See Rock City

See Rock City

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chattanooga, TN

View From Lookout Mountain
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in Tennessee (after Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville), and the seat of Hamilton County, in the United States of America. It is located in southeast Tennessee on Chickamauga and Nickajack Lake, which are both part of the Tennessee River, near the border of Georgia, and at the junction of three interstate highways, I-24, I-75, and I-59.

The city (downtown elevation approximately 685 feet), which lies at the transition between the ridge-and-valley portion of the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau, is surrounded by ridges.

Chickamauga Lock and Dam on the Tennessee River

Downtown Chattanooga

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Race Hall

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is the second largest campus of the University of Tennessee System with a student population of over 9,558. Other institutions of higher learning in the area include Chattanooga State Technical Community College, Covenant College, Lee University, the University of the South, Southern Adventist University, Tennessee Temple University and Tennessee Wesleyan College, along with local branches of Miller-Motte Technical College and Virginia College. Chattanooga is home to the Chattanooga branch of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, which provides medical education to medical students, residents, and other medical professionals in southeast Tennessee through an affiliation with Erlanger Health System.

Hunter Museum of American Art

Chattanooga is the home to the Hunter Museum of American Art, a well known art museum. As birthplace of the tow truck, Chattanooga is now home to the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as another transportation icon at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, the largest operating historic railroad in the south. Other notable museums include the Chattanooga Regional History Museum, the National Medal of Honor Museum, the Houston Museum, and the Chattanooga African American Museum.

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (initialised TVRM, AAR code TVRM), is a railroad museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum was founded as a chapter of the National Railway Historical Society in 1960 by Paul H. Merriman and Robert M. Soule, Jr. along with a group of local railway preservationists who were concerned with saving steam locomotives and railway equipment for future historical display.
Founded in 1960 and incorporated in 1961, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum originally stored equipment at the Western Union pole yard which was located adjacent to the Southern Railway classification yard on Holtzclaw Avenue in East Chattanooga. After the termination of passenger service to the Southern Railway terminal station in 1971, additional cars and locomotives were stored at this facility in downtown Chattanooga. In 1969, the TVRM received a land donation from the Southern Railway consisting of a property located in East Chattanooga on North Chamberlain Avenue. This donation also included the 986-foot-long Missionary Ridge Tunnel and about a mile and a half of abandoned right-of-way.

In 1970 the museum opened a new permanent facility in East Chattanooga to the public. At the time of its opening, there were no structures on site, although volunteers had constructed a rail yard for the storage and repair of equipment, and they had rebuilt the abandoned rail line through the Missionary Ridge Tunnel. The reconstructed line ended at Tunnel Boulevard as the original bridge over this road had been removed some years earlier.
With the reconstructed rail line, the museum had the ability to produce a small amount of income operating a heritage railroad by running passenger excursion trains through Missionary Ridge Tunnel.

Additional income was derived from mainline excursions operated biannually via the Southern Railway's Steam Program. The birth of the Southern Railway's Steam Program was brought about by Paul Merriman and TVRM, when, in 1964, Merriman purchased a former Southern Steam locomotive number 4501 from the K&T Railroad in Sterns, Kentucky. The program began in 1966 when the freshly restored 4501 emerged from a 2 years long restoration which had been done at Lucey Boiler Company in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After many volunteer hours by TVRM members as well as paid Lucey Boiler employee work the 4501 began roaming all over the Southern Railway System delighting onlookers and passengers every where.

After years of hard work and the exercising much financial discipline in 1977 TVRM finally built the long needed bridge over Tunnel Blvd. The Southern Railway then donated an additional mile and a half of abandoned rail line. The next major task undertaken was to build the East Chattanooga Depot. This Depot is a reconstruction of a typical small town depot of the 1920s The 1980s saw TVRM expanding and getting more land donated from the Southern Railway; during this time more buildings and track was added. The Grand Junction Depot, TVRM Administration Building and the National Model Railroad Association were starting to take shape. At the East Chattanooga facility, a repair shop and a turntable were added to provide facilities for locomotive repair and maintenance. The 1990s rolled around and TVRM had a locomotive ready for the Missionary Ridge Local, steam locomotive 610 was ready for service and Norfolk Southern dropped the fires on the steam excursions (Southern 4501 was the one that started it all, owned by TVRM, she is currently mothballed). The 1990s also saw TVRM running trains to the Chattanooga Choo Choo (called the Downtown Arrow, now discontinued) and excursions down to Summerville, Georgia, on the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway.

