West Baden Springs Indiana

West Baden Springs Indiana
Inside of the AMAZING West Baden Springs Resort in Indiana.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Chattanooga, Tenn

On the way home from Georgia, we stopped in one of my all time favorite towns, Chattanooga Tennessee. 

In fact I love this town so much, I hate stopping there briefly on my way from somewhere else.  I want to spend at least a few days exploring.

We did get to walk around a bit to stretch our legs, and that was nice.  Still, I look forward to my next visit.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wildman's Civil War Surplus in Kennesaw Georgia

Wildman's Civil War Surplus has been in Kennesaw Georgia since the 70s.  The place is mentioned on every odd roadside travel site, and it is a must see destination if you are in Kennesaw.

I have read the sites about Dent Myers and his shop.  Go ahead and search.  There is a lot of info- a lot of controversial info!

I decided to step inside of his shop/museum, and see what I thought for myself.

Yes, there are a lot of racial... and racist relics for sale and on display here.  Most are similar to items I have seen in upscale antique shops or impressive museums. 

There are a lot of Civil War books and other relics displayed too.  Wildman's does not hide the fact that this is a very Confederate leaning place, to say the least.

Mr. Myers actually had some cool relics from the Civil War reasonably priced.  I had to purchase a few, and I had a very nice chat with Dent.

Dent seemed excited about chatting about Civil War topics.  He gave me some info on the relics I bought from him, and asked where we were from.  We talked a bit about the Civil War, geography, and John Hunt Morgan.

My brief experience with Dent and his shop was positive.  Wildman's is without a doubt a place that is the last of it's kind, and a REAL throwback.  Being that it is in Kennesaw, and right next to The General, and the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History you kind of have to go there if you are interested in the Civil War, and in the area.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stone Mountain Georgia

Stone Mountain in Stone Mountain Georgia has been a places I have wanted to get to for some time.  Luckily, we were able to make it there recently!

I really wasn't exactly sure of what to expect when we got there.  I figured it would be very comparable to our trip to see Mt. Rushmore several years ago.

There are many similarities.  Besides the obvious carving on a mountain... both are heavily associated with Gutzon Borglum, the man who gets pretty much all of the credit for Mt. Rushmore.  Before he started on his South Dakota project, he started carving on Stone Mountain.  Borglum completed carving Lee's head on Stone Mountain, then had a falling out with others on the project.  Borglum's work was erased from the mountain, and begun again by his replacement.

Unlike Mt. Rushmore, this project had many false start moments.  The project stretched from the early 1920s, until it was completed in 1972.

We asked at our hotel if we could spend a whole day at the Stone Mountain park, and we were assured that we could easily... and we did.

We got there a bit before 10 and were there into the evening.  We could have spent another day there easily.

There is a theme park vibe here....  and I think this is technically a theme park.  There are some play areas, a duck ride, and other rides, almost all associated with the mountain.  We took the sky train to the top of the mountain which was fun, and the top of the mountain offers a great view, as you would expect.

After that, we took the 5 mile train ride around the mountain.  We skipped the Duck Ride.

There is a great movie about the carving on the mountain, and a museum exhibit about it, and its creation and history.  They also show a film about the Civil War in the area.

There is an old plantation and some historic buildings that have been moved to the park area. 

We did notice that the focus here is on the men who carved the mountain.  The three Confederates shown in the carving are mentioned here and there, briefly.  And, early involvement in the project by the Ku Klux Klan was mentioned in the museum, but not given much acknowledgement.  I talked to many staff there who seemed to enjoy being a part of the park.  In my opinion, the park, the staff, and the town are doing a great job of preserving the monument as they progress forward.

In the museum, I learned about a half dollar coin made in 1925 to help raise funds for the carving.  The US Mint was agreeable to putting Confederates Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on the coin, but Jefferson Davis was omitted.  The Confederate President would be immortalized in the Georgia Monument, but not on an American coin.

I did pick up an ironic collectible in the gift shop at Stone Mountain.  It is a medallion to put on a walking stick.  It shows the three Confederates shown on the mountain carving... with an American flag in the background.

After walking what must have been miles around the park, my friend and I decided that we could not leave the park without hiking from the bottom to the top of the mountain.

Obviously suffering from a psychiatric episode  Enthusiastically, we made the trip up!  AND, we had to walk about a mile from the park to get to the starting point of the trail.  The temperature at this point was around 95 and we went through our 24 ounce water bottles well before reaching our sky high destination.  We took frequent breaks and paced ourselves.  I am glad to say that I did it, but I felt terrible by the time we finished.  This is a rough, VERY uphill walk.  A railing is available at one point, but the last five minutes or so before you reach the very top are near impossible.  I honestly felt very intimidated by the mountain's slant.  This area is dangerous!

We were very happy to take the sky bus back down after our accomplishment.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Ugly Biscuit- Kennesaw Georgia

The Ugly Biscuit looked interesting as we drove through Kennesaw last time.  We REALLY wanted to try the place out on our next trip- and we did!

This place is simple and cozy.  The food was very different though.  We all got sandwiches, which were served on biscuits!  I am a fried green tomato BLT and I couldn't finish it was so big!

We thought this place was cute and unique, the food was good and reasonably priced.  I would love to see more places like this!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Marietta Georgia

We had such a nice time just a few months ago in Marietta Georgia (mentioned here, here, and here).  I am pretty sure this town is now one we want to visit as often as we can.

 On this trip, we timed it out so that we could be in the downtown square area on the day that they have one of their art walks.

Marietta Square is simply a perfect community area with a lot to do.  There are many great little shops and places to eat, all focusing on local pride.

