small town excursions
A couple of weeks ago, I grabbed V and jumped in the car and headed out in search of a little town I saw on the map called Pine Log, Georgia. I followed the Mapquest directions to Cartersville and drove around a bit to take a some pictures there before heading on to Pine Log.
Cartersville is a small town of about 16,000 people in NW Georgia. Their historic district has some gorgeous houses.
I love the vine growing on the porch, the stained glass windows, and the front walk leading to the sidewalk.
This one looks really homey to me. I love that color green.
This was on my way into downtown Cartersville. I love the look of the entrance - I'm a good, Southern Coca-Cola drinkin' girl myself (on those rare occasions...). But when I look at it now, in 2009, my first thought is that when they built it, maybe they thought Coke would always be in this building. That times would never change. That such a beautiful building would never need a FOR LEASE sign in the front yard or grass that needs cutting.
I like the bright blue nestled among the red brick & olive/brown.
The 4 Way Lunch seemed to be the happening place for lunch. Maybe we'll stop in sometime and see what it's all about - I'll bet there's pie.
After Cartersville, I followed the Mapquest directions until a road sign told me that there was a detour. Because this area had just had a lot of flooding, I thought I should follow the detour rather than risk it.
The river was pretty high - but with summer after summer of drought, it was kind of nice to see. I just wish it hadn't come all at once like that.
This is some kudzu growing by the river. Kudzu, which came from Japan, is a vine that soil conservationists encouraged people in the South to plant in the 1930s-50s to help control soil erosion. While it does a great job at that, it also does a great job of taking over everything.
When kudzu blooms, it smells lovely. And you can make kudzu blossom jelly that's supposed to be very tasty, though I've never had the opportunity to try it. If you like, there's a 9-minute video on youtube demonstrating how to make it.
If we let it, it'd cover everything eventually. Tall trees covered in kudzu have always reminded me of The Swamp Thing.
We never made it to Pine Log. The detour took me to within 5 minutes of my house and about 30 minutes away from Pine Log, so we went home. V was tired of the car by then.
So we'll have to try again another day.
You can see more small town excursions here.
I haven't gotten to spend a lot of time exploring the area since we moved here, but V and I took a drive yesterday to the historic district of our new hometown, Acworth, GA.
It's really lovely.
Out of all the places we've lived, I somehow find this area the most confusing and I have to mapquest every new place I go. And sometimes places I've already been.
But now I know where the historic district is - not far from where we live.
They have a farmer's market on Saturdays. Can't wait to visit.
I've finally decided for sure that that I am not a gardening kind of girl. I can do a pot of cherry tomatoes and some herbs, but I don't like bugs or worms or dirt or bunnies eating all my hard work so I need a good farmer's market around. And maybe a CSA. Need to look into that.
There are a lot of cool shops in downtown Acworth. We only had enough time to drive through yesterday, but it looks promising.
So far, I really love my new hometown. I just need to get out more so I can learn my way around.
R is off work for the rest of the weekend. I think tomorrow we're going to the local beach (at the lake). What are you doing this weekend? Enjoying your summer so far?
When you're finished visiting me, please pop on over to Julia's Hooked on Fridays party to see what everyone else is hooked on this week. You'll be glad you did!
I was looking at the map the other day when I realized that I needed to go to Philomath. Kind of like when I went to Bonny Kate - I see it on the map, the name gets ahold of me, and I have to see what's there. Also kind of like Bonny Kate, the only thing I really found was a beautiful, old church.
But I think I just don't know where to look because, according to Wikipedia, there should be at least one other historical building around.
There are some beautiful houses and I took pictures of them too, but the church was great because I could get out and walk around it and take as many pictures as I liked without being intrusive.
I don't like being intrusive; I try to avoid it whenever possible. I like to think I'm being inconspicuous when I indulge in my obsession with taking pictures of old houses, but that's probably just wishful thinking. The ones in Philomath have trees in front of them anyway, which makes for bad photos.
Can't blame people for wanting privacy. So I ended up driving on and on, until I eventually got to Washington, GA, but more on that another day.
This used to be a Presbyterian church and is from around 1840 - at least I think so. The marker wasn't completely clear about it.
Either way, it's in perfect condition, simple and beautiful.
