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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bank of Bolivar

Bank of Bolivar

One of the oldest buildings in Bolivar, the Bank building dates back to the late 1800's. In 2007, a massive fire practically wiped out the whole southern block of the courthouse square.

My visit to town was 4 1/2 years after the fire. You can tell this building has some nice architectural detail to it, but also can see the fire damage as well. (The three windows on the side are busted and there's smoke damage above each. You may not be able to tell from this photo, but the roof is also missing. Still, this is the only building from the block still standing. Until the fire happened, there has been courthouse square beautification plans for the block, and I saw evidence of similar work along other sides of the square.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Illinois Central Gulf Caboose 199331 - Princeton, KY

Illinois Central Gulf Caboose 199331

This vintage Illinois Central Gulf caboose is seen at the Railroad Museum in Princeton, KY. Illinois Central merged with Gulf, Mobile & Ohio in 1972. So, this caboose was painted with that logo sometime between then, and when they dropped the Gulf in 1988.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

O&W Bridge - Big South Fork

O&W Bridge - Big South Fork

The Oneida & Western Railroad ran from Oneida, TN westward to Jamestown. The primary goal was to haul coal. Despite being a short line, the railroad had many difficult gorges and hollows to navigate. One such construction project was the bridge you see here, which crosses the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River, at a picturesque spot of river rapids. This bridge is a Whipple Through truss built by the Nashville Bridge Co. and placed here in 1915

Railroad Travel was officially abandoned along the line in 1953. Later on, much of the area was encompassed by the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and Eventually this bridge became more easily accessible. To get here, start in Oneida and head west. Specifically find O&W road, which out of town becomes a 6 mile long gravel road that is the old O&W railroad bed. The National Park Service converted this bridge into something you can drive over. With its nice wooden planks, it was scary enough to walk across as it creaks under your feet and you can see the gaps in the wood. I couldn't imagine driving over it, but a few SUVs and trucks did in the hour I was here.

Finally, here's a link to a video of the area:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Johnny G's Creole Kitchen - Beale St. Memphis

Johnny G's Creole Kitchen - Beale St. Memphis

It's not too often you'll see a top-hat wearing, cigar-smoking Catfish.

Would you like to see more photos from Beale street? Check out the Beale Street gallery

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Nashville Skyline from Skyline Hospital

The Nashville Skyline from Skyline Hospital

Back in late March and early April of 2014, my wife was a patient at this hospital. While I was there with her, I kept wondering what the best place was there to take a picture of the Nashville Skyline. I really didn't have time to go looking for it. However, on the day she was discharged I went to the top floor and took this picture from the lobby. It was through a dirty window on a cloudy day, but here it is. I'll pretend it's a hip Instagram filter.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Spring House at Rock Island State Park

at Rock Island State Park

Here at Rock Island State Park, there is a spring that comes out of the side of the mountain. If I remember correctly, this spring house didn't really serve a function and was built like this just for the looks. I once read somewhere that it had a name like the "Witches' Castle" but I can find where I read that. There are stairs leading up to it on the right, but now there is a fence you can't get around. Before that, one could at least look inside. It is across the street from the Great Falls Cotton Mill.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Old Kentucky State Capitol at Christmas

Old Kentucky State Capitol at Christmas

From Wikipedia:
The Old State Capitol (Kentucky), also known as Old Statehouse, was the third Capitol of Kentucky. The building in Frankfort, Kentucky served as the capitol of the Commonwealth of Kentucky from 1830 to 1910. The building has been restored to its American Civil War era appearance.
The Kentucky legislature voted for its construction in 1827. The building was designed in the Greek Revival style by Gideon Shryock, an early Lexington, Kentucky architect. The Old State Capitol was his first building and he was only twenty-five years old. Shryock chose the Greek Revival style to symbolically link Kentucky, a young republic, with ancient Greece, the prototype of popular democratic government. He wanted the front of the building to duplicate the Temple of Minerva Polias at Priene. Greek temples had no windows, therefore the front of the Capitol is devoid of fenestration. Other striking architectural features include a famous self-supporting stone stairway and a domed lantern above it to bring in an abundance of sunlight.

A bitterly contested 1899 state governor election came to a climax when Democratic claimant William Goebel of Covington, Kentucky was assassinated at the capitol on his way to be inaugurated. A plaque reading "William Goebel fell here, Jan. 30th, 1900" exists near the front entrance of the building.
The current Kentucky State Capitol, Kentucky's fourth, was built in 1910. The Old State Capitol has served as the a museum and the home of the Kentucky Historical Society since 1920. The building was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Lynchburg Christmas (2010)

A Lynchburg Christmas 2

This was my third visit to Lynchburg, and there was something about the angle of the sun that lit up this side. On my two previous visits, the other side was the sunlit side.