When we first got to the area, we went to Cool Beans Coffee.  This is a nice, casual and fun coffee shop with a lot of character.  They have some nice local free 'zines available, and good coffee!  Original art is on the walls, and hearing Danzig's "Mother" as we walked in made me feel alive.  This is a great local coffee shop.

We stopped by a similar spot later about a block away.  The Australian Bakery CafĂ© had a similar, fun vibe.  We had coffee and snacks.....

I also wanted to give a quick mention to Robinson's Coins.  I have been picking up the occasional Civil War era coin here and there, and obscure token.  Anyway, I have stumbled in here twice and these guys are really nice and helpful.  Finding this cool coin shop was a huge bonus.

Another business that I liked a lot on the square was Lizards and Lollipopz.  They have a cool painting on their window which is worth checking out.  AND they sell all sorts of great children's toys.

Oh, and the art walk!  I was very impressed!  There was some nice, original art that was affordable!

My wife really liked Fleurenasci.  They use flowers to make beads.  Their stuff looked great, and it was very unique.

I was so glad that I got to explore this area again and I am sure that I will be here more in the future!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Kennesaw and Marietta Georgia.... Again

Several months ago I wrote about our trip through Georgia, and I mentioned some of the stops we made in Kennesaw and in Marietta.  These are great towns, and during our first trip, we were on a major time limit.  We weren't able to see nearly enough!

We agreed that, as soon as we had a moment to do so, we would have to return.  Luckily, we were able to do just that recently!  We were also able to spend a day at Stone Mountain, which was a treat!

Obviously, we were visiting Civil War sites again, and this trip had a very southern feel to it.

Personally, we left these towns months ago, feeling that there were some specific things we missed, and we really wanted to get back to do them.  This trip completed something I want to do after almost every trip- get a second chance to see everything I want to see in a place.  I feel like we covered these areas and I feel very satisfied about it!

Still, like I said before, this is a great area and I would like to get back again.

We did get to complete a nice, casual visit around the Kennesaw Battlefield!  Check out these photos!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Confederate Monument in Springhill Cemetery, Harrodsburg Kentucky

Dedicated in 1902, here is a nice Confederate Monument in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Harrodsburg, not too far from Perryville.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Perryville Battle Field Perryville, KY

Perryville has been on my "to visit" list for some time.  We were passing through, and had a few moments to explore the battlefield and museum!

I read somewhere, I THINK in a Randy Bishop book, that this is the most significant Civil War battlefield NOT managed by the National Park Service.

Like every other Civil War site we have been to, we didn't have enough time here, and I know we will be back soon.  They ARE having a Civil War reenactment in early October, so that might be a good time!

The museum at Perryville is small but packed.  I love a good display of actual relics, and they have them here!  One of the most interesting items was a gun from the area.  The gun was hidden from the owner/soldier by a wife concerned about the owner's expressing suicidal thoughts.  She hid it in the wall, and the gun was not found until about a hundred years later!

The staff at the museum/visitor center was great, and they seemed excited when asked any questions by visitors.

I was interested in a computer that visitors were allowed to use to look up their family name, and see if they had any relatives who fought in the Civil War.  You can imagine my excitement when I personally discovered that I had several relatives who fought for the Union!  I have a very odd and rare last name, and figured that my search would reveal 0.  My wife (who has a similar odd last name) also discovered several connections!

The staff at Perryville let me know that this was not some secret data base that only they had.....  ANYONE can use it!  In fact.....  HERE is a link!


I would love to hear from anyone else who also discovers that they can now proudly brag of having family in the Civil War!  Any advise on good, free genealogy resources online would also be appreciated by me!  I now have some family research to do!

After our visit to the museum, we drove around the park some.  There are many trails, and I am excited about making more visits here in the future to explore them.  A few hours at great sites like this is never enough.

This is a VERY well preserved battle field.  With very few modern additions to the area, it is easy to read the signs about the battle, and to look over the acres of green fields and imagine how things were.  Little has changed.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fort Harrod Play in Harrodsburg, KY

We were able to see a performance of James Harrod:  The Battle For Kentucky by the Ragged Edge Theatre. 

It is in a BEAUTIFUL outdoor theater at Fort Harrod.  I loved the venue.  The stage is authentically wooded!

This is a fun play to watch- though there were some audio issues.  A mic system is used here, and there was some bad feedback at times.  The system is needed though, as the theater is very big, and traffic noise can get bad.  Luckily, none of the actors were wearing those annoying headset mics that are really distracting.

I was also hoping that this play would touch on the mystery of what exactly happened to James Harrod (but it didn't).  Look it up one day!  He goes out hunting and disappears!  Some say he went back to Pennsylvania, was killed by Indians, left his wife.......  James Harrod's fate is worthy of investigation by Art Bell or Mulder and Scully.  I would love to see a play or documentary about that!

Still, check out this play sometime!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

US Post Office Ravenna Ohio

"Modern first class Post Office erected in 1934."

Ravenna is a nice little town close to Akron.  I worked in the area for a bit in the late 90s.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dug Road, Zanesville, OH

I am not sure exactly where this is in Zanesville Ohio, but it is a nice postcard.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

West High Street from Square, New Philadelphia, Ohio

Sent from New Philadelphia Ohio to Reading PA in 1934.

New Philadelphia is a great small town.  I have spent some time in this area myself.  My late father-in-law was a preacher around this area for many years.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Union Monument in Dover Ohio

Just a few minutes away from the cemetery that holds the grave of Confederate William Quantrill in Dover Ohio, we found this great cemetery honoring Union soldiers.