Chattooga and Chickamauga Yard Office

Tennessee Aquarium

Chattanooga touts its many tourist attractions, including the Tennessee Aquarium, caverns, and heavy development along and across the Tennessee River. In the downtown area are the Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Inn Hotel that is a renovated train station with the largest HO model train layout in the United States, the Creative Discovery Museum (a hands-on children's museum dedicated to science, art, and music), an IMAX 3D Theatre, and the newly expanded Hunter Museum of American Art. Along the river itself is the Tennessee Riverwalk, a 10-mile (16 km) handicapped accessible greenway trail. Not far from the downtown area is the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park.

See Rock City

Rock City is a roadside attraction near Chattanooga, Tennessee on Lookout Mountain in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, located near Ruby Falls. It is well-known for the many barn roofs throughout the southeast United States that have the slogan "See Rock City" painted on their roofs. In total, over 900 barn roofs in nineteen states were painted by Clark Byers for Rock City.

The publicity and lore claim that it is possible to see seven states from Lover's Leap, a point in Rock City, but this has not been proven scientifically.

High Falls

Legend states that a Native American man who loved a woman from a rival tribe was thrown from the lookout when his love was discovered. Near Lover's Leap is a beautiful view of the High Falls of Lookout Mountain.

Rock City Lover's Leap, See Seven States From This Viewpoint

Historical evidence indicates that Native Americans inhabited Lookout Mountain at one point. In 1823, two missionaries (Daniel S. Butrick and William Chamberlain) went to the area to minister to these Native Americans. Daniel Butrick made a journal entry on August 28, 1823 in which he described "a citadel of rocks" on top of the mountain, and noted the immense size of the boulders. He stated that they were arranged in a way "as to afford streets and lanes."

By the time the American Civil War reached the slopes of Lookout Mountain, more and more people had discovered what was already at that time being called the Rock City. During the Battle of Lookout Mountain, both a Union and a Confederate claimed that seven states could be seen from the summit of the mountain. The claims are independent and recorded in their own journals.

Hikers and geologists knew Rock City well throughout the late 1800s, but it did not become the attraction it is now until the 1900s. Garnet Carter's idea was to develop a residential neighborhood on top of the mountain. It was to be named Fairyland because of his wife's interest in European folklore. One feature of Fairyland was going to be a golf course, but Garnet decided instead to build a miniature golf course because the original took too long to build. He later franchised his miniature golf concept as Tom Thumb Golf, now recognized as the nation's first mini-golf course.

Fairyland was 700 acres and encompassed Rock City. Frieda Carter set out to develop the property into one big rock garden, taking string and marking a trail that wound its way around the giant rock formations, ending up at Lover's Leap. She also planted wildflowers and other plants along her trails. She imported German gnome statues and other famous fairytale characters, set up at spots throughout the trail. Garnet Carter realized that his wife had made an attraction that many people would be willing to pay for, and they made Rock City a public attraction in 1932.

Rock City's Fat Man Squeeze

The Swinging Bridge

Rock City in culture

The Rock City vista on Lookout Mountain is the site of the climax of Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel American Gods. Several barn roofs painted with "SEE ROCK CITY" were also described in the book.
"See Rock City"

Rock City Barns:

A Passing Era by David B. Jenkins -is an acclaimed book of photographs and history behind the "See Rock City" barns.

The Riverbend Festival is an annual music festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Named for the bend in the Tennessee River on which Chattanooga is built, the festival features a wide array of performers representing different musical genres on various stages set up around the downtown area.

Despite a new emphasis on the technology and service sectors, Chattanooga maintains ties to the past and still serves as a major freight hub with Norfolk Southern (NS) and CSX running trains on their own (and each other's) lines. The Norfolk Southern Railway's enormous DeButts Yard is just east of downtown, Shipp's Yard and CSX's Wauhatchie Yard are southwest of the city. Indeed, the two railroad companies are among the largest individual landowners in the city (the Federal Government is another). The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, the largest historic operating railroad in the South, and the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway also provides railroad service in Chattanooga.

