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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Abandoned Rome, TN Ferry

Abandoned Rome, TN Ferry

Located at the beginning of Lick Creek, the ferry crossing at Rome, TN in Smith County traversed the Cumberland River dating back to 1830. The ferry seen here was built 65 years ago.

In 1949, the "Jere Mitchell" cost $11,000 and would allow four cars to cross the river. Back then, there were 33 ferries that operated in the state, but now there are only two. The ferry ceased operation in 1992 and has been resting and rusting on the southern shore ever since. The ferry was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 and you can still get up close to this relic - until vandals do even worse damage.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Singing Granitoid Pavement

Singing Granitoid Pavement

There is a street in Knoxville that still retains its old fashioned pavement style. This road was paved about 110 years ago, and has been patched, but the legacy street is still there. Roads are not made out of Granitoid rock anymore. Plus, the grated grooves in it make a singing sound when you drive over it. This is Kenyon St. in the Old North Knoxville Historic District.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Temple Theater (2017) - Portland, TN

Temple Theater (2017) - Portland, TN

The Temple Theater in Portland, TN has recently undergone renovation. The theater dates back to 1937, but closed in the early 1950s.

You can see more in this Tennesseean article:

You can follow their progress here:

Monday, December 28, 2020

Mayes-Hutton House - Columbia, TN

Mayes-Hutton House - Columbia, TN

From Wikipedia:
The house was built in 1854 for Samuel Mayes, who sold his slaves as he believed slavery would come to an end, and re-invested his money in this house.

The original portion of the house has a large 54 foot by 58 foot section with an 18 by 18 foot attached wing on the west of the back side. The brown brick house sits on a stucco-covered limestone foundation. The front of the house, probably heavily modified in the 1870s, includes four fluted Corinthian columns supporting a pediment, and a parapet, presenting a massive front facade. The interior is less ostentatious. but well designed, with a central hall that continues through the house, a free-standing stair, and balcony.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural qualities on July 8, 1970.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Holmes Memorial United Methodist Church

Holmes Memorial United Methodist Church

Photographed at dusk, this church building is located along highway TN18. It is in the town of Hickory Valley in Hardeman County.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Krey Hot Sausage - Memphis, TN

Krey Hot Sausage - Memphis, TN

Here is a faded ghosted wall ad located in Memphis along G.E. Patterson St. near St. Martin St. About all that can be read is Country Style Hot Sausage with the Krey logo in the bottom right.

Friday, December 25, 2020

2017 TN State Fair: FFA Christmas Booth

2017 TN State Fair: FFA Christmas Booth

At the 2017 Tennessee State Fair, the Mt. Juliet Future Farmers of America presented this Christmas booth. There are a lot of interesting details here, but my favorite is the deer tree-topper.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas at Nashville's Parthenon

Christmas at Centennial Park #8:  Parthenon and 2 trees

With the Red and Green illuminated Parthenon in the background, there is an area that has several Christmas Trees all decorated with lights of a single color. The white tree is the largest. The closest tree in this picture actually has yellow lights, while the other tree has more of a cranberry color. (There were also green, red and blue trees when this photo was taken in 2007.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Shannon Electric Co. Neon Sign

Shannon Electric Co.

in a rather gritty area of Nashville. Also in the background is the Downtown Antique Mall. A long time ago, it was the warehouse for G.P.Rose & Co. This photo is 13 years old, so it might be gone now.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Gen. Robert Hatton Statue - Lebanon, TN

Gen. Robert Hatton Statue - Lebanon, TN (2017)

The General Robert Hatton statue in the middle of Lebanon's town square is stop #1 on the Historic Lebanon Driving tour. Here is the text from that brochure:

A monument to General Robert Hatton was placed in the center of the Public Square May 20, 1912. Hatton was a graduate of Cumberland University, a lawyer, a State and U. S. Representative from Wilson County and first colonel of the 7th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.

In 1862, seven days after being promoted to Brigadier General, he was killed at the Battle of Seven Pines in Richmond, Virginia. His remains would eventually return to Lebanon and are interned at Cedar Grove Cemetery.

A believer of a unified nation, Hatton gave an impassioned speech at the Lebanon courthouse, April 1, 1861, on the efforts of compromise and a moderate course of action. Later that night a crowd gathered on the lawn of Hatton’s home on West Main Street, “beating tin pans and whooping savagely,” disapproving of his earlier speech. Afterwards, a figure of Hatton was burned in effigy.

After President Lincoln’s call for volunteers to fight against the southern states, Hatton sided with Tennessee in its vote for secession and formed a Confederate military unit, the Lebanon Blues.