It's now Phillips Mill Baptist Church - and right down the road from this place.
Today, I went driving today to see some of my favorite old houses decorated for Christmas in Comer, GA.
I thought maybe I'd see a lot of over-the-top decorations, but things were pretty simple, which was lovely.
Below is the Comer Woman's Club.
This is one of my favorites. You can see it large, if you'd like.
May I always take the time to string at least one strand of Christmas lights. I've been guilty of not doing so in years past (don't tell anyone).
I'm a sucker for a nice sidewalk with a white picket fence.
My favorite. You can see it large here.
I'm participating in the Hooked on Houses "Hooked on Holiday House Tours." Please say hello if you're here for the tour. And if not, please check out the other tours. It's lots of fun, ya'll!
So, while there are many buildings to love in the downtown area of Greeneville, TN - like the Capitol Theatre ...
... there are also some amazing, inspiring churches. I mean, wow, look at this!
The sign on this church says it was built in 1780.
And then there are the houses. This one was my first favorite. I love how the shutters are not exactly straight.
But then I saw this one and it was my favorite. I love all the different textures.
And then I saw this one and I just got confused. They're all my favorites!
There is always charm in the disarray of an old Southern home.
And if you believe that too, you'd be particularly charmed by my house - but that's another story.
Anyway. This house got me - the lace curtains, the gingerbread details. I could care less about the gutter. Seriously. If I lived in this house, I would serve tea every afternoon.
Do you think the people who live here can hang out on their roof? I've always wondered that. From down below, it looks like you could have a party up there.
I believe that window above the door is called a fanlight. So cool.
Even the not-quite-so-ornate homes have gorgeous details.
I turned down one or two of the side streets and was floored by the number of beautiful old homes. I didn't even see half of what's there before it was time to go home.
Can't wait to go back.
I have 31 photos in my Greeneville set on flickr, if you care to see them all, and I will probably add some more to them in a few days. And I have 90 photos in my black and whites set. Not all of them have made it onto the blog, so check them out if you're interested. I kinda like seeing them all together like that.
Are you loving the b&ws as much as I am? Then head over to Alex's for wacky hair day, to Shelli's for blocks, to Gayle's to wait for the school bus, to Jean's to see a few old barn silos, to Toni's to see liddle lamzy divey, to Jessica's to wish her a happy birthday on Saturday, to ELK's to see her to-do list for the weekend, to Liss' where she's braved a walk on a cantilever (wow!), and to Elizabeth's for a self-portrait.
If you want to participate, please be sure to email me the link to your post or leave it in the comments!
Kind of a rainy, gray day, so what better way to pass the afternoon than to drive to a lovely little Southern town and take pictures?
Ok, so that first picture might not strike you as lovely, but I have a thing for neglected buildings.
There, that's better.
Oops, here comes another down-on-her-luck building. Sorry, I can't help it. I love buildings that make you wonder what possibly could've happened to them. This one is an old tobacco warehouse that was being renovated to be used as an antique car museum when there was a fire this past July. Heartbreaking. There were piles of bricks inside, and I hope that they can afford to rebuild what is left.
There's a ton of history in and around Greeneville, a town of about 16,000 people (more or less). It was founded in 1783.
Davy Crockett was born in the area.
And President Andrew Johnson began his political career here.
I loved this particular building lots and lots. I wish I could take pictures inside.
The sign above says, "FEDERAL AND INSURANCE REGULATIONS PROHIBIT CUSTOMERS IN SHOP AREA." Technically I'm not a customer, but I don't think that'd make a difference to the federal and insurance regulators. Drat.
The one above is the second floor of a shop downtown. How much would I love to be able to go up there and take pictures? Very, very much. Once, when I was in college, the woman I worked for was looking to relocate her shop. She tried to rent one that used to be an old theater. She had me come with her to check out the space. It was awesome. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. The owner was an elderly woman who had a requirement that whoever rented it should be of a certain religion/ethnic heritage (I won't say which, but it might surprise you) and my boss didn't fit the bill. Weird.
Anyway. Speaking of old theaters, this is the Capitol Theatre. I'll have a photo of the marquee tomorrow. The website says that the theater is being forclosed (sigh), but from the sign below, it looks like they're trying to save it. I hope they're successful.