Chattanooga Choo-Choo Train
Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Being bisected by a major waterway, Chattanooga has several large bridges over the Tennessee River. They are, from west to east:

P.R. Olgiati Bridge – Named for a former mayor P.R. Olgiati, this bridge carries "27" from downtown to Dayton, Tennessee and points northward.

Market Street Bridge - Officially called the John Ross Bridge. It is a bascule span which is a type of drawbridge. The bridge was completed in 1917 for the then-astronomical sum of USD$1,000,000. Having stood for decades since its last major overhaul, the Tennessee Department of Transportation declared it unsafe in late 2004. The bridge was closed in 2005 for a long-overdue renovation and reopened on August 4, 2007.
Walnut Street Bridge

Walnut Street Bridge – Also known as "The Walking Bridge", it is one of the centerpieces of Chattanooga's urban renewal, and is the second longest pedestrian bridge in the nation. Over 115 years old, the bridge was declared unsafe and closed to traffic in 1978. It was on the verge of being demolished in the late 1980s when public demand led to it being restored as a pedestrian-only span that opened in 1993.

Veterans Memorial Bridge – Installed in the mid 1980s, this structure has helped commuters from Hixson, Lupton City and other northern areas reach downtown quickly.

C.B. Robinson Bridge – This route carries Dupont Parkway from Amnicola Highway to Hixson Pike and Route 153.

Tennessee River Railroad Bridge – Also called "Tennbridge," this truss bridge with a vertical lift carries the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway over the river and is a popular railfan area.
Wilkes T. Thrasher Bridge – Carries Highway 153 over Chickamauga Dam.

The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is an inclined plane railway located along the side of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the United States. Passengers are transported from St. Elmo's Station at the base, to Point Park at the mountain summit, which overlooks the city and the Tennessee River. The railway is approximately one mile (1.6 km) in length (single track except for a short two-track stretch at the midway point, allowing operation of two cars at one time), and has a maximum grade of 72.7%. It is billed as the world's steepest passenger railway.

Incline Railway

The Incline Railway opened on November 16, 1895, and was the second of two inclines constructed on Lookout Mountain; the first was the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway, which operated from 1886 to 1898. The railway is now operated by the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority, the area's public transit agency.

The Ocoee River is a tributary of the Hiwassee River, which it joins in Polk County, Tennessee, near the town of Benton. It was an important river for both the Cherokee and Creek Indians.

The Ocoee's flow is controlled by the Tennessee Valley Authority via three dams. Most often the riverbed is nearly dry in the ten-mile stretch used for sporting, the water being diverted through flumes along the side of the mountains. The dam that controls the middle section of the river and diverts the water through the flume was originally built in 1913 by the East Tennessee Power Company to provide hydroelectric power to the new Alcoa company then starting aluminum production operations in Blount County, Tennessee.

The three Ocoee dams are numbered sequentially, with #1 being the farthest downstream and #3 being the farthest upstream. TVA acquired the two original dams (Ocoee #1 and Ocoee #2) in 1939 and started building Ocoee #3 dam in 1940. These dams generate 67,000 kilowatts of electricity in total. The Middle Section contains some 20 named rapids and provides recreational opportunities throughout its 8-month season. One of the largest rapids on the Middle Ocoee, "Hell's Hole," runs right beneath the power station, with "Powerhouse," a significant ledge with a strong hydraulic, right after it. Upstream (to the south), TVA also operates Blue Ridge Dam, which creates Lake Blue Ridge (called Blue Ridge Reservoir by TVA).
Toccoa Canoe

The whitewater slalom events during the 1996 Summer Olympics were conducted on a one-mile Olympic whitewater course that is fed by releases of water from Ocoee #3. A 4.5-mile whitewater rafting area farther downstream is fed by water released from Ocoee Dam #2

Chattanooga Bakery Moon Pie Logo

A moon pie or MoonPie is a pastry invented circa 1917. A MoonPie consists of two round graham cracker cookies, with marshmallow filling in the center. The confection is then dipped in chocolate (or other flavors). The traditional pie is about the size of a hockey puck. In the past 10 years, a mini MoonPie has been developed that is about half the size of the earlier moon pies. The pies come in four main flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry and Banana. Two newer flavors are also available: Lemon and Orange.

