Sunday, May 20, 2007

Millions have seen this Rock City Barn

If you put up an advertisement, you'd naturally want to put it in a place where many people would see it. In the days before interstates, this would usually be the heavily traveled US highways, which is one reasons why most of the Rock City Barns appear alongside one. Today, Most people use the interstate, and there are a small number of these Rock City barns visible from one. This one is along I-40 between Nashville and Knoxville in Roane County.

Millions Have Seen Rock City

Millions Have Seen
Have You ?

Interstate 40 is one of the most important and heavily traveled freeways in the country. It is one of a few that nearly reaches from coast to coast in the country. Plus, Millions of motorists drive through this area every year.

This specific barn's message is visible when traveling eastbound near mile marker 358. This is seen just moments after crossing a local road, Buttermilk Road, that this barn is located on. It is located East of Kingston, TN and between Exit 356, which is TN58 north to Oak Ridge and exit 360, which is the access to Buttermilk Road and the Bradbury community. If you take the Buttermilk Road exit and drive to the barn, this is a view you get right until you cross underneath the Interstate.

Millions Have Seen Rock City. Have You?

Unfortunately, there is not a view from the road where the smaller barn does not partially obstruct the view. This barn with its message and oversized question mark is used to store hay and cure tobacco.

For me, the real amazement, was the other side, which had an unmaintained for years Ruby Falls advertisement. Sometimes, it seems like the Ruby Falls advertisement crew had a "Anything you can do, I can do sometimes" mindset. I have seen other instances of Ruby Falls signs being on the other side of a Rock City barn, or even a Rock City barn being repainted as Ruby Falls. However, these days, just a few, if any, of their barns get repainted.

Ruby Falls barn


Lookout Mt. Chattanooga

Although the paint looks like rust upon a metal roof, it might not be that simple. Of course, if that is all it was, the color of the paint would actually be their "Ruby" color which would fall somewhere between a Deep Red to a pink. However, traditionally, their ads are not just words on a blank or unpainted background. Usually, between the background and the words, one was colored Ruby and the other Turquoise. If anything was kept white, it would be the text on a ruby or turquoise background. There are a couple of reasons why it might not appear this way, such as one paint chips easy or rusts in a different way.

One reason why this barn wouldn't be maintained is you can't actually see this side from the interstate! (Unless you could catch it at a sharp angle through the trees.) You'd have to be traveling along Buttermilk Road to see this, and that road doesn't really go anywhere, except for highway US 70 which is a couple of miles up the road.

On this is designated #RCB 42-73-02. From their picture, which is 4 years older than mine, you can tell it's been repainted in the interim.
See it on a map HERE.
Lat & Lon: 35.8612oN \ -84.4057oW
In the Capps book, this is #15, the Malinda Eblen barn.
In The Jenkins book, this appears as a color photo on page 65. This photo from the mid 90's also was taken after a repaint and appears on the Rock City website HERE.