Sunday, May 31, 2020
Saturday, May 30, 2020
This replica home is located along Charlotte Pk. (US70) in what used to be H.G. Hill Park. Portions of the park are still there, but this is now surrounded by Nashville West shopping center and multiple new businesses.
Text of this historic marker:
1.2 mile NE James Robertson built his cabin in 1779 at 23rd and Park. In October 1784 Robertson moved to his Richland Creek farm, living in the log structure until 1787, when the first brick house in Middle Tennessee was completed. Called Travellers' Rest until 1816, the brick house, which burned in 1902, was located inside his fort at 5904 Robertson Road. The two-story log house was dismantled in 1970. The replica at this site was erected during the 1996 Tennessee Bicentennial by the West Nashville Founders' Museum Association.
Friday, May 29, 2020
Castle Heights Military Academy was a military academy in Lebanon, Tennessee.
The Academy was founded as Castle Heights School in 1902. In 1918, it became a military preparatory school. The school ceased operations in 1986 in the face of declining enrollment. Its buildings have been restored and now the main building serves as the Lebanon City Hall, Lebanon Museum and History Center.
This building is stop #13 on the Historic Lebanon Driving tour. Here is the text from that brochure:
David E. Mitchell and I.W.P. Buchanan opened the Castle Heights School in 1902. Mitchell had just been named president of Cumberland University where Buchanan was professor of mathematics. Their idea was to create an environment unlike any other preparatory school. Students who did not live in town were required to board at Castle Heights.
The school had ninety-four boarding students and fifty-nine day students its first year. In 1917, the school changed into a military academy. Castle Heights Military Academy (CHMA) closed its doors forever August 13, 1986.
For eighty-four years the school had shaped boys, and girls beginning in 1973, but was not able to carry on, hindered by a lack of enrollment and adequate financing.
The remaining buildings of the former campus were added to the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic District in 1996.
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Located in the Green Hills area of Nashville, the Woodmont Christian Church building was built in a Neo-Classical design by architect Edwin Keeble. The most noticeable feature of this building is the steeple, which is a 220-foot tall spire. This is a common feature for church buildings designed by Edwin Keeble, so it is known as one of "Keeble's Needles." There is a model train version of this church at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
I first learned of this confederate monument here on Roadside America:
Perhaps I didn't follow instructions well as I had trouble finding it. I started at the nearby Calvary Catholic Cemetery driving up and down every turn. Then, I found the nearby Odd Fellows Cemetery and the Potter's Field Cemetery. Then, I was at Walter Hardy Park when I thought I spotted it on the other side of a large fence.
I drove back to Bethel Ave., where I found a gate to the fence that appeared to be accidentally unlocked. I knew I was in the right place because there was a historic marker for "Confederate Cemetery" on the other side of the fence. I opened the gate and felt like I was breaking in to someone's back yard as there was a house inside this fenced area. There were even a couple of parked cars around the monument, one of which can be seen here. As it turns out, the area may only be open to the public on Saturday's, so I arrived on the right day. The home which was the original caretaker's cottage is apparently a museum today. As I was leaving, another couple who drove all over Calvary Catholic Cemetery parked next to me on the street as they were looking for the same thing.
Here is the text of the marker:
During the Confederate War, 1861-1865, more than 1600 Confederate soldiers and about 50 Federal prisoners were buried here. About 20 Confederate veterans have been buried here since the war. The tall monument was erected in 1892 by the Ladies' Memorial Association.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
For those of you who don't live near Nashville, Purity Dairies is the perhaps the most popular brand of milk and ice cream in the area. (Their ads also launched the career of Jim Varney as Ernest.)
It's on the side of a building in the small downtown area of Smyrna, TN. I think the building was the Regal Theater from 1910-1958. After that, it was the Theater Grill.
This 50's mural was renovated in Sept. 2016. Learn more about the project in this Daily News Journal article:
Highlights of the article include how Purity was consulted to find the original paint color, and how the local Carpe Artista worked with the Nashville Walls Project.
This is what it looked like before it was restored:
Monday, May 25, 2020
According to the Historic Marker:
An antebellum landmark built by Andrew Jackson Caldwell, an ardent advocate of the southern cause. Many Confederate soldiers found shelter here. Bricks were made, wood cut and finished, stone was quarried on the place. The house erected by Caldwell and his men, has three floors, with four large rooms, a hall and stairway. Large basement provided hiding place.