According to the MoonPie website, the product's origin is undocumented. Earl Mitchell, Sr. was identified as the possible creator by his son. Mr. Mitchell reportedly conceived the MoonPie as a snack for coal miners in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.

The History of the Great American MoonPie
The Chattanooga Bakery
The Bakery Workers

The Chattanooga Bakery was founded in the early 1900's as a subsidiary of the Mountain City Flour Mill in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The bakery's original purpose was to use the excess flour produced by the mill. By 1910, the bakery offered over 200 different confectionery items. In 1917, the bakery developed a product which is still known as the MoonPie. The exact history of how the MoonPie was invented was never documented by the Chattanooga Bakery, but one historian, Ronald Dickson of Charlotte, North Carolina, believes he found the "missing link."

In his book, "The Great American MoonPie Handbook", Mr. Dickson had written of the MoonPie's® lost history. Not long after his book was published, he received a telephone call from Earl Mitchell, Jr., identifying his deceased father, Earl Mitchell, Sr., as the person responsible for the invention of the MoonPie®.

Mr. Mitchell’s story goes like this ... Early in the 1900s, while servicing his territory of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, Mr. Mitchell was visiting a company store that catered to the coal miners. He asked them what they might enjoy as a snack. The miners said they wanted something for their lunch pails. It had to be solid and filling. “About how big?,!” Mr. Mitchell asked. Well about that time the moon was rising, so a miner held out his big hands, framing the moon and said, “About that big!” So, with that in mind, Mr. Mitchell headed back to the bakery with an idea. Upon his return he noticed some of the workers dipping graham cookies into marshmallow and laying them on the window sill to harden. So they added another cookie and a generous coating of chocolate and sent them back for the workers to try. In fact, they sent MoonPie® samples around with their other salespeople, too. The response they got back was so enormous that the MoonPie® became a regular item for the bakery.
An Advertisement for the Moon Pie.

By the late 1950's, the MoonPie® had grown in popularity, so much that the bakery did not have the resources available to produce anything else. The phrase "RC Cola and a MoonPie®" became well known around the South, as many people enjoyed this delicious, bargain-priced combination.

Do You Remember These Ads?

The phrase "RC Cola and a MoonPie®" became well known around the South.

5 Cent, Moon Pie

Boy with his Dog

The Double Cola Company is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Double Cola

The company was originally founded in 1922 by former Chero-Cola employees, Charles D. Little and Joe S. Foster, as Good Grape Company, primarily to market "Good Grape". With Little's creation of Marvel Cola in 1924, Good Grape Company changed its name to Seminole Flavor Company. Marvel Cola was reformulated and renamed as
Jumbo Cola. The Double Cola product was developed in 1933 and soon became the company's flagship product. It was soon followed by flavored Double-Orange, Double-Lemon, and Double-Grape and "Double-Dry" ginger ale.

RC Cola Bottle

The first product in the Royal Crown line was "Chero-Cola" in 1905, followed by Royal Crown Ginger Ale, Royal Crown Strawberry and Royal Crown Root Beer. The company was renamed Chero-Cola, and in 1925 called Nehi Corporation after its colored and flavored drinks. In 1934, Chero-Cola was reformulated and re-released as Royal Crown Cola.

In the 1950s, the combination of Royal Crown Cola and Moonpies became popular as the "working man's lunch" in the American South. Southerners are also known to buy a pack of salted peanuts and put them into the RC bottle. After drinking the RC, they eat the peanuts.

RC Cola (or Royal Crown Cola) is a cola soft drink developed in 1905 by Columbus, Georgia pharmacist Claude A. Hatcher.


Krystal is a hamburger restaurant chain in the Southeastern United States.

It is known for small, square hamburgers, and unique breakfast food like the "Scrambler," a mixture of eggs, sausage and other items such as pancakes or grits.

