Johnsonville State Park

Johnsonville State Park
A cannon is fired at Johnsonville State Historic Site in Tennessee by Union Soldiers.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Johnsonville State Park- New Johnsonville, Tennessee

We took a trip around the Land Between the Lakes area recently, mostly to try to visit some of the spots not associated with LBL that we have missed on other trips.

We realized that two Civil War state parks would be on our path!  Johnsonville State Historic Park would be our first stop!

This is a very unusual site, in that it celebrates the 1864 Battle of Johnsonville.  Well, THAT town was put underwater with the creation of Kentucky Lake in 1944.  New Johnsonville is the site of the State Park.

Luckily, on the day we visited, the museum was doing cannon firing demonstrations!  Actors dressed in Union uniforms were showing how the old cannons were fired, and how a team operated the cannons.  A ranger gave a thorough, yet easy to understand narration of the team and the process.

The reenactors hung around a campsite and talked about the battle, the area, and history.  One of the reenactors told us that cabins reproduced on the state park grounds were built using descriptions from a diary.

There is a very impressive museum/visitor center here too.  A very kind lady was in charge here, and she told us all about what the park had to offer on this day, and in the upcoming weeks.  it seems that they are frequently showing movies here.  A 90 minute film on the Lincoln assassination was being shown while we were there.

This park has a lot more going on, in addition to the many Civil War related features.  We noticed a lot of boats in the area.  There are many trails too.  We were excited to see a vibrant woodpecker while we explored!

Check out my photos, this is an incredible park that I hope to visit again soon!

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Big Chicken in Marietta Georgia

I first learned about the Big Chicken in Marietta Georgia from one of my favorite sites,  This is one of those things that I probably wouldn't go too far out of my way for, but if I am in town, I want to see it!

We were in the area, mostly to visit the Civil War related sites- so we had to check this one out!

I did read about how its eyes and beak move, but it doesn't hit you until you are there looking at it.  There is actually a lot of movement going on with this guy!

And he totally dominates the area.  You see him from a ways off and you instantly grab for your camera.

AND....  Everyone in town mentions him!  We asked for directions a few times.  It seemed that the given directions started off with a, "go down to the chicken....."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sixteenth Street, Savannah Beach, Georgia

The back of this postcard says-

A view of the business district at 16th St. Savannah Beach is a popular summer recreation and resort area featuring boating, fishing, and other outdoor sports.  It is 18 miles from Savannah, Georgia.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home Augusta GA

We were able to tour the Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home in Augusta Georgia!

Unlike our experience at the Wilson home in Columbia, there was no huge group going through here.  We had a very pleasant tour, with a great tour guide, and with a small family that seemed truly interested in the 28th Presidents home.

Check out the photos.  Like many historic sites, a nice film is shown to start things off, and then a thorough tour is given.  Our tour guide let me know that they're fine with people taking photos.  I really enjoy taking pictures like this, and I love it when great, historic homes like this don't mind.

I was unable to get my camera to focus on it, but one of the really cool moments on the tour was when our guide pointed to some letters on a window.  They are pretty sure that a young Woodrow Wilson (then going by "Tommy") had started to scratch his name in the glass!

Right next door to the Woodrow Wilson House is the Joseph Rucker Lamar Boyhood Home.  Lamar would serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.  This home is now used as the visitor center for the Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home.

This is a must see if you are in Augusta!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Battle of Richmond Visitor Center- Richmond, Kentucky

Its funny how you can stumble upon great places in your own back yard!

Well....  I have driven by the Battle of Richmond Visitor Center literally hundreds of times, but finally stopped there the other day!

As you know, I have been on a bit of a Civil War kick for some time now.  I had heard of the visitor center, plugged the address in to my Garman, and went searching.  I felt a little silly when I realized where it was.

This classy visitor center/museum really impressed me.  First off, it is FREE!  Seriously- there is no admission AND they have a ton of freebies!  I had a great time, learning about the Civil War Battle that occurred here, AND I left with a handful of free brochures and magazines!  There is a donation box near the front, but our very kind guide didn't even mention that.  I hope that any visitors do make a small donation, and sign their guestbook.

So....  one of the many cool things about the visitor center here is that it was a part of the battle with a direct connection!  Also, the Mt. Zion Church is a short drive from it.  It was standing at the time of the battle.  Wounded soldiers spent time on the pews inside of the church!

Inside of the visitor center, one can see three very well done films about the Civil War in the area.  One film is shown near a map model of the battle.  Laser lights help show the formations and progress of the fighting.  This is a very unique and fun display.

There are a few nicely done replica outfits and uniforms here, but there are MANY authentic relics from the battle displayed.

