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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

CSX 5318 Crosses the Nickajack Lake Causeway

CSX 5318 Crosses the Nickajack Lake Causeway

Nickajack Lake is formed by Nickajack Dam on the Tennessee River in Marion County, TN. This causeway carries one set of tracks as well as highway TN156. The tracks are part of the CSX mainline and every train from Chattanooga to either Nashville or Huntsville passes through here.

CSX 5318 Crosses the Nickajack Lake Causeway

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Weakley County Courthouse - Dresden, TN

Weakley County Courthouse - Dresden, TN

The Weakley County Courthouse in Dresden's town square is the county's third and was completed in 1950 at a cost of $720,000. The Three story limestone clad structure is designed in a Classical style.

Monday, August 29, 2016

W.C. Handy Statue - Beale Street

W.C. Handy Statue

Honoring the Father of the Blues, the W.C. Handy Statue is at Handy Park along Beale St. in Memphis.

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

W.C. Handy Statue

Sunday, August 28, 2016

First United Methodist Church - Humboldt, TN

First United Methodist Church - Humboldt, TN

This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as First Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

According to the Tennessee Historical Commission marker:
Built 1899. Thus church is an example of Gothic Revival architecture. The exterior of the sanctuary consists of standing buttresses, towers, a copper spire and cross, and pointed arch stained glass windows. Transept windows were designed and installed by the renowned Jacoby Company of St. Louis in 1901. The interior features a cruciform plan and vaulted ceiling. The church was organized in 1860 in Humboldt, and in 1867 a small frame building was built east of the present sanctuary.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Coffee County Fair: Downdraft Blurred Motion in the Day

2013 Coffee County Fair: Downdraft Blurred Motion in the Day

The Downdraft is a ride similar to the Hurricane. Read more here:

To get this look in the daytime required f/22 and a strong ND filter.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Porky Shake - Moss, TN

Porky Shake - Moss, TN

I'm not completely sure what to think about this. Sonic and Burger King have both tried Bacon Sundaes here recently, so you never know.

Porky Shake actually looks like your typical Hamburger and Milkshake small business drive thru. However, Porky Shake was out of business when I went through the town of Moss along highway TN52 in Clay County. I will just assume its because they were sued by Warner Brothers for using their popular cartoon character without permission. Or, more likely because it's located in such a tiny town.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Judge Allison / Dixie Highway Marker

Judge Allison / Dixie Highway Marker

In the earliest days of American Highways, before there was the numbered route system of today, there were National Auto Trails. One of the most prominent of these trails was the Dixie Highway where the western branch connected Chicago and Miami. The first and only president of the Dixie Highway Association was judge M. M. Allison of Chattanooga. The original route through the area involved building a road up and down Walden's Ridge in the Suck Creek area, a project that lasted from about 1919-24. Since this area atop Walden's Ridge was the highest point along the Dixie Highway as well as vaguely the midpoint between Chicago and Miami, the Association decided to build a small roadside park here as well as this monument which was dedicated in 1924.

An editorial discussing the event in the Atlanta Constitution by editor Clark Howell, one of Georgia’s two directors on the Dixie Highway Association, said, “No man in the south has contributed more to the development of the south--indeed the whole country for it is a national project-- than Judge Allison in his faithful and untiring work in this one outstanding interstate highway project”

The text of the marker, which still stands, states: "This memorial is erected by the people of the United States to mark their appreciation of the great service rendered our country by Judge M. M.Allison, president of the Dixie Highway Association since its organization in 1915. The Dixie Highway was founded upon his faith, his hope and his far vision, his indefatigable labor throughout the states wherein it winds its useful way made possible its realization."

With all of the hairpin turns and difficult terrain to navigate, an alternate and more popular route between Jasper and Chattanooga was soon developed, which today is highway US41. In other words, the original Dixie Highway marker was essentially bypassed for a more convenient route, however this small pullover and monument is still there today as the road is now state highway TN27.

Judge Allison / Dixie Highway Marker

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Reelfoot Lake in Autumn

Reelfoot Lake in Autumn

Reelfoot Lake is a shallow natural lake located in the northwest portion of Tennessee. Much of it is really more of a swamp, with bayou-like ditches (some natural, some man-made) connecting more open bodies of water called basins, the largest of which is called Blue Basin. Reelfoot Lake is noted for its bald cypress trees and its nesting pairs of bald eagles. It is the site of Reelfoot Lake State Park.

