also shallow. Upon first glance, you'll count four kayaks and four Kayakers (and there's a dog in the pink one.) I didn't notice this when I was taking this photo, but there's a fifth kayak that's overturned and it's owner is standing in the water - it's that shallow. When the weather gets nice, there's several river outfitters here in the small town of Reliance.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lake Winnepesaukah's Wave Swinger

Lake Winnepesaukah's Wave Swinger

This type of ride is my wife's favorite type of amusement park ride. Looking back to her childhood, she fondly remembers riding the Tennessee Waltz out at Opryland. I think everybody knows someone who has a story of losing a shoe or losing their lunch on a ride like this.

From wikipedia:
The swing ride or chair swing ride (sometimes called a swing carousel, wave swinger, yo-yo, Chair-O-Planes or swinger) is a fairground ride that is a variation on the carousel in which the chairs are suspended on chains from the rotating top of the carousel. On some versions, particularly on the Wave Swingers, the rotating top of the carousel also tilts for additional variations of motion.

I took this photo almost 1 year ago, on the last day the theme park was open in 2012. Their last day in 2013 is this upcoming Sunday. (Excluding their Halloween season.)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

King's Chapel (Rebuilt)

King's Chapel (Rebuilt)

As early as 1804 Peter Cartwright, William McKendree and Jacob Young were preaching the Methodist Doctrine in southeastern Williamson County. IN 1815 Kings' Chapel was constructed as an outgrowth of their campground meetings. In 1849, the congregation moved to a larger building just north of Triune, where the original cornerstone of Kings' Chapel is prominently displayed above the front door. The Union Army occupied the abandoned church during the Civil War, which became a dairy barn in the 20th century. The families of John & Elaine Powell and William & Patricia Anton finished the reconstruction of Kings' Chapel on its original site using the same foundation stones and many of the original bricks in 2008.

This reconstructed Chapel is located just off of highway TN96 at the entrance of a subdivision between Triune and Arrington.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Little River Falls

Little River Falls

Little River Falls is the highlight of the Little River Canyon National Preserve atop Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama. The Little River flows almost its entire length atop Lookout Mountain. Here, the water drops 45 feet.

The most common way to view the waterfall is at the main entrance off of highway AL35 southwest of Ft. Payne. The highway bridge crosses the river not too far behind the waterfall. From the parking lot, it's less than a five minute stroll along a boradwalk to get to the most popular view. On my previous visit in 2006, people would go beyond the end of the boardwalk and walk all around the top of the falls, but signs say this is now prohibited.

There's a second view of the falls from an overlook a little over 1000 feet downstream. This view is at an observation deck accessible from the Little River Canyon Rim Parkway (AL176).

Friday, September 20, 2013

Uncle Sam's Loan Office - Bristol, TN

Uncle Sam's Loan Office - Bristol, TN

Seen along State St., the most important road through Bristol. This sign and business are on the Tennessee side.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kingston Steam Plant

Kingston Steam Plant

My wife and I have a tradition, any time we make the drive between Knoxville and Nashville, whoever is in the passenger seat gets out the camera and takes a picture of the Kingston Steam Plant (aka the Kingston Fossil Plant) while crossing the Interstate 40 bridge over Watts Bar Lake. Somehow, both of us missed the story when the plant made national news with the coal fly ash slurry spill which was one of the worst environmental disasters in state history.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Home-made" See Rock City Barn

"Home-made" See Rock City Barn

I have always wondered if anybody has painted their own barn to look like a Rock City barn, just so they could say they owned one. This might be my answer and there are several clues to make me think that.

First, it looks like no other Rock City barn I have seen. It's true that most of them say "See Rock City" but the shape and style of the lettering look like no other. Instead, it looks just like one of the Rock City birdhouses.
Second, it's not that easy to see. The official Rock City barns are near the street where oncoming traffic can easily see it. This was up on a hill about 400 feet from the highway, partially obscured by trees. It is located off highway TN76 between Springfield and White House.

Finally, the rest of the property looked like the kind of place one would decorate with antiques. They had Burma Shave and old gas station signs around their driveway. In fact, I thought they had operated an Antique store. Thus, I was embarrassed when I drove up to their house and they looked at me like I was nuts. (to my credit, one building on the property in fact did say "Antique Store" but you couldn't see it from the street.)

