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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Southern Caboose - Collierville, TN

Southern Caboose - Collierville, TN

Located near the Historic Colliersville Train Station along with other rolling stock.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Rugby School

Rugby School

Rugby is a small community along the Cumberland Plateau in Morgan County, founded by British Immigrants in 1880. The Rugby Colony was designed to be a utopian community, but the design failed in less than a decade. Still a few townspeople and their descendants lived in the area over the next several decades. In the 1960s, residents, friends and descendants of Rugby began restoring the original design and layout of the community, preserving surviving structures and reconstructing others.

The Schoolhouse was originally built in 1880 and reconstructed in 1907.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sewanee Memorial Cross - Happy Thanksgiving!

Sewanee Memorial Cross

This is the approx. 60 ft. tall Memorial Cross on the campus of University of the South in Sewanee, TN. The cross was built in 1922 in honor of war veterans and is near the edge of a western bluff of the mountain, where you can see it for miles away.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Shelby County Courthouse - Memphis, TN

Shelby County Courthouse - Memphis, TN

The Shelby County Courthouse in Memphis, TN is the state's largest and one of the most ornate. Memphis became the county seat of Shelby County in 1866. An ornate courthouse was already planned but the after effects of the civil war delayed this and a local hotel was purchased and renovated to be the courthouse for a few decades. The Courthouse was built in 1910 for one and a half million dollars. Until 1966, this imposing structure of neo-classical Ionic design with blue Bedford limestone housed the executive and legislative chambers of Memphis and Shelby county. In 1984, an 8-year renovation and refurbishment took place to preserve the mahogany doors and paneling, brass door knobs embossed with the county seal, walls, pilasters and flooring comprised of seven varieties of marble.

On the exterior of the courthouse are several forms of statuary. Most prominent are the six seated figures carved from single blocks of Tennessee marble, representing Wisdom, Justice, Liberty, Authority, Peace and Prosperity. They were designed by J. Massey Rhind at a cost of $74,000. Near the top of the north facade are six standing figures: Prudence, Courage, Integrity, Learning, Mercy and Temperance. Pediments above many entrances are decorated with carved scenes depicting religious law, Roman law, statutory law, common law, civil law and criminal law. At the apex of each of these pediments is the head of Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom.

To see other views of this courthouse, including some of the marble statues and the pediment carvings, look here: www.flickr.com/photos/brent_nashville/tags/shelbycountyco...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Limestone Quarry Cave & Lake - Erin, TN

Limestone Quarry Cave & Lake #3 - Erin, TN

Around 1870, the Lime industry began to flourish in Erin and Houston County. Several Limekilns were built in the area and several still remain. Limestone was loaded into the fire chambers of these kilns and was converted into a fine lime powder. It was the county's biggest industry until the 1940's when the high quality limestone was depleted.

The man-made cave you see here is one of the places where the Limestone was excavated. This hill / mountain was quarried for a long time. Then, as they continued to dig, they struck a spring, which caused the cave to flood the way it is today. (The water really is that shade of blue - no photoshopping on my part to get that color!) According to legend, as the water started to fill the cave rapidly, the crew had to get out quickly and left all of their equipment down there.

The cave has three openings and two of them are easy to get to. As you drive highway TN49 (Main Street in Erin) look for the Piggly Wiggly, and you can see the lake behind it. Behind the Piggly Wiggly, there are some parking spaces and a picnic table right near one of the cave openings. From these parking spaces, you can already see one cave opening, but it's not the best one to use. (There's a No Trespassing sign at this entrance, probably because of safety concerns. Picture #4 of the series shows the view from behind the sign.) Instead, you'll want to take the path that leads around to the right for the best entrance and view. from the entrance, if you turn around and look across the outside part of the lake, you can see one of the intact limekilns.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ledford Mill Falls

Ledford Mill Falls

Ledford Mill is an 1884 grismill listed on the National register of Historic Places. The nearest city is Tullahoma, sometimes listed as Wartrace, but is in the corner of Moore County, so it's technically in Lynchburg. Visually, it's an unusual setting for a Middle Tennessee Mill. The road leads right up to the door on an upper floor of this mill in the narrow valley.

Mills need a place to harness the power of water, and are usually situated at a waterfall or a dam. This place has both. An old large metal pipe runs from the top of the dam of Shipman's Creek to the mill. a path with a wooden pedestrian bridge leads to a bench where you can sit and watch the 20 foot waterfalls in a peaceful setting. With the lake above the dam, you can see the fish which are considered pets at the mill.