One item that really impressed me was a photo of Union General Mahlon Manson.  Our host at the museum told us a great story about how the photo was acquired.  He then let us know that the sword on display is the ACTUAL one in the photo!  If that doesn't give you goose bumps.... 

Another item from 1862 that made my jaw drop was a Confederate belt buckle with a bullet in it!

Part of one room was filled with arrow heads and other Native American relics found nearby.  The arrow heads, and most of the Civil War items were found locally.

This is a really nice museum.  As I mentioned, there are other sites relating to the Battle of Richmond nearby, including a trail.  We were told that there is also a reenactment coming up!

Check this place out!  I know I will be back!

Monday, April 20, 2015

FDRs Little White House Warm Springs, GA

You know I have been on a huge history/US Presidents kick for some time now.  So, on this trip, we tried to visit some of the presidential houses along the way.  We were excited when we realized that we wouldn't be passing far from Warm Springs, Georgia, home of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Little White House!

Though we were happy about the chance to visit here, we did not have any major expectations.  Well, this ended up being an unexpectedly amazing stop on our trip.

FDR first came to the Warm Springs area, before he was president, for polio treatment.  He liked the place so much that he built a cabin.  He ended up spending a lot of time here.  He also spent his final moments at his Warm Springs Little White House.

Before visiting the actual house, there is a very nice museum and movie.  The museum included many amazing artifacts directly linked to FDR.  Most impressive was a collection of canes that had been sent to the 32nd President by supporters.

After going through the museum, you make your way to the house.  There are several guest and secret service cabins.  The actual Little White House itself seems small but very cozy.  This would be a fun cabin to stay in.  There were friendly staff around to answer questions.  They let me know that the books on the shelf had belonged to FDR.  On display were his desk, and the bed he was in when he passed away.

As a dog lover I was touched by the scratch marks at the bottom of the main door.  In the glass, you could see them (my camera wasn't able to focus on them).  Still, you could see where Roosevelt's little dog Fala had scratched.

We loved the gift shop here.  They had plenty of Roosevelt books, buttons and other items.  There was a very sweet lady running the place (ALL of the staff we talked to here seemed to love their job, and working at the Little White House).

THEN, there is another small museum housing the last couple of painting of Roosevelt, including the very famous one that we being worked on just before it death (it remains unfinished).

Seeing the unfinished painting, the displays about his death and funeral, plus standing by his bed where he died, is VERY moving.

But, it makes it a bit of a downer when you leave.  LUCKILY, the actual springs where Franklin would swim are a very short drive from the home!

We stopped by the small visitor center/museum by the springs.  ANOTHER friendly staff person thanked us for stopping by (it seems that a lot of people who buy the ticket to visit the home SKIP coming to the springs, even though it is included in the main house admission).  Anyway, seeing the springs had a bit of an uplifting feeling to balance out the sadness of the home.

At the spring, you can buy a nice little bottle to take with you, to collect some water from the actual spring.

The "spring" was not exactly what I had in mind, though I had seen the pictures and video of FDR here previously.  It is really a nice, large pool with the spring in it to supply the water.  The pool is totally empty, but the spring is there.  You actually walk through the empty pool to the spring.

We were the only people there when we went.

It was very pleasant, getting our bottles filled with water.  I splashed a little bit of the water in my face.  You can feel so much of a personal, lively connection to Franklin, and the history of Warm Springs here.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Georgia Guidestones

OK, I really don't know what to say about the Georgia Guidestones, other than I really wanted to see them at some point.

I hate to generically suggest that you go to Wikipedia to read up on the basics, but that would be a good place to start.

The short story is..... in 1979 some guy commissioned a granite company in Elberton to build the Guidestones.  The Guidestones list 10 rules that society should go by, and they are noted in 8 different languages.  The Guidestones are almost 20 feet high.

Someone obviously felt strongly about the Guidestones.  A lot of time, work, and money has been invested in them.  Conspiracy theory types have had a lot to say about them.

Signs up note that the place is under surveillance.  The spot is a very popular roadside attraction.  There were a lot of people there when we went.

People were picnicking, kids were playing ball, and many people were reading and looking around.  This is a very curious place to stop.

Check out my photos.  It may be worth noting that we saw some odd, round shaped buildings nearby.  They seemed very appropriate.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Old Postcard of Bull Street at Night, in Savannah, Georgia

On the back of this old Savannah postcard:

Bull Street is named for the man who made the first plan for the town.  Surveyor Bull of Charleston.  It starts at the Bay and is the main artery along whose course the five main squares of Savannah are places.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Viaduct Approaching from the North at Night, Savannah, GA

I love the mysterious look of this great postcard showing Savannah, probably from the early 50s.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Asheville North Carolina

We made a quick stop in Asheville on our way home!  We didn't have much time to explore, but I did get a few photos.