Over the last several years, TDOT has installed a roundabout in the square and the area has undergone a beautification effort. Here is my view from 2007: flic.kr/p/2WWXu8

Monday, December 21, 2020

2011 Tennessee State Capitol Christmas at Night

2011 Tennessee State Capitol Christmas at Night (Ver. 2)

The Tennessee State Capitol sits upon Capitol Hill in downtown Nashville. It was designed in a Greek Revival style by prominent architect William Strickland and completed in 1859.

For Christmas, all of the lights along the base of the capitol had added a red tinting which colors most of the building. Only the lights for the cupola had not changed to red, however the lights inside the cupola window were green if you look closely.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Nutcracker Ballet - Peacocks on Parade - Dalton, GA

Nutcracker Ballet - Peacocks on Parade - Dalton, GA

In 2012, the town of Dalton, GA had multiple ornamented fiberglass peacocks adorning the downtown streets. Each peacock was sponsored by local businesses and individuals and was then decorated by local artists who incorporated their own themes. Highway US41 used to be called Peacock Alley after the tufting techniques that led to the local prominence of bedspreads and then carpets.

This peacock is named 'Celebrating 20 years of the Nutcracker' by artist Paula Plott Gregg.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

See 7 States from Rock City

See 7 States from Rock City

Here is a tough to find Rock City Barn in Clark County, IN near Perry Crossing. The barn is along Perry Crossing Rd. where Interstate 65 and US 31 are about 500 ft. apart. However, with the trees you may not be able to spot it from either highway. It's closer to I-65 but the painted side of the barn faces traffic going away. Here is a Google Street view.

This is now one of over90 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.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Old Factory Store - Franklin, TN

Old Factory Store - Franklin, TN

From the historic marker:
In 1799 Franklin founder Abram Maury sold Lot 20 to Joseph McBride. By 1825 Dyer Pearl, Thomas Parkes, and Joseph L. Campbell operated a steam-powered cotton & grist mill on East Margin and owned Lot 20 upon which was built a brick store in the Greek Revival style, complete with four distinctive Doric columns supporting a Grecian pediment. Other antebellum owners included Anderson & Baldwin (1833), Plunkett & Parkes (1843), M.G.L. Claiborne (1855), Spencer & McCoy (1858). On December 12, 1862 U.S. Brig. Gen. David Stanley ordered the machinery at the cotton factory and the stones of the grist mill destroyed but he spared the factory store after taking four wagon loads of flour and a wagon full of whiskey.

Like other public buildings and homes in Franklin, this local landmark served as a hospital for the wounded after the horrible conflict on November 30, 1864. In 1869 Enoch Brown purchased the building on Lot 20 from M.G.L. Claiborne for $1,300 separating its economic connection with the mill on East Margin. Jeremiah Shea purchased the Factory Store in 1884, which remained in the family until 1940. During the 20th century, the building housed Shea's Grocery, A.J. Edwards Antiques & Furniture Repair, Elva Givens Antiques, Dotson's Restaurant (1954-1978), and First Citizens' Bank. The Factory Store was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Conway Twitty Mansion - Hendersonville, TN

Conway Twitty Mansion - Hendersonville, TN

Country Music legend Conway Twitty had his mansion built in Hendersonville, TN in the early 1980s. At the time, he had a museum and gift shop also open on the property, an entertainment complex known as Twitty City. Fans were welcomed to walk around the gardens in front of his house. Twitty City remained open until his death in 1993.

The property was purchased by the religious television station Trinity Broadcasting Network to create Trinity Music City. Trinity still allows visitors to walk around the gardens and offers free tours of the mansion. My guide said they get a good mix of Conway's fans and TBN fans. Most of Twitty's belongings were auctioned off, so only one of his items, a desk, remains inside the mansion. Many of the remaining interior rooms are used for TV show filming. Around Christmas, they string up an impressive display of holiday lights (but, I'm not sure if they are doing it in 2020).

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Confederate Cemetery at the Hermitage

Confederate Cemetery at the Hermitage

Many people may not realize there is a Confederate Cemetery on the grounds of Andrew Jackson's Hermitage in Nashville, TN. After the Civil War ended, a Confederate Soldiers' Home was built on the corner of the Hermitage's property. Most of the soldiers buried here lived at that home. 483 soldiers are buried in concentric circles around a central granite monument.

There is a historic marker and a locked old gate at the old entrance to this cemetery along Lebanon Pike (US70) in the area. However, to visit the area today would require using the main Hermitage entrance on Old Hickory Blvd. and following Rachel's Lane under Lebanon Pk and parking at the old church.