Founded October 24, 1932, in Chattanooga, in the first years of the Great Depression, entrepreneur Rody Davenport Jr. and partner J. Glenn Sherrill theorized that even in a severe economic upheaval, "People would patronize a restaurant that was kept spotlessly clean, where they could get a good meal with courteous service at the lowest possible price." Krystal is the second-oldest hamburger chain in the United States (the oldest being White Castle) and the oldest in the South.

Davenport and Sherrill set up the first Krystal at the corner of Seventh and Cherry streets in Chattanooga. While the building still stands, the original Krystal restaurant is no longer in operation. The oldest Krystal still in operation is located on Cherokee Boulevard in Chattanooga's Northshore District.

Litespeed is a U.S. bicycle manufacturer based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that crafted its first bicycle in 1986. Litespeed is best known as a producer of high-end titanium framed road racing bicycles and mountain bikes. From 2002-2006, Litespeed also produced designs using aluminum and carbon fiber construction but returned to hand crafting titanium bikes exclusively in late 2006. Litespeed is owned by the American Bicycle Group, which is also the parent company of bicycle manufacturers Merlin and Quintana Roo as well as component fabricator Real Design.

In the 1999 Tour de France, Lance Armstrong rode a titanium Litespeed Blade during time trial events which had been painted and decaled as a Trek. Throughout the years several professional cyclists rode Litespeed bicycles painted and decaled as other brand bicycles. Additionally, a number of bicycle manufacturers, including European brands such as Eddy Merckx and Bianchi have contracted Litespeed to construct titanium frames to be rebadged and sold within their product lines

Gold Logo, Olan Mills

Olan Mills, Inc. is a privately owned company founded in 1932 by Olan Mills Sr. and Mary Mills headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee that provides portrait photography and church directories through its two main corporate divisions: Olan Mills Portrait Studios and Olan Mills Church Division.

Rock/Creek Logo

Rock/Creek is a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based sporting goods retailer of clothing and gear for rock climbing, paddling, trail running, hiking, camping and travel. Founded as Rock/Creek Outfitters and Canoeist Headquarters in 1987 when Dawson Wheeler and Marvin Webb purchased Canoeist Headquarters, the company became known as Rock/Creek Outfitters. The name was shortened to Rock/Creek in 2007.

Coker Tire

Coker Tire Company is a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company that sells obsolete Michelin, Firestone, BF Goodrich and US Royal bias-ply and radial whitewall tires for collector automobiles. The company also has a facility in Fresno, California and over 30 distributors worldwide. Coker Tire also sells its own brand of whitewall bias and radial tires.

Covenant Transport, a truckload carrier headquartered in Chattanooga, TN. It was started in 1985 with 25 trucks and 50 trailers. Today, coupled with its partners, they now have over 3,600 trucks and 9,500 trailers. Covenant is ranked as one of the ten largest truckload carriers in the United States by revenue.

All of Covenant's trailers, on the right-side door, show a pro-life message in a blue box with white lettering: "It Is Not A Choice It Is A Child"

Covenant Transport, Inc. is a faith-based, truckload carrier with headquarters in the Scenic City of Chattanooga, Tennessee. David and Jacqueline Parker started Covenant Transport with just 25 tractors and 50 trailers in 1986. Today, Covenant Transport, Inc. belongs to a group of transportation providers called Covenant Transportation Group (CTG), publicly traded under the symbol CVTI. Each company within the group offers premium transportation services.

Covenant Transportation Group (CTG) includes operations from Covenant Transport, Inc. and Covenant Transport Solutions of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Southern Refrigerated Transport of Texarkana, Arkansas; and Star Transportation of Nashville, Tennessee. The consolidated group operates over 3,600 tractors and 9,500 trailers. Please visit to view our CTG marketing video, which explains the transportation services each company of CTG has to offer.

The Third Battle Of Chattanooga

The Third Battle of Chattanooga (popularly known as The Battle of Chattanooga, and including the Battle of Lookout Mountain and the Battle of Missionary Ridge) was fought from November 23 to November 25, 1863, in the American Civil War. By defeating the Confederate forces of General Braxton Bragg, Union Army Major General Ulysses S. Grant eliminated the last Confederate control of Tennessee and opened the door to an invasion of the Deep South, leading to the Atlanta Campaign of 1864.

" Vine Street Orphanage Chattanooga Tennessee Easter Egg Hunt 1920's-30's "