In part 2, I'll have some of the homes that surround the downtown Greeneville area. They're something else! And if you want to see more of the small towns I've been to in Tennessee, you can see my other small town excursions.
For more b&w photos, see Gayle's post-Halloween yuckiness and her heart for Love Thursday, Rachel's photo of a playground, Shelli's pic of V's favorite dog Banjo, Toni's bedding, Elizabeth's weimaraner (my favorite kind of dog), Kristen's fabulous holiday gift ideas for kids, Alexis' photos from around the house, and a fairy tale from Monkey's Momma.
And remember, there's still plenty of time to join us if you'd like!
This post is just one stop along the way in the Hooked on Houses Fall Blog Party. So please go check out everyone else's posts - there are sure to be some good ones.
The Taylor family settled on 205 acres on Limestone Creek in Washington County, TN.
Built circa 1777, the log home housed Captain Taylor, his wife Mary, and their 13 children (though I could only find an actual record of 8 at that time - two of them with the interesting names of Artmesia and Greenberry).
Oh and since they had two rooms, they took on boarders.
Their most famous boarder was future U.S. President Andrew Jackson, who stayed at Taylor's home for close to five months in 1788 when he was 21 years old, practicing law while waiting for a caravan to take him to what would eventually become Nashville.
In 1974, the house was moved from its original location (about 2 miles from town) to downtown Jonesborough, where it sits on Main Street today.
Some people say that they've seen Andrew Jackson's ghost at the house - that he will be seen at the back of the cabin, walk around to the front, pause at the door, and then go inside.
It's also been said that he rushes down the street toward the courthouse in broad daylight but is only visible to people on the opposite side of the street.
I walked down the opposite side of the street and then all around the house taking pictures, but I didn't see him - which is just fine with me!
If you're interested, here is the entire set of photos I took at the Christopher Taylor House a couple of weeks ago.
I don't know what's wrong with me lately, but I'm feeling kind of ornery. When V starts with her 2-year-old belligerence I say, "Don't be ornery!" So I'm trying to tell myself that. Normally, I go along happily because things are pretty good in my life. I have no reason to complain. But the old dissatisfaction comes up from time to time where I simultaneously feel that I should be doing more and doing less. Don't ask me - I don't know what that means.
So last week, V and I drove out to Erwin, TN, and I took all sorts of photos. But when I went to edit them, I was feeling ornery and decided that I really only wanted to focus on the details, so I cropped them to try to capture what I thought were the most interesting parts. I've been thinking a lot lately about schooling. Homeschooling, specifically. This might seem unrelated, schooling and cropping photos for detail, but in my head they have everything to do with each other. I've been reading books and websites. My whole way of thinking has been turned upside down by this book. I'm still wrestling with it all. When I light on something like this, I tend to get a bit obsessed and then it's all I can think about or read about. At some point, my brain feels full and I have to take a step back.
Or in this case, a step closer. For some reason, I found the details of these photos soothing. I would never let vines grow on my porch like that, but look at how they're reaching up. They would cover the house eventually, if they were allowed.
When people paint things around their houses red and white, it can only ever remind me of my granddaddy. I'd like to meet the people who live in this house. Are they young? Or older? I hope they sit in that swing often and enjoy glasses of sweet tea. That's just what that porch was made for.
I love the steps to this porch. The little bit of red brick where the paint has worn off just makes it for me.
One more door before we move downtown. One more door because, well, look at it. It's gorgeous.
This is my favorite picture from downtown. This pretty much tells me everything I need to know about Erwin. It tells me I want to go back and stay a while.
I can't remember if this antique shop is the same one as the photo above or a different one. I'd love a good hour in there, but I'd settle for 15 minutes - especially if I didn't have to worry about little hands grabbing and breaking the pretty china.
A glorious church window.
Someone had a stained glass window made for their law office. Seems like that would be a necessity in this town.
An ice chest in an alley. But what I'm really wondering is who put the flower pot down next to it and how long has it been there? How long will it be there?
I have no answers yet, only more questions.
I can't yet get my head around Jonesborough. I already can't wait to go back and walk around.
The details on the houses are amazing.
There are a few bed and breakfasts in town. One of them has this little shop behind it. Darling.