Like most gristmills, it went out of business decades ago. However, the mill was restored in 1996 by innkeepers John & Mildred Spear who operate the mill as a three room bed & breakfast. During business hours, the mill is open as a gift shop / antique store. Visitors are allowed to look around but when the paying overnight guests arrive, they get the area to themselves.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jordonia United Methodist Church

Jordonia United Methodist Church

Built around 1920, this church was nominated for an architectural award in 1975 by the Metro Nashville Historical Commission. The foundation is made of stone, while most of the exterior walls are covered in white clapboard. The upper half of the front facade is covered by a patterned shingling and 18 stained glass windows. This is a high and steep pitched standing seam tin roof with a bell tower and steeple.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Norfolk Southern Tennessee River Bridge - Knoxville

Norfolk Southern Tennessee River Bridge - Knoxville

Located in downtown Knoxville, this railroad bridge now used by Norfolk Southern has elements dating back to the Civil War, but has been rebuilt several times.

The stone piers and approaches are the oldest element of the bridge, dating back to the 1850s. Wooden spans were completed in 1867. In 1903, wooden spans were replaced with a steel trestle. It underwent a major rebuild in 1940. A tugboat hit one of the piers in 1993 and that pier was fortified. The center span of the bridge is a Pratt through truss and the other segments are Warren deck trusses.

The original builder of the bridge was Knoxville & Charleston Railroad which chartered in 1852. In the 1870s, they became the Knoxville & Augusta Railway. In 1890, they were bought out by East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railway. Then, in 1894 they were bought out by Southern Railway.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Chat-N-Chew Drive-In

The Chat-N-Chew Drive-In

This vintage neon sign for a drive-in is located in the Petersville suburb of Florence, AL along Cloverdale Rd.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

James White's Fort - Knoxville, TN

James White's Fort - Knoxville, TN

according to Wikipedia:
White's Fort, was an 18th-century settlement that became Knoxville, TN. The name also refers to the fort, itself.

The settlement of White's Fort began in 1786 by James White, a militia officer during the American Revolutionary War. When William Blount, the territorial governor of the Southwest Territory, moved the territorial capital to White's Fort in 1791, he renamed it Knoxville in honor of Henry Knox, the American Revolutionary War general and Washington's Secretary of War.

The fort itself began when James White built a cabin near what is now the corner of State Street and Clinch Avenue. This cabin soon became the center of a cluster of fortified log structures known as White's Fort. The original cabin later became the kitchen of the Kennedy House, which was built in the 1830s. In 1906, when the Kennedy house was demolished for development, Isaiah Ford bought the log structure and moved it to Woodlawn Park. It was purchased again in 1960 by the City Association of Women's Clubs; in 1968, the timbers were reconstructed as part of the fort. The fort still stands on a bluff near its original location. Seven log cabins and the stockade fence remain. The cabins house pioneer artifacts and furnishings.

For more info:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lee University Office of Admissions

Lee University Office of Admissions

I suppose this used to be a house of an adjoining property to the college in Cleveland, TN along Ocoee St. and then the college bought the house and converted it to offices.

And the house is along the Old Lee Highway, which is just a coincidence, being named after different Lee's.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chester County Courthouse - Henderson, TN

Chester County Courthouse - Henderson, TN

The original courthouse burned in 1913 and was replaced by this building a year later. The Classical Revival styled building is two stories atop a tall base. The front entrance features a two story pedimented portico supported by four columns. Also, it has a low hip roof with an open square, domed cupola. In 1955, a brick veneer was added. Today, the courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and the grounds are host to a yearly barbecue festival.

in neighboring McNairy County, Sheriff Buford Pusser gained national fame for taking on local corruption. A semi-autobiographical movie about Pusser was made in the early 70s, Walking Tall. The movie producers wanted the film to be shot where the events happened, however the local elected officials didn't want to be embarrassed by the national attention brought to the corrupt county. Instead, they were embarrassed by having the movie filmed here in Henderson (partially at this courthouse) and losing out on important revenue. Due to term limits as sheriff, Pusser had time to be a technical consultant for the film. Then, when he reran for sheriff again, the locals ignored all the good he did to clean up the county and how he helped Hollywood work next door, did not vote him back into office.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Marrowbone Lake Dam

