Home     Daily Blog     Galleries     Maps     Contact

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Nashville Bridge Company Building

Nashville Bridge Company Building

In 1908, this building was built as the headquarters of Arthur Dyer's Nashville Bridge Company. To build the Titans NFL stadium and adequate parking, most of the unused industrial buildings of the complex were torn down, but this building remained with its two additions. It was vacant for a couple of decades, but has been redeveloped over the last few years for offices and an event venue. This view is from the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

F-105 Thunderchief - Arnold A.F.B.

F-105 Thunderchief - Arnold A.F.B.

Several military jets are on display outside of the entrances to Arnold Air Force Base near Tullahoma, TN. This one is dedicated to the memory of Lt. Gen. Robert M. Bond.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Harrison Mayes: Jesus is Coming Soon

Harrison Mayes: Jesus is Coming Soon

Kentuckyan Harrison Mayes survived a mining accident and spent much of the rest of his life making crosses like this one and placing them on major roads all throughout the country. This sign is in Smyrna, TN and located on the Old Nashville Highway, which is a 150+ year old road connecting Nashville to Murfreesboro and eventually became part of the Dixie Highway. These signs, made of concrete, usually weigh 1400 pounds.

On one side of the cross, it reads "Jesus is Coming Soon." The other side says "Get Right With God." Until recently, the GET was covered up and replaced with MADE. I am not sure who or why it was changed originally or restored to the original.

For more info on Harrison Mayes and his signs, Look here.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Huntsville Moonwalk

Huntsville Moonwalk

In downtown Huntsville next to Constitution Village is the Huntsville Moonwalk. The footsteps of astronaut Alan B. Shepard are preserved along with the steps of several local kids. This was dedicated on the 25th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing on July 20, 1994.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Cumberland City Ferry

Cumberland City Ferry

As a kid, my mom once took me along on an errand run. Along the way, she took me way out of the way to get where we were going. She had us cross the Cumberland River at the Old Hickory Blvd. Ferry. After we had crossed, she told me, "We came this was so you could ride on the ferry. You may never ride on one again." I wish that I had been old enough to appreciate it.

It's tough for a ferry to remain open these days. If the traffic slows down, the ferry goes out of business. If the traffic gets busier, the locals ask the state to build a bridge. I've been to many former ferry sites in Tennessee, but as of now, only two remain. (The other is the Danville Ferry, about 20 miles from here, which crosses the Tennessee River near Big Sandy.)

This ferry is located at the town of Cumberland City in Stewart County. The ferry allows highways TN46 & TN233 to cross the Cumberland River seven days a week. A one way ride costs a dollar, but locals get a discount.. Even this ferry "Patience" replaced an older ferry: www.tn.gov/tdot/article/ferryservices-cumberlandcityferry

Watch my video of the crossing: www.youtube.com/watch?v=88WjqYPDTGY

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Post Card Tuesday: Johnny Cash's One Piece at a Time Cadillac

One od Johnny Cash's most iconic songs was "One piece at a time." It's the story of an automobile assembly line worker who would take smuggle home one piece of a car every day until he was able to put together an entire car. Until his death, Cash had a museum in Hendersonville along Johnny Cash Highway (US31E). The building which used to be the museum is still there today, although today it is a real estate agency. See it on Google Street View.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Shrine Building - Memphis, TN

Shrine Building - Memphis, TN

From Wikipedia:
The Shrine Building in downtown Memphis, Tennessee was built in 1923 to serve as the headquarters of the Al Chymia Shrine, a group of Shriners. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It was converted to apartments in 1981 and was converted again in 2005 to house 75 condominium apartments.

It was designed by architects Jones & Furbringer. It was also a work of architects Hanker & Cairns. Sometimes a building is the work of more than one architect, or a later renovation or extension is done by another firm.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Clark Memorial United Methodist Church

Clark Memorial United Methodist Church

This church is listed on Historic Nashville Inc.'s Civil Right's Movement tour guide as stop #14. historicnashvilleinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/HNI-c...