I was reading on one of the Jonesborough websites about the new sign ordinance. Signs can't be too tall or too big because they want to prevent "visual clutter." Love it.
Look at the pretty purple at The Wedding Loft.
I couldn't find any definite information on this building/business, but I'll keep looking. It seems that it is or used to be a toy store - and you can see the dollhouses in the window.
Everywhere I drove, I kept thinking - this looks like a great place to live. This looks like home. Or what my idea of home should be.
What do you think? Do you live in a lovely town? Could you handle living in a town of less than 5,000 people? As my grandmama would say, I think I might could...
When you're done here, please go check out all the rest of the houses on the tour.
You can also check out my other small town excursions.
Ok, it's a wreck of packing and living here and I just want to escape. How about a trip to a small town?
My favorite style of house has to be Craftsman. To me, a Craftsman house just looks like home. Know what I mean, jellybean? Of course today's Craftsman homes are usually either in dire need of repair, or so expensive I can't even think about it.
But I can drive around and try to capture a bit of their essence. I'm up to the challenge. I'd set a spell on any of these porches.
I hate that the sky and roof in this next one is all blown out, but I'm posting it anyway because the actual house is darn near perfect!
I have hardly had a moment to look up information on our new hometown, but I'm sure I'll get to it eventually. We will be living just a couple of blocks away from these beauties, in a much, much smaller, not anywhere near as grand, home. But you won't hear me complaining.
Here are some photos of the downtown area. I hate that the sky and parts of the building are blown out, but sometimes you just don't have time to fiddle with your settings. I don't anyway. R was driving, but it was going by pretty quick! Still, you get the idea. There was also what appeared to be a second bridal shop at the end of this block. I thought that was interesting to have them both so close together.
There are also several beautiful little towns in the surrounding area, including the oldest - and most haunted - town in Tennessee. I'm very much looking foward to doing some exploring. We'll be moving a little bit here and there, but the big event is on Saturday. Fingers crossed that I'll have my internet up and working on Friday. Wish me luck!
Harriman, TN, has some gorgeous old houses. And there are a lot of them. I feel I should have more/better words to describe them, but I was truly in awe.
The first time I saw this house, I actually said holy crapamoly. Out loud. In front of a 2-year-old who likes to repeat anything you say that sounds funny. And then when I was going through my photos I said it again. Can you imagine being a kid and living in this house? How much fun would that be?
I thought this house was great because they have at least two screened porches. I imagine that the one on the second floor would have to be a sleeping porch.
Here's a fun house. It's not all that big, but has tons of character. See the cat grooming himself on the air conditioner?
This next house is for sale for $175,000. Beauty.
This one is one of my favorites. This house is so very cheerful.
Another beautiful house with lots of wonderful windows.
This one is also for sale. For $125,000. Seriously. Buy it now. I would.
If you're interested, you can find all the best photos I took in Harriman here.
I'd read about historic downtown Harriman on the Internet, but the area wasn't as lively as I thought it would be. Still, there were several buildings to love.
Look at all the gorgeous brick on this one, the cool Mayfield's ice cream sign, and the reflection of the other building.
And here's the post office - really lovely.
But, as usual, the real find was the houses surrounding the downtown area. There are some truly beautiful old houses that I'll share soon.
Yesterday afternoon we were feeling a bit stir crazy, so we jumped in the car and drove out to Clinton, TN. Clinton is about half an hour from Knoxville and V waited until we got there before she started screaming her head off. So I did the best I could and didn't get to explore like I would've liked. I'm starting to wonder if V gets car sick sitting in the back seat like I do.
Clinton is an interesting town. There are only about 10,000 residents, yet the whole area is hopping. Clinton is the place to be if you want to go antiquing (including one shop called Antique Heaven). I saw at least six antique shops there. It's a little more spread out than some of the other towns I've visited recently, and it looks like there are some newer buildings mixed in with the old. But the old buildings are certainly lovely.
I'll bet that getting those air conditioners in there was no mean feat.
There were so many cool houses, it was hard to decide which streets to drive down.
One of my favorite houses - I love the roof and it has all these crazy angles.
I'm sorry I didn't really get to drive around Clinton enough, but I'm glad I got to see it. I got a lot more pictures, I just haven't had time to go through them.
