Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Has anyone ever painted Rock City on their own barn?

C ould someone who wanted a Rock City barn paint one of their own? North of Nashville, I believe I have found such a barn, located on a farm full of Nostalgia. This is what I believe to be a "Home-Made" Rock City barn:

Click photo to Enlarge

There are several clues that this is not a "sanctioned" Rock City barn. (I don't think the Rock City people would mind the free advertising, but I don't think this was painted by their guys.) While most of their barns do say "SEE ROCK CITY", the big block lettering of this one just does not look like any of the other barns. It does look just like the style of one of their birdhouses, however. Also, the placement of this barn makes it an unlikely candidate to be officially painted. The Rock City guys find barns that are close to the highway, near the line of sight while driving. (one you would easily see while driving.) This one was up a hill, behind trees and about 400 feet from the street. Tennessee Highway 78 between Springfield and White House might not be well traveled enough by vacationers to be worthy of Rock City's advertising budget.

Many owners of Rock City barns do not want to sell their barns. Whether it reminds them of their past, or it makes them local celebrities in their hometown, they often do what they can to hold on to their barn. If you can't buy one, I suppose the next best thing to do would be to paint one of your own. If I ever have land with a barn. I suppose I will be buying some quality paint.

To photograph this barn, there was no margin in the street, and I pulled the car into the entrance of the owner's gravel driveway. From there, I could see several vintage advertisements: soft drink signs, metal Gas Station signs, and a row of Burma shave wooden signs. I also saw a building on the property with a sign saying "Antique Store."

These people would probably sell something I would want. I pulled the car up to the building and the property owner came up to my car asking if I needed help. I was informed that it's not an actual Antique store, they just have a sign for an antique store. I apologized for bothering them, but I do admit they have good taste in collectibles.

Burma Shave Signs

If you've never seen it, the classic Burma Shave advertising signs from the 1930's consisted of 6 signs places in a row along the highway. The first 5 usually formed a sentence with the last showing the Burma Shave logo, all of which have white on dark red colors. If you could see them all, this set would say: "EVERY SECOND" "WITHOUT FAIL" "SOME STORE" "RINGS UP" "ANOTHER SALE" "BurmaShave"

On, this is #RCB 42-74-02.
See it on a map HERE.
Lat & Lon: 36.476636o N / -86.707578o W

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Rock City mileage brochure Dispenser

Another unusual advertising method by the Rock City folks is the decades-old brochure dispenser:

Rock City Brochure dispenser

The brochures are held in a form-fitting bin on the left. At the bottom, it says Free BROCHURES and MAPS TAKE ONE

The rest is shaped like a Rock City barn. At the top is a familiar saying: SEE ROCK CITY ATOP LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN

Below that are 4 windows. The contents of the windows are controlled by a dial on the right side. In the first window are an alphabetical list of many cities around the continent, most of which are in the Southeast U.S. Highlighted here is "Nashville, Tenn" Located above Nashville in this view are Milwaukee, Wisc., Mobile, Ala., Montgomery, Ala., Montreal, Que., and Murfreesboro, Tenn. After Nashville in the list are New Orleans, La., New York, N.Y., Norfolk, Va., Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Ocala, Fla.

In the second window is the mileage from the highlighted city in the first window to Rock City. Nashville is 171 Miles. Murfreesboro is 140. The third window is a cartoon drawing of Rocky the Rock City elf mascot, with the label Rocky invites you... In the final window, is a shrunken post card view of one of the sights at Rock City. This view is of the "Entrance to Rock City" and the label finishes the sentence to see this colorful preview of Beautiful ROCK CITY.

At the bottom is the overall description:
Compliments of Beautiful ROCK CITY

This specific one is at Sequoyah Caverns, another tourist attraction in the northeast corner of Alabama, which will be discussed in another post. I've seen others scattered around Chattanooga, but I wonder if there are any in Montreal.

Monday, October 02, 2006

See Beautiful Rock City TO-DAY

ometimes the way a Rock City barn is painted these days is a little different than the way Clark Byers used to do it, and this barn is an example. Of note with this barn is the way that the word "today" was most recently painted in block letters, but it used to have a painted script.

See Beautiful Rock City To-day


This small tobacco barn is in Sevier County, TN, just west of Sevierville on Chapman Highway. This stretch of the highway is U.S 411 and U.S. 441 and the barn is located at the intersection of Garner Hollow Ln. Behind me when I took this photo is a small hill that many people choose to climb to get a higher vantage of this barn. If you look closely at the O in ROCK, someone has unfortunately added a bit of graffiti. The Barn was built in 1961 on farmland that has belonged to the Delozier family for over 60 years.

Here is a closer look at how the word TODAY used to appear, in a cursive slanted script. This photo is a closeup, and TODAY appears below the TY in CITY and to the right of the doorway blocked with wood. At one time, it must have been painted over in black, but the original white is barely showing through. Click the photo to enlarge.

See Rock City

Why is there a hyphen in the word TO-DAY? It has to make you wonder whether it was a simple oversight, the painter had space to fill, or perhaps for emphasis. The old Today had the TO connected cursively and the DAY also connected. (in other words, there was a small gap between the O and the D)In addition to the hidden "today," the original message had a slanted "Near" on the far left and a slanted "Chattanooga" over the word "Tenn." the the TO-DAY is now. Only the old today was cursive. It's not evident in either of these photos, but the CHA in the old Chattanooga is barely visible, also.

This is in the Jenkins Book on page 66. You can also see this same picture on the Rock City Website HERE.
On, this is RCB 42-78-03.
In the Capps book, chapter 36.
See it on a map HERE.
LAT 35o51'35.60" N / LON 83o43'27.11" W