Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chattanooga, TN

I just can't seem to keep up with the blog. Then I have to really tax my memory to remember all the details of what I have seen and done. But here goes, I'll give it a good try. A couple of weeks ago I was in Chattanooga, TN. Site of the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, seen below.

The Chattanooga Choo Choo left Cincinnati bound for Chattanooga in 1880. It was the first railroad to provide transportation north to south.

I could not get a good picture of the top dome, but take my word, it was gorgeous. Here is a shot of the fancy ornate door leading out from the waiting area to the boarding area. It really was a magnificent building for its time.

Now it is a Holiday Inn Hotel.

Next door was this building. It looks like someone just took a knife and cut off one side.
One day several of us took a bike ride from the dam to downtown, 7 miles each way. Along the path we found these stone creations. It really doesn't take much to amuse us we decided. Here is the fish.

Here is the paddle wheeler.

This bridge was once used for vehicles. Originally built in the 1800s, it was deemed to be too expensive to restore to a safety rating for today's cars and trucks. So now it is a pedestrian walkway across the Tennessee River.

We even had fun with the silhouettes.

Maybe my friend Jim posed for this sculpture?

Max actually took this picture while riding. It was upside down since he held it behind him and snapped the shot. It does give a nice view of what our ride consisted. Right along side the Tennessee River it was beautiful.

Here we found a canoe.

Once we arrived downtown we took a boat ride on the Tennessee River. Not the boat above. The above boat is what I watched. It is a duck. Never heard of a duck boat? Well, it travels in the water.....

and can drive right onto the land. It is a military amphibious assult vehicle, used during WWII. One of these days I'm going to take a ride it one.

A view of downtown from our boat ride.

Now here is a picture of the boat we were on. It was a fun 2 hour ride.

Coke was not bottled in its early years, it was only available as a fountain drink. In 1899 a company here in Chattanooga approached Coke about bottling its product. Coke turned them down initially thinking no one would ever want to buy a bottled drink. Eventually they did give the company a unlimited lease for 1 cent (I believe this was the amount). Coke never thought it would continue so saw no reason to sell the option for more. But it did become a popular item and years later the company sold the option back to Coke for a reputed 92 million dollars. The company is still bottling for coke, a hundred years later.

Every Saturday evening there is entertainment downtown in the square. This night it was a jazz performer.

This is the entry to Point Park on Lookout Mountain. It is now a National Battlefield. Here is where the confederates gathered during the seige of Chattanooga following the confederate victory in Sep 1863 in Chickamauga.

This is the memorial for all the soldiers lost during this battle and the battle of Chattanooga.

The mountain overlooks the city and river. A very strategic point. But ultimately the union received backup troops from the north and were able to overrun the confederates to evenutally win in November 1863 the strategic shipping and rail lines of Chattanooga.

Lower on the mountain in Ruby Falls. This building was built from rock excavated in the area and during the construction of the tunnel down to the cave. The original cave had been used by the Indians and later by soldiers both union and confederate during the war. But the cave opening had to be closed off when they put a railroad tunnel through the area. An enterprising gentlemen decided to dig down to open up a commercial pathway for touring the old cave. During the excavation, 400 feet down (the original cave is 600 feet below), they found a new cave and in exploring discovered Ruby Falls, named after his wife.

Enterprising people have named some of the formations in the cave. It really does look like a Donkey's ass.

But the highlight of the tour was Ruby Falls. Over 145 feet high it is supposed to be the highest underground waterfall. Otherwise this cave did not come close to some of the other caves I've seen this year. Opened Dec 30, 1928, the original tours were to the lower cave, but by 1935 the upper cave with Ruby Falls was so popular they closed off the lower cave and it is no longer accessible. The upper cave was opened to the public in June 1929.

They also have an incline railway to the top of Lookout Mountain. Their claim to fame is 'the steepest incline in America'.

I don't know what the degree of incline is, but it was steep.

Back in Cherokee, NC, I learned of John Ross, part Indian, who became the Chief of the Cherokees and went with them to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears. Here is the home he grew up in. Built in 1797 by his grandfather, he lived there throughout most of his younger life.

South of Chattanooga just over the state line in Georgia is the Battlefield of Chickamauga. One of the bloodiest battles of the civil war it only lasted 3 days. These cannonballs depict where a general or commander fell to his death during the battle.

Many of the placques we read had similar statistics. Percentage of loss was 40-50 percent for many units. Overall loss for both sides total was about 35 percent. The confederates won the battle, but could not hold Chattanooga and lost the town 2 months later.

Since my son is a cavalry scout in the national guard, I thought this was a great tribute to the cavalry. Still today, the cavalry plays an important part of military make up.

This stone church, built in 1850, was used as a hospital, headquarters and point of reference during the civil war.

Standing just outside of Tunnel Hill. Once a 1447 foot railroad tunnel, built in 1850 and used until 1928, it was replaced when larger rail cars came and along. It's notoriaty was the 'great train chase' during the civil war. This tunnel was strategic since supplied needed to get past from Chattanooga and north to the south and Atlanta. At one point union soldiers captured "The General", a train engine and raced it toward Atlanta. Confederate soldiers were right behind in "The Texas".

Across the road from Tunnel Hill was the Clisby Austin house. Here in May 1864, General Sherman made this one of his temporary headquarters while on his infamous 'march to the sea'.


Barbara and Ron said...

Looks like y'all had a great time. I didn't know there was that much to do in Chattanooga.

Sammi Jo said...

Wow! You're such an insipration! I can't believe all the travels you've been on, and what you've seen. Your blog is really interesting and filled with so much history. Someday I hope to see the States as you are doing.

I hope you don't mind me reading... I found it when I searched for photos of Sulphur, OK to share with my college Earth Science class. (My fiance is from the area, and I wanted to show them some pics of the springs.) It's a shame so much of it was dry when you visited.

Blogging about your experiences is such an great way to create living history. I hope to teach seventh and eighth grade upon graduation in May, and intend to use as a source of communicating with my students.

Thanks for sharing!

- Sammi Jo

ladynomad said...

Sammi Jo, I'm glad you enjoy my blog. I do it so I have a history of what I have been doing, as well as it's the easiest way to let friends and family keep up.

Robert said...

Great pics, 2 date errors. One says 1950 instead of 1850 and another says 1964 instead of 1864.

ladynomad said...

Thanks Robert. I even found one more in addition to what you found. Hopefully they have all been corrected now.

firesign58 said...

John and I took our motorcycle down to the state line between TN and NC. We rode twisty roads for a couple of days and on the way back stayed in Cherokee, NC. Lovely town.