My honey comes home early tomorrow evening. Halelujah!
I actually went to see Oak Ridge, TN, but didn't find any sort of downtown area. That doesn't mean it's not there, it very well may be (note to self: look these things up before you head out!), I just couldn't find it. But then I saw a sign that said "Oliver Springs 5 miles," so I forged ahead. Then there was a little exit marked "Downtown." I'm so glad I went. Oliver Springs has an amazing old downtown.
Here are some photos from right outside the downtown area. Perhaps one of the coolest things about Oliver Springs is that the historic houses and buildings are marked with signs. The picture I took of the sign from this house is blurry, but I believe it says Spotwood & Naomi Henley Home 1904.
This house didn't have an historic marker, but I don't love it any less. Maybe I'm the only one, but I adore this house. I would love to see it restored. But that roof! I want to put it in my pocket and save it for later.
The people who live in Oliver Springs really seem to know they have something special. Like with most downtown areas of this sort, there are the shops and then there is a neighborhood of old houses around the shops. We can't go this weekend, but I am definitely dragging R to this antique shop ASAP. The building was built in 1901-02 and was used in the movie October Sky. I haven't seen that movie yet but we're definitely renting it now.
It looks like someone is restoring this building, at least a bit. Thank God. I say that in all seriousness. I love to see that old brick and those windows and the shape of the facade.
This is another one that just breaks my heart, it's so lovely.
Here's a shot of the neighborhood surrounding the downtown area. The houses are something else. The white house in this picture was built in the 1890s; the church was built around the same time, but then it was replaced with this brick building in 1920. The beautiful windows are from the original building.
There are many more detail shots on my flickr. If you have a minute, check them out and let me know what you think. As for me, I'm in love.
Lenoir City looks like the kind of town I dream of living in. The area around the downtown section is really hilly and the houses are just so pleasing to look at.
They are in varying states of renovation/disrepair, but I find all of them beautiful.
The wrap-around porches are always stunning, and I especially love the tradition of painting the ceiling of the front porch a calming blue or turquoise color.
It also makes me happy to see yards decorated with unusual baubles. I'd love to stop and look at everything up close.
This last house is my favorite - all green and red with ironworks. Just beautiful. This would be a wonderful place to call home.
If you're interested, I have several more pictures of homes up at flickr.
As wonderful as the weather was just a few days ago, now it's colder and wetter again - we even had a couple of snowflakes this morning. They just get lost on the wet ground, though, so it's no real reason for celebration. A week ago or so, our neighbors decided they'd had enough of the rains flooding their front porch. They said they have called the office repeatedly to come and do something about it, but nothing happened. So the two of them dug a trench along the walkway to the backyard. The complex management promised to come and fill the trench with gravel, but it's been a while and so far it's just a big, muddy mess.
I felt like I just had to get out of this little box yesterday, so I put V in the car and we drove to Lenoir City, TN. The downtown area seems to be smaller and not quite as cute as Maryville - but the houses right around the downtown area are not to be missed.
I had a hard time navigating the town at first. I didn't see any signs pointing to the downtown area, so I drove around a few winding country roads.
Eventually I found the downtown area, but I literally gasped when I saw all those beautiful houses up on the hill. So I turned beside this building first thing to get to the houses as quickly as I could.
Back among the houses are several churches. This one appealed to me the most. I'm not sure I've ever seen a blue church, but it is just beautiful.
Here's a shot from downtown. This building is for rent. If it wouldn't be a complete waste of the agent's time, I'd call for a tour. The downtown area is very lively - not too much traffic, but definitely a vital community. I wish I'd known about it before we moved here; I would've worked really hard to find a rental house in Lenoir City instead of this tiny little box apartment in Knoxville (which we rented sight-unseen since we were moving from West Palm Beach, FL - a good 12+ hours away).
V was extra well behaved on this trip. We were gone more than two hours - I brought books, stuffed animals, goldfish and "miles" (what she calls those fruit juice gummy candy things in the shape of smiley faces from Wal-Mart). Worked like a bunch of well-planned charms. I just couldn't get enough of the houses.
Here's one more building from the downtown area - love the colors on the side of this building!