Confederate Cemetery Monument at the Hermitage

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Climax Saloon - Nashville

About to be demolished: Embers Building / Climax Saloon

Note: This photo was taken in 2015 and the description was based on a newspaper article from 2016. The demolition did not happen and instead the building was restored to now become Natura Nashville.

Check out this Feb 18, 2016 article from the Tennesseean newspaper
Printers Alley developers to demolish 19th-century brothel

To paraphrase, Developers are planning to convert this building, plus the others seen in the corners of this photo into a new Boutique hotel called Utopia. The original design was to save as much of this building as possible, with intricate exterior design and vintage interior elements. As it turns out, most of the building is beyond repair as the upper two floors haven't been used in 70 years.

Over the decades, the Embers has been an important part of Printer's Alley (which is the other side of the building, this view is 4th Ave.) The building started in 1887 as a brothel known as the Climax Saloon. For many years, the main floor was the Embers restaurant, but now is an abandoned Greek restaurant.

Historic Nashville Inc. had included the Embers building as part of the Printers Alley Historic District on its 2014 Nashville Nine list of the city's most endangered historic places. If you view this photo at original size, to the left of the Kabab sign is ornamentation face of a lion on either side of the door. The upper floors contain ornate metal columns. If too many of these buildings are removed, the district could lose it's status on the National Register of Historic Places.

Update story on preservation efforts.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Courthouse Grounds Statue (Christmas 2018) - McMinnville, TN

Courthouse Grounds Statue (Christmas 2018) - McMinnville, TN

The plaque says "Under the auspices of the Woman's Civic League - 1914"

One commenter added this note:

I found this thanks to the Google: "The Davis Memorial Fountain dedicated May 20, 1915, was a gift to the City of McMinnville, Tennessee by Laura Davis Worley and her sister, Florence Davis, in memory of their parents Capt. Owen Walkins “O. W.” and Elizabeth Savage Davis. The public water fountain has been in several different locations in the McMinnville public square during its 100 year history. It now proudly stands between Main Street and the south door of the Warren County Courthouse" see tngenweb.org/wcgatn/lasting-landmarks/

It is also listed in a Smithsonian database: collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID:siris_a...
Apparently the statue is of the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe

Sunday, December 13, 2020

First Presbyterian Church - Knoxville

First Presbyterian Church - Knoxville

The First Presbyterian Church of Knoxville is a congregation that dates back to 1792. They have always occupied the same block in downtown Knoxville and this building dates back to 1903. While the building has expanded several times over the years, this is the entrance to the core sanctuary.

Also on the property is the church graveyard which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Two of the famous interments include Territorial Governor William Blount and Knoxville founder James White.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Coca-Cola mural - Decatur, AL

Coca-Cola mural - Decatur, AL

Located at the Brick Deli & Tavern, this Coke mural is painted atop a faded coke mural.

Delicious and Refreshing

Friday, December 11, 2020

Highland Cow

Highland Cow

Seen at Lucky Ladd Farm near Eagleville, TN. Highland Cattle are known for their distinctive long hair.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Smyrna, TN 2017 Christmas Tree

Smyrna, TN 2017 Christmas Tree

Located in Smyrna next to the historic train station

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

231 Plaza Inn - Lebanon, TN

231 Plaza Inn - Lebanon, TN

This motel is located on highway US231 a few blocks north of the town square in Lebanon.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Washington County Courthouse - Springfield, KY

Washington County Courthouse - Springfield, KY

I previously drove through here in 2006, and at the time it was still used as a courthouse. Since then, a new courthouse has opened across the street and this has become the Lincoln Legacy Museum.

According to plaques on the grounds, Abraham Lincoln was never certain his parents were married when he was born. In those days, that was a scandal which would have disqualified him from being President in the opinion of many voters. He hired investigators to find proof of their marriage, which did not happen before his assassination. Later in 1878, the marriage certificate was found in this courthouse.

Mare about the courthouse from Wikipedia:
The Washington County Courthouse in Springfield in Washington County, Kentucky is located on Springfield's Public Square, at Main at Lincoln Park Rd. It was built during 1814-15. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

It is a two-story brick courthouse, with brick laid in Flemish bond. Among other changes designed by architect Frank Brewer, it has an octagonal cupola added in 1840.

It is included as a contributing building in the Springfield Main Street Historic District.