The fellowship hall of Clark Memorial housed most of the Nashville Christian Leadership Council (NCLC) nonviolent training workshops conducted by James Lawson from the autumn of 1958 through the early 1960s. The church building dates to 1945 and is located at 1014 14th Ave. N.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Burial Site of Gov. Buford Ellington

Burial Site of Gov. Buford Ellington

Earl Buford Ellington (June 27, 1907 – April 3, 1972) was an American politician who served as Governor of Tennessee from 1959 to 1963, and again from 1967 to 1971. With term limits, and along with his political ally, Frank G. Clement, he helped lead a political machine that controlled the governor's office for 18 years, from 1953 to 1971. Ellington was also a supporter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, and worked as the Director of the Office of Emergency Planning during the Johnson Administration in 1965.

Ellington (as well as Gov. Jim McCord) is buried in Lone Oak Cemetery in Lewisburg, TN. Once at the cemetery, look for the flag poles. There are about 5 of them and one is right next to this grave.

A couple of years ago, an associate challenged me to find all of the Tennessee Governor's burial sites. This is number 13 in my quest, so I am finally taking it seriously. My list: 1) John Sevier 3) Willie Blount 9) James K Polk 13) William Trousdale 15) Andrew Johnson 17) William G. Brownlow 22) Alvin Hawkins 23) William B Bate 25) John P. Buchanan 35) Austin Peay 36) Henry Horton 42) Buford Ellington 44) Ray Blanton. See all of them here.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Desoto Falls

Desoto Falls

A fork of the Little River plunges 104 feet into the pool below at one of Lookout Mountain's most accesible waterfalls. Desoto Falls is named after Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. De Soto's exploration travelled through the area, likely south of here, but according to legend, some artifacts were found near the falls. According to more folklore, it is suggested that caves in the steep bluff below the falls were part of a fort built by Welsh explorers in 1170, and while most archaeologists and historians find no evidence of this, it's tough to prove something didn't happen that long ago. Today, the waterfall is part of Desoto State Park, which contains several waterfalls. Upper Desoto Falls is just a few feet from here, and an old 1920's hydroelectric dam is just upstream from that. A short paved path leads to the overlook where you can get this view of the falls. Unless you know someone who lives across the canyon, this is the best view most people can get of these falls.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Adaptive Reuse Boxcars - Franklin, TN

Adaptive Reuse Boxcars - Franklin, TN

These three Boxcars have been repainted in a tan color and are now on the grounds of The Factory in Franklin, TN. There are two Louisville & Nashville cars and one Tennessee Central.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Hernando DeSoto Bridge at Dawn - Memphis

Hernando DeSoto Bridge at Dusk - Memphis

This iconic bridge carries Interstate 40 over the Mississippi river near downtown Memphis, TN. Built in 1973, this two span steel through arch bridge has a total length of 1.8 miles. The length of the bridge covered by the arches is 1800 feet. This view is taken from Tom Lee Park.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Post Card Tuesday: Williamson County Courthouse

This linen-era post card shows the 1858 Williamson County Courthouse along the town square in Franklin. In the foreground is a Civil War cannon in the middle of the square which is still there today. The biggest difference between the courthouse then and today is the white paint. The paint was removed sometime in the late 70's or early 80's to reveal the original brick. The courthouse today also has a 1976 expansion behind the historic front.

Williamson County Courthouse

Monday, January 18, 2021

Last Chance Liquors neon sign

Last Chance Liquors

East Nashville / Dickerson Pike.

I'm guessing the "Last Chance" refers back to the days that Nashville was a dry city.

Highway U.S. 431/41/31W part of town also known as Avondale

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Walker Mill Hydroelectric Station - Sevierville, TN

Walker Mill Hydroelectric Station - Sevierville, TN

I might be the only person who would go to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area and look for a century old spillway.
This dam in Sevierville is on the National Register of Historic Places. Here is the text from its 1990 NRHP nomination form:

The Walker Mill Hydroelectric Station is located in Sevier County (population 41,418) on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River at mile 2.5, and just off U.S. Highway 441.

The dam is a concrete gravity structure approximately 227 feet long and eleven and five-tenths (11.5) feet high. It features an uncontrolled spillway section 115 feet in length.

The steel reinforced concrete powerhouse substructure and brick powerhouse measures forty (40) feet by twenty (20) feet and is located on the dam approximately fifty (50) feet from the right abutment. One tapered concrete pillar extends from the river helping supporting the powerhouse's northwest corner. The intake is an opening in the powerhouse headwall which is controlled by two gates. The water conductor is a simple open flume.