I'll have my favorite house pictures up on Friday, along with a lot of other photos on flickr.
Yes, the houses are wonderful in Maryville—and I'm sure I only scratched the surface of what's there. In fact, I saw a neighborhood while I was driving around downtown that looked fantastic, but I never seemed to get there from here and then all of a sudden it was time to go home.
I love the old downtown areas of small towns, don't you? The buildings are, well, so sweet I just want to pop them in my mouth like candy. I really need to find out more of the history of Maryville, but there just doesn't seem to be time. It doesn't matter—I got some great photos.
It hasn't even been a year since I got my first DSLR and I'm loving it. The only thing that makes me happier than relaxing with my family is relaxing with my family with some good natural light and my camera around my neck. So far, I have two lenses. The kit lens that I almost never use and an inexpensive 50mm lens that I'm in love with. This is not the kind of lens to take photos of houses and buildings with, but I love how it gives me these great detail shots and I feel like I get more of the essence of the building than just a pictoral representation.
Case in point:
The turquoise! The white! The brick! Red, white and blue, baby—I'm in heaven. On the building it says WATCHES AND JEWELRY. Exactly.
Here's a mural depicting "Smoky Mountain Music History" and a detail shot. The only person in the detail shot that I recognize is Minnie Pearl (because we used to watch Hee Haw when I was a kid). You can also see Dolly (adore!) on the right in the orange dress. Can't miss her!
Then there's the Palace Theater, which has been restored and is in use. Wonderful!
My real find was the AK Harper Memorial Library building. It's not a library anymore, but a shop called Dandy Lions. It's a tiny jewel of a building. The brick is amazing. I'm glad a shop like Dandy Lions is using it because I'm sure they're taking good care of it.
Then there's my latest obsession; I had to put this photo in. I hadn't thought about Family Inns in forever, but I've seen four so far here in East Tennessee. For some reason, those signs just make my heart happy.
I have these photos and a few more uploaded to the new Springtree Road flickr account. If you're interested, check them out—and leave me a comment if you like something you see!
Though we need all the rain we can get, I was disappointed this morning to find it very moody and gray outside. I was planning to take V to the park to try to ease some of the symptoms of nature-deficit disorder we've been feeling since winter began, but since it was raining I took her on a drive to Maryville instead.
Maryville is a small town of about 26,500 or so about half an hour from Knoxville, TN. Sometimes I take V to an art class in Maryville and I've become enchanted by this small town. I took some pictures of the downtown area, which I'll share tomorrow. But for today, here are some houses that caught my eye.
These first four are from a neighborhood right outside of town. It's not so much that the houses are beautiful, it's just there's a feeling about them that is familiar to me.
This is the Moses Gamble house, circa 1892, which is in downtown Maryville. Moses must've had a full agenda—during his lifetime he was a Member of the House, a Senator, a Professor, a Circuit Court Judge, and a US Commissioner. Now Moses's house is used for office space.
Another house downtown. Is it Victorian? I don't know nearly as much about old houses as I would like. But I thought this one was cute as a button.
These little trips can only last about an hour before the whining begins. I know it's not nearly as much fun for V as it is for me right now, but I hope when she gets older she'll start to appreciate our little excursions.
Just this week V has learned to gasp. She gasps at everything. She makes me laugh constantly, which is always appreciated.
Today we went to Target and bought some stuff we didn't really need. I saw and almost bought Dooce's tiny hippo, but I thought about it and decided I only really wanted it because she has one and I have a crush on her blog, so I left it behind. We're not much in a buying trinkets phase of our lives right now. There's really nowhere to put them in this tiny apartment. On top of the TV? Great.
After Target, we drove around downtown Knoxville.
We have lived here almost two years now and I know next to nothing about the town. I am terrible about getting out of the house - I just don't like it. I like to stay home. I could probably stay home for three months easy and never get bored. The next place we move - whether we move to Charlotte, Nashville (the two most likely contenders) or stay here and just move into an actual house (oh yes, it's past time) - I have decided that I have to get out more. Learn the city. Maybe find a friend or two or ten and definitely a playgroup for V.
So we drove around downtown and looked at the pretty buildings.
Then we drove through a neighborhood that I would love to investigate more. Houses. Love them.