This historic home is now open as a Civil War museum. It is located north of Franklin, KY along US31. Today, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are only four of these eight sided homes remaining in America.
In time for Halloween, it's also home of many ghost stories:
Sunday, May 24, 2020
I'm not sure how many times I've driven along W. 7th St. in Columbia (US412), but it wasn't until this day that I noticed the tall obelisk in a park up the side of a hill. I've spent years combing through every brochure and tourist guide in Middle Tennessee, and can't recall ever reading of this place. This monument and the park on the side of Mt. Parnassus are dedicated to Edward "Pop" Geers.
In the late 19th Century, Harness Racing reached its golden age and was one of the most popular spectator sports in the U.S. Pop Geers who lived and trained horses in Columbia was one of the most accomplished men in the sport. As a driver (harness racing has drivers, not jockeys) Geers recorded the first one mile race in under 2 minutes. He was killed in a race at the West Virginia State Fair in 1924. This monument was dedicated to the "Gentleman Racer from Tennessee" two years later.
For more, see this youtube video: youtu.be/m3jMRD32R_Y
Saturday, May 23, 2020
Sgt. Alvin York was an American hero from World War I, and there are several sites you can visit:
The Sgt. York State Historic Site with his home and mill,
York's burial site at Wolf River Cemetery
York Institute in Jamestown
Crossville passenger train station
Cumberland Mountain State Park
statue at the state capital
Tennessee State Museum of Military History
Learn more about Sgt. York here:
See all the photos from this slideshow here:
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
The Middle Tennessee area is full of many great waterfalls, but many of them require a hike. The waterfalls featured in this video are easy to see. Some can be seen from the car, or with as little as a 100 foot walk. The longer walks on here are still less than a mile on a paved walk. Most of the waterfalls seen here are in Middle Tennessee, but some are in East TN or neighboring states.
If you want to take a closer look at my waterfall pictures, look at this link:
All photos were taken by SeeMidTN\Brent M.
Here is the list:
Fall Creek Falls
West Meade Falls
Marrowbone Lake Falls
Old Stone Fort State Park
Rock Island State Park
Ledford Mill Falls & Wetumpka Falls
Falls Mill (in Franklin County)
Cookeville City Lake Falls
Roaring River Falls (aka Hardy-Reagan Falls)
Union Camp Falls
Trace Creek Falls
Jackson Falls and Fall Hollow along the Natchez Trace Parkway
Huntsville Town Spring
KY: Cumberland Falls
AL: DeSoto Falls
AL: Little River Canyon
NC: Waterfalls near Highlands, including Bridal Veil Falls
NC: Elk Falls
Sunday, May 17, 2020
In downtown Nashville, there is a Walgreens Drug Store at the 5th Ave. entrance to the Arcade. The Arcade is a covered shopping arcade built in 1902 and modeled after an arcade in Italy.
I can't tell you how old the neon sign is, but I assume it is vintage. What I can say is that the Walgreens has been at this location since at least 1960. In 1960, when this Walgreens still had lunch counters, this was one of the primary locations of the Nashville sit-ins, a nationally significant passive resistance movement to end local segregation.
Saturday, May 16, 2020
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.
Friday, May 15, 2020
This 1996 statue of Elvis, as well as a statue of B.B. King are located inside a visitors information center located along Riverside Dr. in downtown Memphis.
This note is from Roadside America, talking about its previous location:
In 1980 the world's first bronze Elvis statue was unveiled on Beale Street, where the future King of Rock and Roll crafted his early musical style. But the statue, by Eric Parks, proved too delicate for the elements and souvenir-crazed fans, who stripped its guitar strings and tore the tassels from Elvis's suit. It was taken down in 1994 and moved indoors to the downtown Memphis Tennessee Welcome Center.
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Eversong is located at Stone Hall which became a Nashville park in 2007. Here is the story from a marker:
Eversong was moved here by Dempsey Weaver Cantrell from Williamson County in the 1930s. If it had been at its present location overlooking the Stones River in the early 1800s, Eversong would have provided a view of Andrew Jackson's racetrack, store, and tavern just across the river. Dempsey's wife Nora, who was poet laureate of Tennessee and called her poems "songs," said that when she went down to the cabin by the river she "ever had a song in her heart," so she called it Eversong.