Reelfoot Lake was formed when the region subsided during the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811–1812. Several eyewitnesses reported that the Mississippi River flowed backward for 10–24 hours to fill the lake. The earthquakes resulted in several major changes in the landforms over a widespread area with shocks being felt as far away as Quebec.

This fall color view of Cypress trees in the lake was taken from a boat ramp near the Air Park area of the State Park.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Big Time BBQ sign - Chattanooga

Big Time BBQ sign - Chattanooga

This great sign is seen along US41/US76 Near I-24 at the base of Missionary Ridge. This sign makes me hungry.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rutherford Co. Courthouse, Purple for Alzheimer's Assoc. Walk

Rutherford Co. Courthouse, Purple for Alzheimer's Assoc. Walk

The Rutherford County Courthouse in the Murfreesboro, TN town square is one of only six antebellum courthouses in Tennessee. With construction completing in 1859 at a cost of $50,000, the Greek-Revival style brick structure features classical columns on the East and West sides. The original cupola was replaced circa 1910 and similar styled wings were added on the north and south in 1965. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Rutherford Co. Courthouse, Purple for Alzheimer's Assoc. Walk

On Sept. 7, 2013 the community had a charity "Memory Walk" on behalf of the Alzheimer's Association. For several days leading up to the walk, the lights which illuminate the courthouse's cupola and columns were changed to purple. This photo was taken the day of the walk, but early in the morning about 30 minutes before sunrise.

Rutherford Co. Courthouse, Purple for Alzheimer's Assoc. Walk

Sunday, August 21, 2016

New Salem Cumberland Presbyterian Church

New Salem Cumberland Presbyterian Church

This church is located along highway TN89 in Weakley County between Dresden and Sharon. According to the sign out front, the congregation was established in 1849. On the front of the building is a metal plaque presented by the Daughters of the American Colonists in 1889.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Chessie Caboose #3255 - Jackson, TN

Chessie Caboose #3255 - Jackson, TN

This Chessie caboose is on display outside the historic NCStL Depot Museum. According to the museum's sign:

Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Extended Vision Caboose # 3255

The sides of the cupola project beyond the side of the car body. Introduced by the International Car Co. and saw service on most U.S. Railroads. The extended cupola allowed the crew to see past the top of the taller cars that began to appear after WWII.

The C&O, B&O, and Western Maryland Railroad became the Chessie System in 1972., taking on officially the mascot kitten used in and since 1934 "Chessie". In 1985, Chessie system became part of the CSX Railroad.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Upper DeSoto Falls & Dam

Upper DeSoto Falls & Dam

Located atop Lookout Mountain near Mentone, AL is the easily accessible DeSoto Falls.

Downstream from here is the main DeSoto Falls which plunges 104 feet. The upper falls is just a few feet upstream. Beyond that at the top of the photo is a 1920s hydroelectric A.A. Miller Dam.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Coffee County Fair: Ferris Wheel

2013 Coffee County Fair: Ferris Wheel

At the 2013 Coffee County Fair, they had this traditional ferris wheel in addition to the Astro Wheel. The Midway was operated by Kissel Rides and Shows.

I photographed this ride at a couple of different times of the day at different exposure lengths. Daytime photos were generally an hour before sunset near the "golden hour" and the night shots were done close to dusk. The daytime blurred motion photos were accomplished with a small aperture and a variable ND filter which was probably set around ND16. (Besides, how often do you get to see a daytime blurred motion ferris wheel?) For my other blurred motion fair photos, look here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Motel - Murfreesboro, TN

Motel - Murfreesboro, TN

This is the sign above the office entrance at the Murfreesboro Motel. The non-chain motel is located along US41/70S.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Rum Boogie Cafe - Beale Street

Rum Boogie Cafe - Beale Street

Since 1985.
Eat, Drink, Boogie, Repeat.

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

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Rafting on the Ocoee River

As we think about the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, let's take a look back at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

Rafting on the Ocoee River

A portion of the 1996 Olympics were held in Tennessee. The whitewater rating contest was held along the Ocoee River - although not right here. This is the spot where most people do their Ocoee rafting. (I last did this when I was in High School in 1994.) The Olympic competition area is actually upstream from here and has been turned into a modern park. If you are travelling along US64, it's a little further East of this area.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Atlanta's not-the-offical-Olympic-torch

In honor of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, we look back to when Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics.