I like the Christmas wreaths on the doors. There are also lights across the top and candlelight in the windows, but you can't see it until night time.

Notice Rudolph in the traffic island in the bottom right corner? There were reindeer in each of the four traffic islands at each corner of the town square.

I have a total of 10 photos in the "A Lynchburg Christmas" subset. You can see them all here:

A Lynchburg Christmas 5: Rudolph

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Coolidge Park Fountain - Chattanooga

Coolidge Park Fountain

This fountain in Chattanooga is a kiddie play area, but of course the water is turned off in the winter, each of the animals here is was water shoot out of the mouth.

In the background is the Coolidge Park Carousel. To see more photos of this park and the carousel, look here:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tennessee State Capitol Turns Red for Christmas

Tennessee State Capitol on Wear Red Day

OK, I lied in the post title. While the Capitol has done this for Christmas, this particular photo was taken near Valentines Day.

That Friday was National "Wear Red Day" as part of American Heart Association's "Go Red For Women" campaign. In honor of this, several places in Nashville were figuratively wearing red for the day, including the State Capitol, The Frist Center, Adventure Science Center and Nashville Electric Service. The State Capitol is "wearing red" by placing red filters over all the lights that illuminate the building. In fact, this made the capitol look a lot like it did for Christmas. In fact, the only difference is the light inside the tower is also red instead of the Green it had on Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Cades Cove: Cable Grist Mill

Cades Cove: Cable Grist Mill

Cades Cove at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular destination in the United States most visited national park. The isolated valley was the home to many early settlers and today several of those sites are well preserved. An 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the cove, offering motorists the opportunity to sight-see the wildlife, scenic beauty and historic district structures on the National Register of Historic Places at a leisurely pace.

One of the most successful -- and enduring -- grist mills in the cove was the John Cable Mill, built in 1867-68. He had to construct a series of elaborate diversions along Mill Creek and Forge Creek to get enough water power for the mill's characteristic overshot wheel. The mill, which processed logs, wheat and corn and was originally operated by millwright Daniel Ledbetter, continued to function in some fashion until the 1920s, and was still in use when the Park was formed.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Coffee County Courthouse at Christmas - Manchester, TN

Coffee County Courthouse at Christmas - Manchester, TN

Have you ever seen one of those youtube videos where some guy has decorated his house and had the lights blink and pulsate and dance with a popular Christmas Song? Well, the fine folks in Manchester decided to do that with the Coffee County Courthouse - except they did it with about a dozen songs. The whole "show" takes about 30 minutes.

I recorded some video of this and posted it to my blog:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

In the news: Jackson's First Presbyterian Church & Home added to National Register

This Home and the church have been added to the National Register of Historic Places in Dec. 2016.

Memorial Hall a.k.a. Chevy Chase - Jackson, TN

Originally, this was land that belonged to Confederate Colonel William H. Stephens in 1824, known as Willow Banks. This home was built in 1918 by Jackson Sun newspaper owner Clarence Pigford with the house named Chevy Chase. Since 1952, the land and the home have been owned by Jackson's First Presbyterian Church who built their church building next door.

First Presbyterian Church with Carillon - Jackson, TN

The First Presbyterian Church is located along US45 in Jackson, TN. The grounds have been named a state certified arboretum. Inside the steeple tower is a traditional carillon of 47 bells.

The church's carillon is one of 17 carillons in Tennessee. It is dedicated to the soldiers of Jackson and Madison County who offered and gave their lives for our country. The bells themselves were founded and tuned in France in the late 1940s. They chime regularly, and offer the spectacular prelude to the Jackson Starlight Symphony, a free annual concert on the church lawn.

Read more about it in this article from the Jackson Sun:

Friday, December 11, 2015

Jackson, TN NCSTL Depot

Jackson, TN NCSTL Depot

The brick building in Jackson was built in 1907 and is now open as a museum.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

L. Clure Morton United States Post Office & Court House

L. Clure Morton United States Post Office & Court House

This federal Court House in Cookeville, TN was built in 1914 and named after local federal judge Leland Clure Morton in 1996.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Old Talbott Tavern - Bardstown, KY

Old Talbott Tavern - Bardstown, KY

Located in Bardstown's town square, this building has been in use since 1797 (although has 1779 above the door). First is was used as a mercantile business but soon became a tavern. George Talbott operated it s the Newman House from 1885 to 1912. Afterwards, it became the Talbott Hotel - The Tavern. Over the years, it has been visited by he famous and the infamous.