P.S. I didn't want to trespass any longer, so I didn't photograph the Burma Shave signs.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Futuro - UFO House - Pensacola Beach, FL

The Futuro - UFO House - Pensacola Beach, FL

From 1968 to 1978 the Finnish company Oy Polykem Ab sold houses like this one known as Futuro II designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. The prefabricated home was assembled in their facility and then flown by helicopter to this spot in Pensacola Beach. The house has one bedroom, one bathroom, a kitchen and dining area, and a 23 foot long couch that's by several of the windows. Admit it, you secretly wish this was your house.

Not only is it cool, there's a second reason to love it. Round houses are better able to withstand strong wind as this has outlasted Hurricanes Ivan, Dennis, and any other storm that has come through the Santa Rosa area.

Today, the home is a local landmark, and you can tell the owner embraces the spaceship look with the aliens in the windows. It's located along Via De Luna, which is the most important road through town and used to be highway US98.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Alpine Institute - Christ Church Presbyterian

Alpine Institute - Christ Church Presbyterian

The Alpine Institute was a Presbyterian mission school located in Overton County, TN. Operating in one form or another from 1821 until 1947, the school provided badly needed educational services to children living in the remote hill country of the Upper Cumberland region. In 2002, several of the school's surviving structures were added to the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district.

John Dillard (1793–1884), a minister affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Southern Appalachia, established the Alpine School atop Alpine Mountain in 1821 and expanded the school in the 1840s. The school was burned by bushwhackers during the Civil War and again by the Ku Klux Klan in the years after the war. The school was re-established in 1880 at its current location at the base of Alpine Mountain, and under the leadership of future Tennessee governor A. H. Roberts continued to thrive into the following decade. In 1917, the better-funded Presbyterian Church assumed control of the school and helped it develop into one of the state's most competitive rural schools.

The Alpine Institute was located along Highway TN52 (Jamestown Highway) in the Alpine community, just over 10 miles east of Livingston. This community is situated in a valley carved by Nettlecarrier Creek (which empties into the Obey River just east of Alpine), and is surrounded by high ridges on all sides, most notably the 1,826-foot Alpine Mountain, which rises prominently to the south. A one-lane road, Campus Circle, accesses the church and adjacent buildings.

While Alpine Institute's main school building no longer stands, several important structures associated with the school have survived. The Christ Church Presbyterian (a Gothic Revival-style church, which was completed in 1934) is well-maintained and still used for religious services. The school's gymnasium is now used as a community center, and the manse is still in use as a residence. Other surviving structures include the shop building and a dairy barn. The gymnasium, church, and shop building were all built using the same type of native stone.

Alpine Institute - Christ Church Presbyterian

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tennessee State Fair: Types of animals on display

There are several different types of animals you can see at the Tennessee State Fair, or most any county fair. Still, it depends on what time you go, as different animals are judged on different days. Also, this doesn't include the petting zoo, which also has a diverse selection.

100 Things to see at the fair #66: Show cows

2011 TN State Fair: Poultry Pig in the 4-H booth

09 TN State Fair #91: Goat

2010 TN State Fair: Rabbit 09 TN State Fair #151: Horse barn

2011 Tennessee State Fair Sheep

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tennessee State Fair: Creative Arts

Here are examples of some of the displays at the Tennessee State Fair in the Creative Arts Building from recent years:

2010 TN State Fair: Winning Youth Artwork

This pencil drawing was a blue ribbon winner and best in show!

09 TN State Fair #75: Stamps!

If you look closely at this stamp montage, look at any state and that part of the display is made of US Postage stamps depicting that state. This was also a best in show

100 Things to see at the fair #88: Fashion design contest

Fashion Design

09 TN State Fair #89: Leathercraft


09 TN State Fair #46: Breadmaking Contest


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cartersville, GA September 11, 2001 Monument

Cartersville, GA September 11, 2001 Monument

September 11, 2001
We Will Not Forget

God Bless America

In Memory & In Honor
of Those Who Serve And Protect Our Great Country

Dedicated 9-11-2003, donated by Cartersville Monument Co. and Owen Funeral Home.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

