Sunday, November 19, 2006

Proof that new Rock City barns get painted

By now, you can tell that many of the older Rock City barns, have been abandoned, or simply not repainted. However, on occasion, the barn painters find a new barn to paint, and have a new message, as well. I am not aware of any other Rock City barns with just this message, however a small number of barns have been repainted with the message added.

Proof that New Rock City barns get painted.


I'll admit that I am not fully happy with this photo, as it was completely cloudy that morning. I did something that I usually don't do much, and that is to tinker with the photo. Most of my basic image editing can be done in Picasa or MS Paint (don't laugh!), but on this one, I tried my best with Gimp and Photomatix (This is an HDR.) I really wanted the red of the horse trailer and the green of the grass to stand out. As an alternate, I also tried the same photo with giving it an "old timey" feel, and I'm torn between which version I like better.

In this version, I really upped the brightness, because I think that makes the paint job look fresh. In the first photo, you can tell where some of the paint has started to wear off, especially on the Y. Most vintage Rock City barn photos in the 40's show the barn just after it was painted. Clark Byers would take a photo of his freshly painted barn and send it to the Carter's, original owners of Rock City, as proof of the job. I also enjoy the irony, since this fake vintage feel would be an anachronism.

In case you were wondering, the small square sign next to the barn says, "FOR SALE QUARTER HORSES".

There's more. This same barn has the modern Rock City logo on the other end.

Side of the barn

Here is a closeup of that logo:

New Rock City logo on SeeROCKCITY.COM barn

This barn is in Dade County, Georgia, and the upper ridge of trees in the background of the first photo is lookout mountain. (that same ridge of trees has disappeared from the sepia photo because it was brightened.) This barn is in an unusual place, however. Highway U.S. 11 is the prominent street through the area, although there are stretches of the original "Old Birmingham Highway." In the small area of Wildwood, GA, just north of Trenton, is a turn off the Old highway, named Pope Creek Trail. Some maps may label this as County Road 111, but I saw no such designation while there.

This is too new for the Jenkins Book.
On, this has the designation of #RCB 10-41-01.
See it on a map, HERE.
Lat & Lon: 34.947913 oN \ -85.416158 oW

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Being From the South...

T-rcbhere was a time when Rock City barns were synonymous with traveling in the south. In their heyday, there were about 900 Rock City Barns, most of which were in the south, but they made it as far north as Michigan and as far west as Texas. With the number of Rock City barns currently maintained these days near 100, they are all in the south. When someone finds one of my pictures at random, their comment is usually something like: "When I was a child and we went to [fill in the blank], we would drive by a barn just like this one!"

See 7 States From Rock City


I was recently browsing a local thrift store, when I found this book: How to Love Yankees with a Clear Conscience by Bo Whaley. On the back cover, was a list, What Northerners should know about the South:
*How many fish are in a mess.
*What "pot likker" is.
*The sum total of forty 'leven dozen.
*The names of the entire cast of "The Andy Griffith Show."
*Where Rock City is.
Not too long ago, anyone who traveled in the south would know the answer is "atop Lookout Mtn. or near Chattanooga, Tenn."

This specific barn doesn't look like it is maintained any more. However, if you keep traveling north on U.S. 11 in DeKalb County, AL, you will find a couple of barns that are repainted just north of Ft. Payne. This specific barn is just north of the Etowah County line, just south of the small lovely town of Collinsville.

This is the first barn to appear in this blog that can be viewed using Microsoft's Local Live "Bird's eye view" which is close to what you'd see flying an airplane over U.S. 11. See it HERE.
On, this is designated as RCB 01-25-09
In the Jenkins book, a full page color photo on page 47.
Lat & Lon: 34.204899 oN \ -85.910017 oW

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

When is a Rock City Barn not a barn?

At certain locations, the Rock City painters determined a different structure other than the barn made the best sign. While it is true that the barn is the structure that was painted most of the time, there were certain places where the silo was in a more visible location, such as the one shown here in Rutherford County. On this "Rock City Silo" the painted sign has faded and chipped so much that most people could not tell that this is an advertisement.

See Rock City Take US 41


The people I have shown this photo to thus far did not see any of the painted letters at first, because both the white of the letters and the black of the background have both chipped. I strongly recommend clicking on the picture and pulling up the original size, or click HERE.

This Silo is located about a block outside of the vastly growing urban sprawl of Murfreesboro. When you drive along U.S. Highway 231 from Lebanon to Murfreesboro, this is the last farm you are going to see and will be on the right. It's located along at the intersection of the main highway and a tiny stretch of the "Old Lebanon Pike." If you follow the instructions, once you get to the heart of Murfreesboro, you should take a left on Broad St. which is U.S. 41 (and at that spot U.S. 70S before it splits).

In the Jenkins Book, this is on Page 153D.
See it on a Map HERE. It's across the street from a golf course.
Lat & Lon: 35.916786oN \ -86.384243oW

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

STAY ON TN58 and SEE...

H igh visibility of a bend in the highway makes this a prime location for a Rock City Barn. Then, add to that the thought of staying on the same road for another hundred miles, and you are there. This Rock City barn is on state highway TN58, just south of Kingston in Roane County, and runs all the way into downtown Chattanooga. From there staying on TN58 may be difficult, because it meets up with the multiplex of US11/US41/US64/US72, but the signs for Rock City are, of course, everywhere, and you can't miss it. South of downtown Chattanooga in the St. Elmo community, TN58 is one of the two primary routes to ascend Lookout Mountain. Known as "Ochs Highway", named for Adolph S. Ochs (who helped develop Point Park at the northern end of the mountain), the highway becomes GA157 at the state line and Red Riding Hood Trail takes you to the Rock City entrance.

Stay on TN58 and SEE...


As you can tell, the ROCK CITY part is now missing. Something has happened to it in the last 10 years. (The bottom of the TN58 Triangle was part of this section, also.) I suppose that would be strange if you were driving this highway, and didn't know what to make of it. The 5 of 58 looks here like the paint has faded, but there is actually a mesh Christmas light in front of it. Also, some of the boards on the right appear to be loose. Here is an alternate view:

Stay on TN58 And See...

The last time I was at Rock City, I bought art of this barn on a magnet. The magnet style is now discontinued and was in the discount section of their store across the street. The art here is a painting from the Anita Armstrong Capps book, but cropped and condensed to fit on a 2"x2" magnet. I like how the road plays a prominent part in this painting, because the barn at the curvature in the road is what made this an ideal Rock City barn in the first place.

See Rock City barn magnet

In the Jenkins Book, featured on page 150A.
On, is RCB42-73-03. The photo there is 4 years old and the part with ROCK CITY is still there.
See it on a map HERE.
Lat & Lon: 35.7821oN \ -84.5799o W