Atlanta's not-the-offical-Olympic-torch

Everyone remembers the 1996 Olympics were in Atlanta. The Olympic Stadium is now Turner Field, home of the Braves. The official Olympic Torch Tower is just across the parking lot from Turner Field.

And then, there's this. I just assumed this was also an Official Olympic Torch. So did my brother who took me to see this. I would also assume tens of thousands of motorists riding in the passenger seat of northbound traffic of Interstate 75 have photographed it with their smartphones. It's north of Downtown (I guess in Midtown) and really close to Georgia Tech.

So, it's not the official Olympic torch. I did a bit of Internet searching to figure out the who, when and why of this structure, only to have no results. What I did see is that it used to be painted red until five years ago. Recently, I had lunch with my best friend from high school who moved to Atlanta and he didn't know who made it either. If you know, please help me out.

From here, my brother took me to see what I now know is the real one, but my picture of that didn't come out well.

UPDATE: I found this article which explains it better:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tennessee State University Olympic Plaza Statue

In honor of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio...

Tennessee State University Olympic Plaza Statue

Here is the Text of Tennessee State University's press release from 2005 when the Olympic Plaza was dedicated:

NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State University track-and-field athletes have won more Olympic medals than most countries have won. Now, TSU is paying tribute to those athletes with a special event. TSU will have the dedication of its new Olympic Plaza on Saturday, May 28, at 10 a.m. The Olympic Plaza is located on the north end of the main campus, next to the Gentry Center. The dedication will be the official introduction of the Olympic Plaza to the public. TSU has a rich and storied tradition of Olympic history, producing 59 Olympic athletes, who have captured 17 gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals. The Olympic Plaza will be a symbol of the TSU Olympic tradition and a permanent tribute to legendary coach Ed Temple and the achievements of all TSU Olympians, including Wilma Rudolph, Ralph Boston, Wyomia Tyus, Edith McGuire Duvall, and Chandra Cheeseborough and, most recently, Paralympian Ryan Fann. The Olympian is an impressive structure that stands more than 46 feet tall. The plaza will be adorned with commemorative bricks bearing the names of all past TSU Olympians and will have space available for bricks for future Olympians from the university.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wilma Rudolph Statue - Clarksville, TN

In honor of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio...

Wilma Rudolph Statue

Wilma Rudolph is perhaps Clarksville's most prominent citizen ever. Most people are familiar with her story, from growing up with Polio all the way to her multiple gold medals at the 1960 Summer Olympics. The City of Clarksville placed this bronze statue of Rudolph along the RiverWalk near the base of the pedestrian overpass. Many of you will even remember the famous photo of Rudolph crossing the finish line that this statue was adapted from.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Southern Olympics: Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest

As the real Olympics are going on in Rio right now, I want to take a look at some of the Olympics you can find in Middle Tennessee:

RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival: Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest

I suppose this contest makes for not too interesting photos. This is the best I had. It's one of those contests where a bunch of kids and a few adults enter, and the big tall guys win, just like the moon pie toss.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Southern Olympics: RC Cola can balance

As the real Olympics are going on in Rio right now, I want to take a look at some of the Olympics you can find in Middle Tennessee:

RC Cola Dash Contestants 1 RC Cola Dash Contestants 7

RC Cola Dash Contestants 6

At the 2008 RC Cola and Moon Pie festival in Bell Buckle, TN, just as they have done in years past, some "Olympic" games were played. This contest was the RC Cola Dash. The "Dash" part is a little misleading as this was not a speed contest, but more focused on skill and accuracy.

RC Cola Dash Contestant 8 RC Cola Dash Contestant 11 - passing round 1

RC Cola Dash Contestants 9 RC Cola Dash Contestant 4

The Rules: Take an open but full RC Cola can and balance it on your head. If you can make it all the way to the finish line (about 20 feet away) without dropping it (or steadying it with your hand - which would be cheating) you go on to round two. In round two, you stack two RC cans on your head. 4 contestants made it past round two onto round 3 stacking 3 RC cans on their head!

Now for the second round with two cans stacked!