Washington County Courthouse - Springfield, KY

Washington County Courthouse - Springfield, KY

Monday, December 7, 2020

Church House - Columbia, TN

The Church House (aka Barrow House) is a historic mansion along 7th Street in Columbia TN. It was built in 1873 in Second Empire architectural style. The first owner was Sheriff Latta, but was sold to Robert Church in 1885, and then inherited by grandson Robert Church Barrow.

For full info:

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Opryland Hotel Christmas: Guitar

Opryland Hotel Christmas 2015: Guitar B

Suspended from the ceiling at Gaylord Opryland Hotel's original Garden conservatory are four large guitars. This photo was taken in 2015.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Fayette County Courthouse - Somerville, TN

Fayette County Courthouse - Somerville, TN

In Feb 1926, Fayette County's third courthouse burned down. The county acted quickly to have a new one built in the town square as within 6 weeks architect George Mahan Jr. designed this courthouse. It was completed the following year at a cost of $106,000.

Much of the exterior is made of buff-colored brick. At the main entrance is as entry portico with 4 Ionic columns. Above this on the roof is a copper domed roof and clock tower. The building went through extensive remodeling in the 80s. The courthouse is also listed on the National register of Historic Places as part of the Somerville Historic District.

Fayette County Courthouse - Somerville, TN

Monday, November 30, 2020

A trip on the Benton-Houston Ferry across the Tennessee River

This Tennessee Ferry connects Benton County and Houston County across the Tennessee River. Also, the ferry connects both sides of highway TN147 to the cities of Big Sandy and Erin. The ferry runs every day of the year unless there is bad weather, and the ride costs $1.

One of the things to see during the ride is a partially abandoned railroad bridge and a partially submerged grain elevator.

There are only two working Ferries in Tennessee. The other one crosses the Cumberland River in Stewart County, seen here:

Benton-Houston Ferry

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Woodbury Funeral Home neon sign - day and night

Woodbury Funeral Home (Daytime)

Most of my neon sign photos belong to Motels, cinemas, Restaurants, gift shops, drug stores and tourist traps. To me, it seems like a neon sign is out of place at a funeral home. However, I like neon signs and I can get over that kind of hang-up to photograph it in the day and the night time. (Seen along Main St. in Woodbury.)

Woodbury Funeral Home (nighttime)

Saturday, November 28, 2020

SeeMidTN.com presents: Sharp Springs Recreation Area - Smyrna, TN

Sharp Springs Park in Smyrna, TN has multiple Karst Sinkholes which look like ponds. In this video, I walk along the Espey trail which provides several good views of these sinkholes.

Sharp Springs Natural Area - 3rd sinkhole

Friday, November 27, 2020

Columbia, TN Union Station

Columbia, TN Union Station

The old Union Station in Columbia was built in 1902 replacing an older, long demolished, building that had stood nearby. It served the community for both Louisville & Nashville, NCStL and Duck River Valley Narrow Gauge Railroad and was in use until the 1960s when passenger service was discontinued with cancelled freight and parcel service following. This building once served as one of the hubs of the community but is unused and neglected today despite its presence on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Tennessee Coneflower

Tennessee Coneflowers

50 years ago, it was believed that the Tennessee Coneflower was extinct. That was until Vanderbilt biologist Elsie Quarterman discovered some by accident. At the time it was added as an endangered species. Since then, conservation efforts have helped this flower to spread, but there are still only about 10 fields where you can find it. These fields tend to be glades where the soil isn't very thick above limestone in an area close to where Davidson, Wilson and Rutherford Counties meet close to Percy Priest Lake. Thanks to the conservation efforts, this Coneflower is no longer endangered as of 2011 and is now listed as Imperiled.

The best place to see the Tennessee Coneflower is at the Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area. A one mile loop trail takes you through a field where several patches of these grow. Some of them are right along the trail like the ones seen here. The best time to go is late June and early July when they are at full bloom.

Tennessee Coneflower

from Wikiipedia:
Echinacea tennesseensis, also known as the Tennessee coneflower or Tennessee purple coneflower, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, endemic to the cedar glades of the central portion of the U.S. state of Tennessee.

Echinacea tennesseensis is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 75 centimetres (2.46 ft) tall. The leaves are hairy, lanceolate, and arranged in a basal whorl with only a few small leaves on the flower stems.

The flowers are produced in a capitulum (flowerhead) up to 8 cm broad, with a ring of purple ray florets surrounding the brown disc florets.

A noticeable characteristic is its generally erect ray flowers, in contrast to the more drooping rays of its most similar congener, E. angustifolia (widespread throughout the prairie of the central U.S.) and other common Echinacea species such as E. purpurea.