Today, it operates as a restaurant and a Bed & Breakfast and is on the National Register of Historic Places.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Andrew Johnson Birthplace Replica - Greeneville, TN

Andrew Johnson Birthplace Replica - Greeneville, TN

Andrew Johnson was born in a small structure in Mordecai Park in Raleigh, NC. That building which was probably built in the late 1700's was part of a complex known as Casso's Inn. Andrew Johnson's father worked as a stable keeper at that hotel and his mother was a weaver.

According to tradition, Johnson was born in the loft of the Inn's kitchen. As the story goes, on Dec. 29, 1808 a wedding party was in progress at the tavern and those festivities were interrupted by the news of the birth of the baby. The bride then went to the cabin at the back of the inn to visit with the baby Andrew and his mother.

In Greeneville, TN, the town where Johnson called home most of his life, a replica of the birthplace was built in 1999. It's located next to his early home, a statue of him, and the visitor center which has encased his tailor shop. This building represents an important part of President Johnson's story and speaks of a man who began his life in humble conditions but later became the seventeenth president.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Smyrna, TN 2014 Christmas Tree

Smyrna, TN 2014 Christmas Tree

Starting in 2014, the Town of Smyrna now has their tree in front of the historic passenger train station in the middle of town.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Dixon Springs Union Church

Dixon Springs Union Church

This church building in Dixon Springs, TN dates back to 1878. It is called the Union church since different groups met here over the years. Originally the building was a Christian Church, and then became a Church of Christ. In the 1960s it became a Baptist church for a few years until it became abandoned.

This road is part of the old main road between Carthage and Hartsville, but now highway TN25 bypasses the old part of the city. This church building is on the national register of Historic Places as part of the Dixon Springs Historic District.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Old Fayette County Courthouse - Lexington, KY

A great write-up of this historic building can be found here:
"The 1898 courthouse was designed by the Cleveland, Ohio architecture firm Lehman & Schmitt, who also designed their own city's Cuyahoga County Courthouse. The Fayette County Courthouse is a fantastic example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. In the shape of a Greek cross, though appearing almost cubic, the courthouse has an entrance on each of its four sides. Each entrance is marked by a large round arch and a shallow balcony above. The corbels supporting these balconies feature facing ranging from grotesque to `resembling characters from the Canterbury Tales.' "

A new courthouse was opened nearby, and today this building houses the Lexington History Museum. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Lexington-Fayette County Government Building Block. Maybe the next time I'm here, it won't be raining.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Gilley's Hotel - Bull's Gap, TN

The Bull's Gap website has the full story on this railroad hotel which was rebuilt in 1884: www.bullsgaptn.us/index.php?option=com_content&view=a...

the Tennessee Preservation Trust added this to the 2014 Ten in Tennessee: a yearly list of threatened historic sites. Here is their write-up:
Historical Significance: Gilley’s Hotel is listed as a contributing resource of the Bulls Gap Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is described in Section 7 of the National Register nomination at items 29 and 30. The East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad constructed the first railroad tracks to serve northeastern Tennessee in the 1850s. The tracks came through what is now Bulls Gap. The Smith Hotel was built at that time to serve passengers and railroad employees. The original hotel was destroyed by fire and the building that stands today was constructed in its place. Rufus Henry Gilley acquired the property in the early 1900s and it was at that time that the building became known as Gilley’s Hotel. It stands as a monument to, and a reminder of, an era when the railroad served as the primary mode of passenger transportation in the United States. Gilley’s Hotel is associated with historic events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of the history of Bulls Gap.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Farnham Building - Harriman, TN

Farnham Building - Harriman, TN

Originally known as the Smith Building when it was built in 1891. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Roane Street Commercial Historic District. It is located along Roane St. (US27) at the intersection of Queen St. The building was a hardware store for many years but today is a nice antique store.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Williamson County's 2007 Christmas Tree

a Williamson County Christmas

This tree was located in Franklin's town square, with the Williamson County courthouse in the background. Many people remarked how they had a fat Christmas tree that year, and was attention getting. I drove through the square a couple of days ago and they already have their 2015 tree up at the same spot.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

NC&StL Boxcar PS-1 No. 22524 - Cowan, TN

NC&StL Boxcar PS-1 No. 22524

This Boxcar was built in Feb. 1952 and used by CSX up until the 1980's. Today, the boxcar is on loan from the Tennessee Central Railway Museum and is on display at the Cowan Railroad Museum. This photo was taken a couple of years ago, and is probably going to get repainted. You can see where the repainted the "To and from Dixieland" slogan on the side. This boxcar may have been saved from the scrap heap as the words "Scrap Metal" had been painted on here, then painted over.

To see my other photos from the Depot Museum, look here: