Friday, April 30, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Today, we are venturing far away from Middle Tennessee. This is a vintage Taco Bell sign which has been preserved near its original location in Savannah, GA.
To better understand this logo, the maroon section in the middle is the middle of a boy. The boy is wearing a large sombrero with the word TACO on it, plus a large dark green and maroon serape, and sitting on the bell. (Most of the boy would be covered up.)
Based on discussions I've seen, there are very few of these signs left in existence. Perhaps this is the only one left, at least at it's original store. This Taco bell is near the intersection of US80 and Skidaway Rd. in Savannah. The sign itself is actually a little further back from the road and is located between a Wendy's and an Arby's.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Coffee County Court House - Manchester, Tenn 1-T-27
This is a Real Photo Post Card and would be at least 70 years old. The courthouse is mostly unchanged since then.
Monday, April 26, 2021
Andrew Jackson mobilized his army - Camp Blount - Oct. 1813 - Erected Oct 1913, Kings Mountain Messenger Chapter D.A.R.
This marker is located on the south side of Fayetteville along US231/431 in front of the WalMart. The actual Camp Blount is being developed into a park with an entrance just to the north. In 2020, the park will feature a statue dedicated to an Army Volunteer.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
The Luciann Theater opened in 1940 and closed in 1958. It is located along Summer Ave. (US64/US70/US79/TN1) in Memphis. Since the original theater closed, it became a bowling alley, a night club, and then an adult movie theater. Despite all of the change, the theater has kept much of its original exterior. I have altered the marquee so that the focus could be on the original elements.
Saturday, April 24, 2021
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.
Several historic structures from the cove have been relocated and are now near the Cable Mill. Leason Gregg purchased land from John Cable and built this house in 1879 with lumber from Cable Mill. It is believed to be the first all-frame house in the Cove. Originally located south of its present location on Forge Creek Road, it was used as a store and later as a residence and boarding house, known as Aunt Becky's House.
Rooms in the middle and on the right was original to the building when it was used as a store. Then, a room to the left, a kitchen, the upstairs and a porch were added when it became a residence. The house never had indoor plumbing and heat was generated from the fireplace.
Rebecca Cable, better known as 'Aunt Becky' to the Cove community, was born on Dec. 7, 1844 in Carter County, TN. One of nine children, she moved with her family to Cades Cove in 1868.
She bought this house in 1887 with her brother Dan and lived here until her death in 1940 at the age of 96. Never married, she owned over 600 acres in the Cove and kept busy spinning, weaving, knitting, farming, tending store, taking in family boarders, and caring for her brother's children after he became ill.
Friday, April 23, 2021
Railfest is the annual celebration at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, TN. This year (2013) as part of the celebration, they offered Southern Railway 2-8-0 #630 as an excursion round trip to Cleveland, TN. This locomotive was built in 1904 by the American Locomotive Company Richmond Works. It was restored to operation at TVRM in 2011 and is now part of Norfolk Southern's 21st Century Steam program.
You can see quite a thorough collection of photos of #630, the Missionary Ridge Local with Southern FP7 #6133, and other rolling stock on the grounds. This gallery is on my website here:
Also, I took video and put it on youtube:
Just the steam train departure seen here: youtu.be/QVBCATNnTQI
That, and more footage of the steam train: youtu.be/85iljPK1TfY
All the steam footage, plus the Missionary Ridge local: youtu.be/AhCCpvO41iM
Thursday, April 22, 2021
The James K. Polk Ancestral Home is a historic house museum at 301 West 7th Street in Columbia, Tennessee. Built in 1816, it is the only surviving private residence of United States President James K. Polk. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The James K. Polk House is located just west of the commercial central downtown area of Columbia, at the southwest corner of West 7th and South High Streets. It is an L-shaped brick building, two stories in height, with a gabled roof. The front facade, facing West 7th Street, is three bays wide, with the main entrance in the rightmost bay, recessed in a segmented-arch opening. The door is flanked by sidelight windows and topped by a semi-oval transom window with tracery, and the interior walls of the recess are paneled. The other bays house windows, which are topped by lintels of brick and a stone keystone. The interior retains finishes period to its construction, but has otherwise been adapted for museum displays. The property includes a reproduction of the kitchen outbuilding that would have been present during Polk's residency; none of the outbuildings from his time survive.
The house was built in 1816 by Samuel Polk, and was the home of his son, U.S. President James K. Polk, for several years as a young adult. It is the only surviving private residence associated with President Polk to survive. James lived in the house until 1819, when he left to read law in Nashville, and for a time after his return to Columbia, where he opened his law practice. The house remained in the Polk family for many years, and passed through several owners before its acquisition by the state of Tennessee in 1929. The museum is operated by the James K. Polk Association. The fountain on the site was moved here in 1893 after Polk Place, the president's later home, was demolished.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Interior - The Parthenon - Nashville, Tenn E-24
If you have been to the Parthenon over the last 30 years, you know it is no longer empty but now houses a replica statue of Athena. However, this post card is from the Real Photo Post Card era, and is probably at least 70 years old.
The Jesse Owens Museum in Oakville, AL is a tribute to the Olympic Track and Field great. He captured four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics shattering Hitler's Aryan supremacy theory. The museum pays tribute to his athletic and humanitarian achievements. Also on the grounds of the park are a replica of his birth home, a bronze statue, 1936 Olympic torch replica, a broad jump pit where you can test your own ability, and the Gold Medal tree.
This statue by Branko Medenica was unveiled in 1996, timed for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic torch could pass by during the ceremony. The Olympic rings represent a finish line that he is crossing but also represents many of the racial barriers he overcame. Learn more here:
Sunday, April 18, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
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. These "Get Right With God" signs, made of concrete, usually weigh 1400 pounds. There might be 20 of these left in public at their original location, while some have been on display at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, TN.
This sign is in Tazewell, TN along highway US25E. It's amazing it is still standing as the highway has been widened and rerouted through the area. There are several in Claiborne County as it is only one county away from where Mayes lived.
Friday, April 16, 2021
I am one of those people who has always said 'I've lived in Nashville m entire life but has never been to the Grand Old Opry." I still haven't been to a show, but at least now I have taken a tour of the historic concert venue.
I do think the self-guided tour is well worth the money. This includes the opening video, which was far more interesting than a typical tourist site video. The guided backstage tour is probably best suited for the biggest country music fans as photos are not allowed except for one backstage view of the stage.
The place is full of history, from the architecture, wooden construction, Opry barn backdrop, stained glass windows and the Confederate Gallery.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Seen here is one of the tributes to Capt. Jeff Kuss who died in a plane crash on June 2, 2016. Capt. Kuss was a pilot for the Navy's flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels where he was the Opposite soloist and pilot of plane #6. The Blue Angels were in Smyrna, TN rehearsing for the Great Tennessee Air Show.
Capt. Kuss was already a hero based on his years of service in the U.S. Military. Going beyond that, it is suggested that he did not eject from his F-16 jet so that he could guide the jet to an empty field in an otherwise densely populated area. That is where the story hits home for me as my family and I live about a half mile from where he crashed and my wife and son were home at the time.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
The Caption reads: Plaque identified the cork oak tree planted and dedicated by the Hon. Jim McCord, Governor of Tennessee, at Arbor Day exercises on the State Capitol grounds in Nashville. The Governor planting the cork tree, Tennessee's Beautiful Capitol at Nashville.
I'm not sure if this tree or plaque is still stands on the capitol grounds. If it's there, I've never seen it.
Monday, April 12, 2021
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Saturday, April 10, 2021
The Twitty Bird was the mascot of legendary country musician Conway Twitty. It is a cowboy hat wearing obvious knock-off of the Looney Tunes Tweety Bird.
At Twitty City, viewable from the Gardens in front of the mansion is this Twitty Bird built into the bricks of the gift shop. Twitty City was purchased by Trinity Broadcasting Network and is now Trinity Music City. They have preserved several of these Conway Twitty items around the property.
Friday, April 9, 2021
Late during the afternoon of May 8, 1925, Tom Lee steered his 28 ft skiff Zev upriver after delivering an official to Helena, Arkansas. Also on the river was a steamboat, the M.E. Norman, carrying members of the Engineers Club of Memphis, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and their families. Lee witnessed the M.E. Norman capsize in the swift current 15 mi (24 km) downriver from Memphis at Cow Island Bend. Although he could not swim, he rescued 32 people with five trips to shore. Lee acted quickly, calmly and with no regard for his own safety, continuing to search after night fell. Because of his efforts, only 23 people died.
Today. Tom Lee Park is a city park located to the immediate west of downtown Memphis overlooking the Mississippi River. Encompassing about 30 acres parallel to the river for about one mile, it offers panoramic views of the river and the shores of Arkansas on the opposite side.
Tom Lee died of cancer in 1952. Two years later, the park was named in his honor and a granite obelisk was erected. In October 2006, a bronze sculpture by artist David Alan Clark was erected in the park to commemorate the event and to honor the civil hero. The sculpture depicts the rescue of a survivor saved from drowning in the Mississippi River.
Thursday, April 8, 2021
The Nashville Arcade is a downtown shopping center that dates back to 1902. It is modeled after an Italian shopping arcade as it's a bunch of shops along this two-story alley with a roof but open air. There are a few restaurants and retail stores along with a vibrant arts community.
The Peanut Shop is probably the most famous store at the Arcade. It opened in 1927 when Planters Peanuts were operating retail stores across the nation. In 1960, Planters did away with these retail locations and Nashville's continued as an independent nut shop. They even have their own banjo-pickin' southern hillbilly peanut mascot known as the Nashville Nut.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Quite possibly the neatest Motel sign in Nashville.
It's not in the best neighborhood anymore, on Murfreesboro Rd. Before the days of Interstates, this was in a heavily travelled area by tourists, U.S. 41 and U.S. 70S.
It's doubtful that the stars stay here anymore, at least not since River Phoenix and Sandra Bullock in the 1993 unsuccessful movie "The Thing Called Love." Back in the day, it was the place for country music stars to stay (at least that's what my Mom told me the first time she drove me past it many decades ago.).
Here's my view from 2008:
Monday, April 5, 2021
Johnny Reb's was a restaurant in Marietta, GA on highway US41 that decided to stand out from the other places in town, by erecting a 56 foot tall sheet metal chicken in 1956. The top of the chicken is mechanical as the beak opens and closes while the eye spins in circles. A few years after it was built, the restaurant was sold and became a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. Over time, the structure started to fall into disrepair and a tornado damaged it in 1993. There was talk that it might be torn down, or moved to a business in Smyrna, GA. However, the townsfolk rallied to save the local landmark. Today, the chicken and the KFC franchise still thrive, and you can even purchase a couple of souvenirs inside.
Sunday, April 4, 2021
In the early 1980's it looked like Hendersonville was going to become a prime country music tourist destination. Johnny Cash set up the House of Cash on a highway named after him. Conway Twitty built his mansion and tourist destination Twitty City. Across the street, several smaller venues opened up and collectively they became known as Music Village USA. After Twitty's death, his entire property went for sale and was purchased by the Trinity Broadcasting Network which opened Trinity Music City. The smaller attractions weren't going to thrive on their own and were also purchased by Trinity.
This interesting building with Octagonal front room was originally built to be a museum for Ferlin Husky. Today, TBN uses this for their local broadcast television station WPGD, channel 50. Inside, there is a television studio for recording religious programming and occasional local interest shows.
Saturday, April 3, 2021
This obelisk shaped marker is in front of the Franklin County Courthouse on the town square of Winchester, TN.
Text of the marker:
In memory of COLONEL JAMES LEWIS
Born April 6, 1756 Albemarle County Virginia
Died February 21, 1849 Franklin County Tennessee
Served with distinction in the Revolutionary War. Participated in the Battles of White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown and Yorktown. Was with Washington when he crossed the Delaware. Witnessed the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. Erected the first brick house and was one of the appointed Commissioners for the erection of the first courthouse and jail in Franklin County.
Julian Lee Rayford Sculptor
Friday, April 2, 2021
Elm Springs is a two-story, brick house built in 1837 in the Greek Revival style. It is located just outside Columbia, TN. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 and has served as the headquarters for the Sons of Confederate Veterans since 1992.
For more history:
Thursday, April 1, 2021
The remains of President Polk have nmoved several times over the years, and that's not an April Fool's Joke.
James K. Polk served as President until Jan. 1849. He planned to spend his retired years at his newly acquired mansion in downtown Nashville which was known as Polk Place. Before he went to his new home, he toured parts of the country, but he got sick before getting home. After spending three months at home, he died of Cholera on June 15, 1849.
Due to the cholera scare, laws were passed where those who fell victim to the infectious disease had restriction on their burials. Polk was unceremoniously buried here at Nashville City Cemetery in an area intended for Felix Grundy. His body only remained here for about a year.
On May 22, 1850, Polk's body was moved to the preferred location of his home, Polk Place. His wife Sarah Childress Polk lived at Polk Place another four decades but passed away in 1891. Two years later, developers wanted the prime real estate of Polk Place, and President Polk was moved again, along with his wife to the grounds of the state capitol in 1893. Since his body hasn't moved enough, in 2017 the Tennessee legislature voted to move the Polk's bodies to the Polk Ancestrial Home in Columbia, but the Governor never signed the law.
In 2015, the Nashville City Cemetery placed a simple marker at the almost forgotten spot where Polk was originally buried.