Marrowbone Lake Dam

Built in the 1930's (I think) and it doesn't inspire much confidence. Marrowbone Lake is one of Nashville's best kept secrets, as it is maintained by the TN Wildlife resources Agency and is not a city or state park. I guess water is supposed to flow over the top of it, so the level of the lake is maintained, but is it supposed to leak like that?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

St. Paul's Episcopal Church - Franklin, TN

St. Paul's Episcopal Church - Franklin, TN

According to the historical marker:

This "Mother Church of the Diocese of Tennessee," was begun in 1831, four years after its congregation was organized in 1827. Here James H. Otey, its first rector, was elected the first bishop of Tennessee. It was so damaged through use as a Civil War barracks and hospital that it had to be remodeled in 1870. It is the oldest Episcopal Church and congregation in Tennessee, and the oldest Episcopal Church building in continual use west of the Appalachians.

After its use in the Civil War as a barracks and a hospital, there were major changes to the building as the entrance was placed here and the altar was moved to the other side. New pews, an organ, and Tiffany stained glass windows were added during the remodel. In 1988, a National Register study of Williamson County historical resources described it as "one of the finest remaining" Gothic Revival style churches in middle Tennessee.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blue Crowned Motmot - Nashville Zoo

Blue Crowned Motmot

Seen at the Nashville Zoo in the walk-through aviary.

If you like zoo animals, or are a fan of the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, I invite you to check out my Nashville Zoo website gallery:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hamptons of Skullbone, TN Murals

Hamptons of Skullbone, TN Murals

Skullbone is a small community in West Tennessee located at the intersection of highway TN105 and Shades Bridge Rd. Or, perhaps a better explanation is: This is Skullbone, TN.

The main (or only) attraction in Skullbone is Hampton's General Store, a building from 1898 which over the years also served as a post office, gas station, City Hall and Mayors Office. Under the awning, we read that the store (addressed as 102 Davy Crockett Ave. North) has been owned by Landon & Ruby since 1964. By reading around the awning, we also see that Skullbone is the "Capital City of Skullbonia."

So, Where did the name Skullbone come from? For that, we look at the murals on the side of the store. This region was home to the "Undefeated Champions of Bareknuckle fist and Skullbone Fighting: Hence the name Skullbone."

Want to learn more about Skullbone? Check out this website, which includes the text of an interesting letter. In 1952, the locals wrote a jovial letter to TN Governor Browning petitioning the state to officially recognize the kingdom of Skullbonia.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nashville Skyline at Dusk 2014

Nashville Skyline at Dusk 2014 #3

Every time I decide to take a photo of the Nashville Skyline, there seems to be a subtle change. The most notable difference I see is that the CVS/Caremark building is now the Baker Donaldson building.

While I was taking this long exposure still photo, I had a second camera setup to take a time lapse video. See it here:

Technical details: This photo was taken on 2/1/2014 when sunset at 5:13 pm. This was at 5:50pm, 30sec., f/22 ISO100

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Elvis Presley Blvd. Inn neon sign

Elvis Presley Blvd. Inn neon sign

You probably can't name something after Elvis unless you plan to bring a truckload of money. Luckily for this motel, highway US51 that runs in front of Graceland has been renamed Elvis Presley Blvd. and you can name your business after the street it's located on.

Oh, they also advertise that all of their beds are King size.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Shelbyville's Veterans Memorial statue - Happy Veterans Day!

Shelbyville's Veterans Mem. statue version #4

Located at the Bedford County Courthouse in Shelbyville, TN. This statue was dedicated on Mar. 11, 2006 and was sculpted by Russ Faxon of Bell Buckle, TN. There are 1,111 bricks honoring donors of the project. There are 4 benches, one at each corner, to represent the 4 continents that the Veterans have fought in.

Monday, November 10, 2014

TVRM Railfest 2013: Southern FP7 #6133 Excursion

TVRM Railfest 2013: Southern FP7 #6133 Excursion

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."

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

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Field of the Woods Bible Park: World's Largest Ten Commandments

Field of the Woods Bible Park 1: World's Largest Ten Commandments

Field of the Woods Bible Park reminds me that they don't build tourist attractions like they used to. The park is best known for the World's Largest Ten Commandments, but the Christian imagery runs throughout the park. The park started in 1945 and was considered an outreach ministry by the Church of God of Prophecy denomination (which had its origins less than five miles away).

