After our family visits in St. Louis Missouri and Omaha Nebraska, we stayed overnight in Mount Vernon Illinois as we made the long trek home to East Tennessee. Once we crossed the Kentucky/Tennessee state line, we decided to take some ‘back roads’ through part of Tennessee rather than follow the quicker but boring Interstate System…
These are views of part of the Springfield Town Square Historic District in Springfield Tennessee. Most of the buildings in this hilltop town square were built between 1890 and 1925. A total of 34 buildings are included in this National Register of Historic Places Historic District.
The first photo shows the architecturally interesting Chandler-Murphy Family Store Building, ca. 1899. The 5 little ‘windows’ at the top are really hooded decorative vents…
The ‘buildings’ at the center of the second photo is really one- two and a half story brick building painted to simulate 2 separate structures. The 6 small circular windows under the matching brick cornice reveal the truth. For some reason, perhaps for those little windows, this building is called the Hen House Building and it was constructed ca. 1900.
Springfield Tennessee is the County Seat for Robertson County and the courthouse is the centerpiece for the Town Square Historic District. It is listed separately in the National Register of Historic Places. Robertson County was established in 1796 and the first courthouse, a log structure, was built here in the town square. A second courthouse was built in 1819 and it was replaced by the center portion of this imposing structure in 1879. The wings of the structure were completed in 1930.
Robertson County has about 70,000 residents. One local attraction is the Bell Witch Cave which is allegedly haunted. To learn more about the cave, go to http://bellwitchcave.com/. To learn about the only legal hanging that ever took place in Robertson County, (a slave killing his ‘master’ with an axe after being whipped), you can read the full story at http://tngenweb.org/robertson/history/waltonhanging.html.
What the heck…it was time for lunch so we stopped at this Waffle House in White House Tennessee. Rarely does a road trip go by when we don’t stop at a Waffle House for breakfast or lunch!
As usual, service was efficient and the grill cook was the key to a smooth operation. I will say that the stress of the Holidays may have been taking a toll as we weren’t greeted when we came in and some of the employees seemed unhappy with life…very unusual for a Waffle House.
Laurie had an Egg and Cheese Melt Sandwich with coffee and a side of crispy hash browns. The hash brown potatoes were done perfectly!
Waffle House was founded back in 1955 and the company now has over 1,500 locations, all of them open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Curiously enough, the company’s founders, Joe Rogers and Tom Forkner both passed on during 2017... Joe was 97 and Tom was 98!
I had a Double Cheeseburger with a side of hash browns. For the first time I realized that I could smother my hash browns with sausage gravy! Hooray! It was a winner for sure… I just sprinkled a bit of Tabasco over it and perfection was achieved!
The Waffle House website is found at https://wafflehouse.com/.
Moving on down the road, I came to a screeching stop so Laurie could check out this nice little herd of Painted horses…her favorite critter on earth!
She got out of the car and went over to see the horses…and this particular horse seemed enamored with her as he galloped over to see her! They spent quite a bit of time talking, with Laurie giving out some hands-on petting and kissing as well!
While Laurie was busy with the horses, I noticed some cattle in a pasture up on a hill across the road. They looked different than most cattle that we see in Tennessee so I zoomed in for a better view…
Yup…Texas Longhorn Cattle in Tennessee! The Texas Longhorn is known for its characteristic horns which can extend to over 5 feet 9 inches from tip to tip for bulls and 6 feet 9 inches for steers and sometimes even exceptional cows.
In 1927, the breed was saved from near extinction by members of the United States Forest Service who collected a small herd to breed in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. They were cared for largely as curiosities for many years but the breed’s longevity, resistance to disease and ability to thrive on marginal pastures quickly revived the breed as beef stock. Texas Longhorns with elite genetics can often bring $40,000 or more at auction with a record of $380,000 being set for a cow and heifer calf last March at auction in Fort Worth Texas.
Cruising east along state highway 25 through Tennessee in the general direction of the Knoxville, we arrived in town of Gallatin, the county seat for Sumner County. This handsome old house is the home of the Sumner County Museum.
The house was built ca. 1813 and it was purchased by William Trousdale in 1836. Trousdale (1790 – 1872) was a soldier and politician. He served as governor of Tennessee, was our United States Minister to Brazil, fought under Andrew Jackson in the Creek War, the War of 1812 and the Second Seminole War. He also commanded the U.S. 14th Infantry in the Mexican-American War. For his actions at the Battle of Chapultepec, Trousdale was brevetted to Brigadier General by President James K. Polk.
The house was Trousdale’s home until his death in 1872. After the last member of the family died in 1899, the home was deeded to the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and it now serves as a museum. To learn more about the museum and local history, go to http://sumnercountymuseum.org/.
Gallatin’s First Presbyterian Church is an American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Site. It is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This is the oldest church building in Gallatin that has been in continuous use. The congregation was organized in October of 1828 and the church was completed in 1837. The sanctuary of the church was used as a hospital for Union Troops during the Civil War...
As we moved along TN Hwy. 25 east, we came to a detour that forced us to go north on TN Hwy. 80, then east and then south on TN Hwy. 85. Parts of Hwy. 85 were a bit twisty…and a sign warned trucks and RV’s to avoid the road. Along the way we came to a viewpoint overlooking the Cordell Hull Lake/reservoir.
The 87 foot high Cordell Hull Dam is located about 40 miles east of Nashville Tennessee near the town of Carthage. The dam is on the Cumberland River and it was completed in 1973. The lake covers about 12,000 acres. The dam and lake are not part of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s extensive dam and reservoir system, but rather is operated by the United States Corps of Engineers. It does generate up to 100 megawatts of electricity.
· I didn’t know it but the United States Corps of Engineers operates about 300 dams and lakes across the country! To view the list, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Category:United_States_Army_Corps_of_Engineers_dams&pagefrom=Melvern+Lake#mw-pages.
· The Army Corps of Engineers was founded on June 11, 1775, making it 242 years old! The organization employs 37,000 people and most of them by far, are civilians.
· The Army Corps of Engineers facilities produce 24% of all of the United States’ hydroelectricity!
Just one more photo... Laurie took this picture of the 'super moon from our back deck and I thought that it was a dandy shot!
That’s all for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.
Thanks for stopping by for a ‘back roads’ tour!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave