Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Well-worn Barn in Spencer, TN

Recently, my wife and I took a weekend excursion to see Fall Creek Falls. I wasn't expecting to see any Rock City barns that I hadn't seen before, mostly because I have driven through many of Middle Tennessee's backroads already. However, in the tiny town of Spencer, TN was this Rock City barn that has been worn to the point that the painted words are almost illegible. My wife looks at this picture and still doesn't believe it says anything. When the image is viewed full-size, some of the letters become barely visible.

Believe it or not, a Rock City Barn


That's the text I can make from this picture. Traditionally, "atop LOOKOUT MT." would be at the bottom level of the barn, but the barn is just too worn down to tell.

There's not much to do in Spencer, TN. Unless a person lives here, there's a rather good chance that most people here are driving on their way through to Fall Creek Falls State Park, like me. For a long time, there was only one highway into town, TN30. from the west, it starts at the road to McMinnville, winds its was up the mountain into Spencer, winds its way down into a valley and then back up to the top of another mountain up to the entrance to Fall Creek Falls. More recently, TN111, a newer strait 2-lane divided highway, was built through the town. Many people who go see the falls and are coming from the west now use TN111.

Spencer is the county seat of Van Buren County and is perhaps the smallest county seat in the state with a population just above 1,700. I was hoping to find a place to eat in Spencer, but did not see hardly any business at all. The old county courthouse is small and simple.

Van Buren County Courthouse - Spencer, TN

It shouldn't be a surprise that there are Rock City barns on TN30, signs advertising a tourist spot should be where the tourists are at. From here, you are less than 2 hours from Rock City. This barn is just a few hundred feet east of the intersection on-ramps of TN111. The nearest side street is Turkey Scratch Rd.

See it on a map HERE.