RC Cola Dash Contestants 12

RC Cola Dash Contestant 18 RC Cola Dash Contestant 17

Here are the finalists who could stack three open RC cans!

This boy came in third place:

RC Cola Dash Contestant 21

This girl has the look of intensity and has won the contest in previous years, but this year she came in second.

RC Cola Dash Contestant 20

Not only was this girl a finalist, but was also the winner as she made it one full step with three cans stacked, which no other finalist could do

RC Cola Dash Contestant 22 <the Winner>

Monday, August 8, 2016

Southern Olympics: Moon Pie Toss

Right now, the 2016 Rio Olympics are going on. Let's take a look at an Olympic sport you can find in Middle Tennessee:

Moon Pie Toss Conestant A

Moon Pie Toss Contestant B

At the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival in Bell Buckle, TN, each year they have a series of contests, or Olympic Games. The first contest is the Moon Pie Toss. The gentlemen pictured above was one such participant in the fine sport of a Confection Distance Thrust.


These are the 1st, second and third place winners from the contest

The Blue Ribbon 1st place winner in the cutoff shorts said he came all the way from St. Louis. That's real dedication to participate in a fine sport of confection distance thrust. I'm thinking he undergoes a highly regimented cross-training program for this sort of all year long. I think his throw went about 200 feet and would have gone further if it hadn't have hit a tree branch.

The Red Ribbon 2nd place winner appears like he's trying to look like he's too cool for this.

I asked my wife to describe the expression of the daughter of the third place yellow ribbon winner. She said "Been in the sun too long"

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Linden Arts & Historic District

Linden Arts & Historic District

"Perry County Pride" is a 2009 mural by local award-winning artist Sonny Davis facing the courthouse near Linden's town square. At this spot was a long lasting advertising mural for Quasar televisions painted in the early 70's but eventually became too faded. The mural was commissioned by Vision Perry who has now added other art in and around the square.

Scenes from this mural include a boy and his fishing pole, a water fall, a double-stack kiln and a Perry County flag.

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Old Railroad Bridge - Pedestrain walkway - Florence, AL

The Old Railroad Bridge View #6 Pedestrain walkway - 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.

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

Thursday, August 4, 2016

See Rock City Today

See Rock City Today

Small Rock City Barns get shorter messages! This is along US11 in northern DeKalb County, AL about a mile or two from the GA state line, where the older highway closely parallels Interstate 59.

In fact, the other barn has a message, too - it's an old painted ad for Ruby Falls. That message is only visible from the interstate and not US11. Also, the barn on the right has a message on the other side facing southbound traffic on US11, a very faded ad for Sequoyah Caverns, which is a couple of miles away.

I last visited this barn in 2006, when it had been recently painted. For those of you keeping score at home, and I'm not sure why anyone would, this is one of over 80 different Rock City barns I have posted to flickr in my Rock City Barns set.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pulaski's Square Mile Marker

Pulaski's Square Mile Marker

A few years ago when I was driving through Pulaski and heading north of town along highway US 31A, I saw a green "Historical Marker" sign next to an empty gravel lot. I pulled into the gravel lot and I didn't see anything historical anywhere around. Then after a couple of minutes I saw this at the base of that green "historical marker" sign. It's easy to miss. It reads:

This marker is one of four which laid out one square mile (640 acres=one section) in 1841. A land grant was issued in 1809 and 1813 to the city of Pulaski and the county of Giles, by James Madison, President of the United States.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

World's Largest Bourbon Bottle

World's Largest Bourbon Bottle

Located on the west side of Louisville, which would be considered a bad neighborhood, is the Old Forester Bourbon factory. The company that makes it is Brown-Forman Corp. and atop their building is their vintage water tower which has been made to look like their signature brand. This tower was in the news lately as this new design was unveiled in Sept. 2012 to reflect the change in the packaging. See the old version here:

Monday, August 1, 2016

Lawrence County Courthouse - Lawrenceburg, TN

Lawrence County Courthouse - Lawrenceburg, TN

This courthouse was built in 1974 and is located on US 64 a couple of blocks away from the town square. This courthouse replaced an older courthouse from 1905 that couldn't be repaired any more. Built as part of a major urban renewal plan, it was built for $1.1 million. This one certainly has a modern 70's look to it, with a large fountain in the front running for the first time when I passed through.