Sunday, May 10, 2020
This is a wide and shallow area of the Duck River, which makes it a popular location for swimming and kayaking. While I was here, several buses dropped off kayakers who will pick them up somewhere downstream. I took this photo on Memorial Day but am sure it is just as popular on July 4th weekend.
This spot is about 500 feet downstream from Lillard's Mill. There is a gravel lot which can hold about 30 cars off of Milltown Road. It's not too far off of highway TN272 north of Verona in Marshall County.
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Light Meander, 45 feet tall, three-feet wide and 12-inches thick; Stainless steel plate and tube, hardwood, color-changing LED strip lights, and Acrylic rod
The artists drew their inspiration for the Light Meander sculpture from its significant location at the Demonbreun Street terminus, a former tributary to the Cumberland River. A bold and experiential sculpture, the art forms a nexus between the river and downtown Nashville. The sculpture takes advantage of the dynamic views from many nearby vantage points, and its reflectivity and color make it interactive and always changing throughout the day and night.
Friday, May 8, 2020
Thursday, May 7, 2020
This is the iconic view from the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged. You never know what you will find in small towns.
This is one of seven small murals around the Nelson House Hotel a block north of the Columbia, TN town square. They have been painted by local mural artist Bonnie Callewaert. Three of them are visible in a parking lot next to the historic hotel and the other four are behind the building. Other than Aesthetics, I can't find any info on why or when on these.
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
With a view that is only possible with a good wide angle lens, here is both of Davidson County Courthouses as seen from the observation deck at Public Square Park in Nashville.
For more info about the Davidson County Public Building and Court House on the left, look here:
For more info on the Justice Adolphus A. Birch Courthouse on the right, look here:
Sunday, May 3, 2020
NOTE: This photo is over two years old. I do not know if it is still available
This old painted wall advertisement for Selz Royal Blue shoes was recently uncovered in Columbia, TN. Advertised as "The Sole of Honor" the Selz shoe company in Chicago was in business from 1890 to 1929. This can be seen along Main St. in Columbia on the south side of the town square next door to Ted's. When a new building is built in this spot, it is unknown if the 90+ year old sign will be preserved. Go see it now to make sure you see it.
Saturday, May 2, 2020
City Cemetery is the Nashville's original cemetery and the primary burial ground for many of the city's founding fathers. Instead of a standard tombstone, one cemetery plot is covered by a large boulder, plus a large iron fixture to hold a lantern. Because this is unusual, it makes for some good urban legends.
The legend goes something like this:
Up until 2014, there was a plaque with the name Ann Rawlins Sanders 1815-1836 on it. (If you look closely, you can see the outline where a plaque was.)
As one story goes, Ann was killed in a carriage accident on the way to her wedding. In another version, after a lover's quarrel, Ann jumped off this rock into the Cumberland River to drown away her sorrows. While going through bereavement, her husband somehow moved the rock she jumped off of to her grave site. The iron fixture held a lantern so that if her spirit was scared or waited to look for her husband, she would have a light. None of this is true. Instead, Ann is buried in the stone box barely visible behind the rock. The lantern seen in older pictures was removed as it was not original or from the same time period.
The Rock is actually the tombstone for Lucy Rawlins Steele (perhaps Ann's sister.) Her name was actually carved in the rock on the other side, but it's weathered and not visible today. Lucy died in May 1847 of Tuberculosis. Her husband Edward G. Steele was a commissioner overseeing the building of the state capitol. He had this stone from the same quarry as the capitol delivered here for the tombstone. Two years later, Edward moved to another state and the locals forgot who Lucy was.
Read the entire story in this PDF from the Nashville City cemetery association, starting on page 3: They tell the real story and how they learned about it:
Friday, May 1, 2020
Nashville Walls Project describes themselves as "bringing some of the worlds top Street and Graffiti Artists to Nashville for mural projects, exhibits and events."
In May 2017, Australian artist Guido Van Helten came to The Nations neighborhood in Nashville to paint this abandoned grain silo. This photo was taken on Memorial Day when the project was almost but not quite finished. If you look closely in the bottom left corner, you can see Guido on a lift.
The subject of the massive 160 foot tall painting is Lee Estes. Learn more about the 91-year old and lifelong resident of The Nations HERE or HERE. The mural wraps around the corner and depicts two children from St Luke’s Community House in the Nations.