The Walker Mill Hydroelectric Station is significant under National Register criterion C for engineering because it represents the kind of hydroelectric engineering projects typical at the time of its construction on the smaller rivers of the State of Tennessee. Its design, while not unique among its class in the Volunteer State, displays the typical vertical emphasis of what can be called "early hydro-style." It, along with another now demolished site, provided the electric needs of the town of Sevierville until 1938 when the TVA acquired the station. It is capable of operation today when the water level is high enough.

The Walker Mill Hydroelectric Station is likewise significant under National Register criterion A, as it represents a change in the business of trading, commerce, services and commodities, and the gradual introduction of electricity into everyday human existence during the early twentieth century in Tennessee.

Initial interest in a hydroelectric facility was expressed in Sevierville in 1912. On October 28, 1914, the concrete dam was finished, and by November of that year the facility began generating electricity. Local competition flourished and soon there were two hydroelectric stations on the West Prong of Pigeon Forge River, one at the Newport Milling Company site, the other at the Walker Mill site. By 1938 the TVA had purchased both sites and by 1940 sold them back to city of Sevierville which would buy its power from TVA and extend its own system to local rural areas. Only the Walker Mill site is extant and occasionally in operation when the river level is adequately high.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Hunley Cabin - Bledsoe Fort Historic Park

Hunley Cabin - Bledsoe Fort Historic Park

Three old houses have been relocated to the Bledsoe Fort Historic Park near Castallian Springs in Sumner County. Of the three, I can't find any details of this cabin. However, there is also a monument to Civil War submarine captain Horace Lawson Hunley here: flic.kr/p/UmK7xb

Friday, January 15, 2021

Tulip Grove - Nashville, TN

Tulip Grove - Nashville, TN

Tulip Grove is the 1836 house of Andrew Jackson Donelson, nephew of President Andrew Jackson. The home was designed by Joseph Reiff who also built the Hermitage. Donelson was a West Point graduate, foreign minister to Prussia, and unsuccessful candidate for Vice President in 1856. The home is close enough to President Jackson's Hermitage that it is part of the Hermitage grounds. You can see it as part of your Hermitage visit, although it is a bit of a walk.

From Wikipedia:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_Grove While Andrew Jackson was still President in 1834, Andrew Jackson Donelson decided to build Tulip Grove in land close-by to the Hermitage. The house was completed in 1836 with the original name of "Poplar Grove." President Martin Van Buren suggested he rename it to Tulip Grove in 1841.

In 1858, Donelson sold the property to the parents of painter Mayna Treanor Avent (1868–1959), who grew up at Tulip Grove. Later, it passed through successive owners until 1964 when it was acquired by the Ladies' Hermitage Association.

Tulip Grove is representative of the antebellum Greek Revival style that was popular before the American Civil War. It consists of two main stories, a basement, and attic. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Collapsed Rock City Barn in Indiana

Collapsed Rock City Barn

People who have viewed my photostream for a long time will see that I've photographed many Rock City barns over the years. It was my first photographic interest. I haven't found as many lately as I have to venture further from home to find them now. When I started to look for them, this one was one of the most photographed barns that I would see.

This is located in Chambersburg, Indiana, just east of Paoli along US150. I already knew it had collapsed, but I wanted to see it anyway. Here's a Google street view from 2012 to show what it looked like then: Street View.

The leading authority on Rock City Barns is photographer David B. Jenkins who published a coffee table book of the photos in 1996. Eight years later, I bought that book at the Rock City gift shop, and my new hobby was born. Fast forward a few years, and I've had a chance to talk to David a few times. Recently, he told me this was the first Rock City barn he ever photographed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Vietnam War Memorial - Nashville

Vietnam War Memorial - Nashville Located on the grounds of the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Post Card Tuesday: Hughes Worm Ranch - Savannah, TN

For 2021, I am bringing back a blog feature I haven't used in a while - Postcard Tuesday, where I'll feature a vintage Tennessee post card each week.

Here is an antiquated business that we don't see any more: Worm stores. Of course, you can go to any convenience near a lake and get nightcrawlers, but near a century ago there were businesses which specialized in worms, and almost operated as tourist stops. If you view this post card full size, some of the messages are:
Thru these gates pass the best people on Earth - My friends - The Fishermen
This is not a circus, It's Hughes Worm Ranch
SEE the Unique worm ranch - World's largest

The Worm Ranch even employed ladies to dig through the dirt to capture the worms.