Most people come to see the 300-foot wide Ten Commandments which is laid out on the side of a hill. The best vantage point is to climb the hill on the other side of the parking lot so you can get the whole perspective. Or, if you're in good shape you could climb the 350 steps to the top where there is a giant Bible which doubles as an observation deck.

There are plenty of other things to see while you're there, most of which were added during the first decade of the park's operation. When you climb the other hill to get the best view of the Ten Commandments, you're climbing Prayer Mountain and along the way there are several headstone shaped markers which explain some of the Bible's basic principles. Next, there's a replica tomb of Jesus that includes at the entrance a replica of the stone to be rolled away. In the middle of the parking lot is what looks like a radio tower topped by a giant star which is an information booth that probably hasn't been used for decades. There's also a baptismal pool, a decent gift shop, an old missionary's airplane, the All Nations Cross, the curator's residence and a bunch of other random monuments and messages.

One other highlight of the park is a replica Golgotha which is where Jesus was crucified between two criminals. If you think the Golgotha vaguely resembles a face - it does. Golgotha translates to "Place of the Skull." When you view their Golgotha from atop the observation deck you'll notice the shrubs in front of Golgotha are arranged to spell out "JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS."

I first learned of this place about 20 years ago when my parents stopped by on a trip through western North Carolina. I finally had my chance to visit recently when I went tent camping at a place nearby. Not as many people stop by as they used to. (In one of my pictures, you can see my car is the only one in the parking lot.) If I understood the guy in the gift shop properly, the Church of God doesn't fund it the way they used to, so there's no telling how long they'll remain open. So, if this is the type of place you'd really like to visit, I'd recommend sooner rather than later.

See all of my photos in this set here: www.flickr.com/photos/brent_nashville/tags/fieldofthewood...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Along the Midway: 2013 Coffee County Fair

Along the Midway: 2013 Coffee County Fair

For all my other Coffee County Fair photos, look here: www.flickr.com/search/?tags=coffeecountyfair

On the right is a Ferris Wheel. On the far left is the Rock-O-Plane.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Madison Bowling neon sign

Madison Bowling neon sign

Gallatin Rd. (US31E) in the Madison area on Nashville

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The "See Rock City" barn you can see from Rock City

The "See Rock City" barn you can see from Rock City

When I started my quest to take photos of Rock City barns, it began with the one you can see from Rock City from the see 7 states overlook. The people at Rock City own this farmland below and it is part of their Enchanted Maize at Blowing Spring.

I believe this is a unique design for the Rock City Barn painters, the only one to be painted like a birdhouse, their other major form of advertising. Originally, the barn was built in 1948 by Gene Tibbs at his farm in Dalton, GA. In the 60's, Clark Byers painted the barn to be visible to motorists travelling along I-75. Whitfield County named the barn a historic site in the 80's but an expansion project by the Central Church of Christ in Dalton meant the barn was in danger of being torn down. A collaborative effort between the people at Rock City, the Tibbs Family, the church and a business that specializes in relocating historic log houses enabled the barn to be where it is today.

This is now one of 85 different Rock City Barns I have photographed and uploaded to Flickr in my Rock City Barns set. People often ask me how I've found so many of them. I have drawn from many resources such as books and web sites and sometimes luck, but there's not really one "go to" place to find them all. Well, now on my website, I have tried to create a one stop source for the locations of all of the barns I've been to. On my Map of Rock City Barns page, I have plotted each barn on a Google Map.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Coolidge Park Carousel: Frog Wearing a Suit

Coolidge Park Carousel: Frog Wearing a Suit

This is seen at the Coolidge Park Carousel along the riverfront near downtown Chattanooga. For this carousel, they took a 115+ year old Detzel frame carousel and built 52 whimsical new seats for it. Each seat was well crafted with great attention to detail. Much of the work was done by Bud Ellis at Horsing Around studio with a team of talented craftspeople. The "Friends of the Carousel" spent 10 years on their labor of love meticulously transforming the old carousel remains which had been in storage for many years.

I have many more photos of this carousel at this gallery:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Have a roadside picnic in a cave

Have a roadside picnic in a cave

Ok, it's not really a cave. I'd call it more of a natural amphitheater. Upon building state highway TN52 on the west side of Jamestown, TN through a location with a steep elevation change, TDOT thought this would be a good place for a roadside table.