TVRM Railfest 2013: Southern FP7 #6133

TVRM Railfest 2013: Southern FP7 #6133

As part of the activities of the 2013 Railfest at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, Southern Railway's EMD FP7 #6133 made a visit. This Diesel locomotive built in 1950 was used to pull their excursion, the Missionary Ridge Local throughout the weekend. It is normally on display at the North Carolina Transportation Museum which offers this writeup:

"Southern Railway #6133: The locomotive was built by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors in 1950. This FP-7, operated by the Southern Railway, was the property of the CNO&TP (Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific). The FP designation meant the locomotive could be used for passenger or freight trains, using a 567-B 16 cylinder prime mover, generating 1500 horsepower. These were F-7 freight locomotives with a steam generator placed at the rear of the locomotive, increasing body length by four feet. FP-7 locomotives were used on small branch-line passenger trains throughout the Southern Railway System. By the late 1970s, there were very few FP-7s left on the roster due to Southern eliminating many passenger trains. The 5-8 left were used for excursion trains as part of the Steam Program begun in 1966. The 6133 was donated to the NCTHC in 1980, and restored by the volunteers to its original green/ imitation aluminum paint scheme. It is used to pull the train ride around the property when needed."

TVRM Railfest 2013: Southern FP7 #6133 on the Turntable TVRM Railfest 2013: Southern FP7 #6133 Excursion

I took more photos of #6133 than I have posted to flickr. You can also see quite a thorough collection of photos of the highlighted steam locomotive Southern #630, the Missionary Ridge Local with #6133, and other rolling stock on the grounds. This gallery is on my website here:

Also, I took video and put it on youtube: All the steam footage, plus the Missionary Ridge local: youtu.be/AhCCpvO41iM

TVRM Railfest 2013: Southern FP7 #6133 on the Turntable

Monday, September 9, 2013

TVRM Railfest 2013: Steam Locomotive departs

TVRM Railfest 2013: Southern Steam Locomotive #630 Departs

Railfest is the annual celebration at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, TN. This year as part of the celebration, they offered Southern Railway 2-8-0 #630 as an excursion round trip to Cleveland, TN. This photo was taken as the train departed the station.

I took a ton of photos, and as of this writing, I haven't picked my favorites yet, but you can see quite a thorough collection of photos of #630, the Missionary Ridge Local with Southern FP7 #6133, and other rolling stock on the grounds. This gallery is on my website here:

Also, I took video and put it on youtube:
Just the steam train departure seen here: youtu.be/QVBCATNnTQI
That, and more footage of the steam train: youtu.be/85iljPK1TfY
All the steam footage, plus the Missionary Ridge local: youtu.be/AhCCpvO41iM

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tennessee State Fair: Rabbit Barn

White & Black bunny

A trip to the fair isn't complete without visiting the animals first. If you go earlier in the fair, you might even see some animals that won't be there later. Some of the bunnies are for sale! My wife and I bought a fair rabbit once, and it was a breed you're not going to find in the pet store and at a better price.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tennessee State Fair starts this weekend - The YOYO ride.

09 TN State Fair #131: The Yoyo

Well, actually is started yesterday and will continue on through to the following Sunday. Looks like we're going to have some great weather.

The YOYO along the midway is a modern variant to the old fashioned Tornado/Tennessee Waltz type ride, and is my wife's favorite type of ride on the midway.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Southern Saddlery Company Manufacturing Plant - Chattanooga, TN

Southern Saddlery Company Manufacturing Plant - Chattanooga, TN

This article from the Chattanoogan explains the history of the company that owned this building at 3001 South Broad Street for many years.

The article was written over 9 years ago when the building sat vacant, and today it holds several small retail shops and offices.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

Scenic Motel sign - Pigeon Forge, TN

Scenic Motel sign - Pigeon Forge, TN

This, and many other, hotel sign is located along THE parkway in Pigeon Forge, TN (US Highway 441/321). Photographed at dusk with no photoshopping. I just happened to be there when the color of the sky was perfect. This was one of my first Motel neon signs photos and still seems to be my most popular.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

1st Presbyterian Church, Columbia, TN

1st Presbyterian Church, Columbia, TN

7th St. (U.S. 412) - Next door to the James K. Polk home. This building was opened in 1916.