Worms were so important in Savannah that a local radio station had the letters WORM, and they still operate today

Monday, January 11, 2021

Richland Hall - Nashville

Richland Hall - Nashville

This historic building is located along Charlotte Pk (US70) near the Sylvan Park area of Nashville.

From wikipedia:
The three-story red brick building was completed in 1894. It was built by James A. Bowling, whose money came from the recent sale of prison farmland. The West Nashville Masonic Lodge was founded here in 1898. The building was used by the Freemasons from 1901 to 1915. In the 1920s, rooms on the third floor was rented as the Richland Hall Hotel.

The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since September 1, 1983.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Little Tunnel - Cumberland Gap, TN

Little Tunnel - Cumberland Gap, TN

A major railroad tunnel was built in 1889 to connect Cumberland Gap, TN to Middlesboro, KY. A couple years after that, a spur line was constructed to connect Cumberland Gap to Harrogate. This tunnel was constructed to get through a 1200 foot long ridge. The bricks you see here are original to the tunnel.

The tracks to Harrogate have long been abandoned and was converted to a pedestrian trail. This tunnel and two bridges are part of this path. When US58 was widened, there was a need to extend this tunnel further under the highway; this newer portion is corrugated metal instead of brick. This tunnel is also used by Lincoln Memorial University students who stay in the University Inn dormitory and choose to walk to campus.

The best way to visit the tunnel today is on the Cumberland Gap side. At the south end of Roslyn Ave. is Kaitlyn DeVries Dog Park. There is ample parking here and it's about a 500 ft. walk to the entrance.

Little Tunnel - Cumberland Gap, TN

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Cheatum Springs General Store

Cheatum Springs General Store

Located in Rural Coffee county at the corner of Cheatham Springs Road at French Brantley road

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Cordell Hull Bridge (2014 reopened) driving view - Carthage, TN

Cordell Hull Bridge (2014 reopened) driving view - Carthage, TN

Originally Built in 1936 and recently reopened, the Cordell Hull Bridge crosses the Cumberland River in Carthage, TN.

Work on the bridge began in 1934 and is named after the former US Secretary of State Cordell Hull who lived in the area. The bridge is a 3 span continuous truss at a length of 1412 ft. with the main span over the river at 316 ft. The southwest side of the bridge reaches highway US70N which runs along a bluff near the river. The northwest side intersects with Main St. near the city's central business district. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

The bridge was closed in 2007 when a routine TDOT inspection found the superstructure was in critical condition. Repairs began in August 2011 and they replaced all of the concrete bridge deck and guard rails. The remaining truss, lattice work and rivets were preserved with blast cleaning and then painted white. (It had been green.) The bridge reopened on July 2, 2014.

Monday, January 4, 2021

John Wesley Work Home at Fisk University

John Wesley Work Home at Fisk University

According to the historic marker:
In 1937, this Victorian-style house became the home of John W. Work III. A teacher and composer for 39 years, he served his alma mater by enriching the Fisk musical traditions. Director of the Jubilee Singers, Work III, a serious composer, completed more than 100 compositions. He was not only an acclaimed composer and choral conductor, but also a recognized author, educator and ethnomusicologist.

His father, John W. Work II, composer of the Fisk alma mater, "The Gold and Blue," was known as rescuer and preservationist of Negro religious music. Work II's book, Folk Songs of the American Negro, was one of the first extensive studies on the origin and development of religious African-American music be a descendant of an ex-slave who lived during the time many of the songs has their beginnings.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Nashville Food mural

Nashville Food mural

This mural is one of the latest from Michael Cooper from Murals & More, completed in April 2017. This is located at Nashville Cash & Carry Food, Party & Restaurant Supplies along Charlotte Pk. (US70) facing Richland Park.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Holt Bros. Floor Covering neon sign

Holt Bros. Floor Covering neon sign

Located along Gallatin Pk. (old US31E) in East Nashville is this old Carpet company. According to their sign, Dial CARPETS, or 227-7387 to reach them.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Sam Houston Academy - Jasper, TN

Sam Houston Academy - Jasper, TN

The following description is taken from the TNTrailsandbyways.com Pie in the Sky Trail as stop #36:

This 1857 Greek Revival building just a block off the square has a rich history. It has hosted county meetings about secession and served as a hospital for both Federal and Confederate Civil War forces. Currently, the building is the home of Olive Branch Masonic Lodge #297.