Tennessee Coneflower and Bee

Tennessee Coneflower

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Clinch River Bridge - Clinton, TN

Clinch River Bridge - Clinton, TN

This 1939 bridge by Bethlehem Steel Co. carries highway US25W over the Clinch River in Anderson County, TN. It is believed to be the only Continuous Warren Camelback Through Truss in the state.

Update: This bridge is now scheduled for replacement and demolition by TDOT, although I don't know the timetable.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

50 Weird things I've seen in Tennessee

Here are 50 unusual things I have seen in Tennessee.  For fun, I'm not sharing the context of any of these locations in the slideshow.  If you want to learn more, check out this link which will include every photo and more:

Monday, November 23, 2020

In the news: Historic Nashville's 2020 List of Nashville Nine

Eldorado Motel - Nashville, TN

Every year, Historic Nashville Inc. creates their yearly list of historic endangered properties, which the call the Nashville Nine. The 2020 list has been published, which you can read at the link below:

2020 Nashville Nine

The Eldorado Motel neon sign above is facing problems due to years of neglect. The Tennessee State Prison and the Hopewell Baptist Church seen below were damaged by the Mar. 3, 2020 tornado.

Old Tennessee State Prison version A

Third Baptist Church - Nashville, TN

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Elm Street Methodist Church - Nashville, TN

Elm Street Methodist Church - Nashville, TN

Elm Street Methodist Church is a historic Methodist church building at 616 5th Avenue S. in Nashville. The building no longer serves as a place of worship and has been converted to offices for Tuck-Hinton Architects. It was built in 1871 in an Italianate style and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Lake at Harlinsdale Farm

Lake at Harlinsdale Farm

This photo was taken during Franklin Family Fun Day. To learn more about the farm:

Friday, November 20, 2020

Grand Junction, TN Train Station

Grand Junction, TN Train Station

The city of Grand Junction had been on my Tennessee To Do list for a long time because of the area's prominence in Tennessee's railroad history. Unfortunately, the historic station at the junction had seen better days.

The town of Grand Junction dates back to 1854 when the major East-West Southern Railroad and North-South Illinois Central railroad lines intersected here. Today, the East-West line is part of a very important Norfolk Southern corridor and sees much traffic. However, the North-South tracks do not cross at the junction anymore. (I don't know if those tracks are abandoned, or just act like a spur these days. There were some hoppers parked not too far away.

The depot itself dates back to the 1920s. Since it has been vacant for a long time, it needs a lot of work, but at least the work has been started. As you can tell, all the windows are covered. The roof collapsed around 2000 and fortunately it appears to have been recently replaced.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Welcome to Tennessee: Ardmore AL/TN Border

Welcome to Tennessee: Ardmore AL/TN Border

The town of Ardmore lies on the Tennessee / Alabama border, although more of the town is in Alabama. At this spot, State Line Rd, (also TN7 and old US31) crosses under the train tracks at the state line. In 2000, This sign and an Alabama sign on the other side of the tracks were placed.

Other side of the border:

Welcome to Alabama sign - Ardmore

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Fort Loudoun State Park

Fort Loudoun State Park

From Wikipedia:
Fort Loudoun was a British colonial-era fort located in what is now Monroe County, Tennessee, United States. Built in 1756 and 1757 to help garner Cherokee support for the British at the outset of the Seven Years' War, the fort was one of the first significant British outposts west of the Appalachian Mountains. The fort was designed by John William G. De Brahm, its construction was supervised by Captain Raymond Demeré, and its garrison was commanded by Demeré's brother, Paul Demeré. It was named for the Earl of Loudoun, the commander of British forces in North America at the time.

Relations between the garrison of Fort Loudoun and the local Cherokee inhabitants were initially cordial, but soured in 1758 due to hostilities between Cherokee fighters and European settlers in Virginia and South Carolina. After the massacre of several Cherokee chiefs who were being held hostage at Fort Prince George, the Cherokee laid siege to Fort Loudoun in March 1760. The fort's garrison held out for several months, but diminishing supplies forced its surrender in August 1760. Hostile Cherokees attacked the fort's garrison as it marched back to South Carolina, killing more than two dozen and taking most of the survivors prisoner.

The fall of Fort Loudoun led to an invasion of Cherokee territory by General James Grant and an important peace expedition to the Overhill country by Henry Timberlake. The fort was reconstructed in the 20th century based on the detailed descriptions of its design by De Brahm and Demeré, and excavations conducted by the Works Progress Administration, the Fort Loudoun Association, and the Tennessee Division of Archaeology. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965, and is now the focus of Fort Loudoun State Park.