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Atlas Obscura has an interesting article about the vanishing SEE ROCK CITY barns. Current signage regulations means they can touch up the old ones but they can’t paint any new ones. When the barns fall down, that’s the end of it.

There were once 900 of them all across the South. It’s now down to 70, mostly in Tennessee.

Rock City is going strong, it’s the barns that are disappearing. I gather Rock City has rebranded itself a nature trail sort of thing, which sounds better.

I once lived in the shadow of Lookout Mountain. I have a vague memory of seeing Rock City when it was still Fairyland – a bunch of little gnome sculptures lit up with colored lights. In my memory, it was dilapidated and sad.

Looking at the history, though, I’m not sure the timeline is right. It may be a false memory. I may have heard my parents talk about it. I was very little when we lived there.


Comment from Knitebane
Time: May 23, 2022, 7:28 pm

Your memory mirrors mine. I seem to recall some rather sad looking gnomes and not much else. As I recall, the nearby Ruby Falls was much more interesting to a 4 year old.

I can’t recall exactly but my visit would have been in 1968 or 1969.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 23, 2022, 7:40 pm

My father was a Navy officer and so we moved a lot. I remember some long haul car trips, a couple them coast-to-coast and a couple up and down the Eastern Seaboard, back in the 1950s (I was born in ’49). I don’t remember Rock City barns but I sure do remember ubiquitous Burma Shave signs along the roads. This was before the growth of the Interstate Highway system so there were lots of interesting signs to watch for.

Comment from BJM
Time: May 24, 2022, 2:43 pm

I have memories of the Big Orange stands on Route 66, and the the Southwest themed hotels: very un-PC teepees, totem poles and such…oh and the rattlesnake museum or whatever they called it back in the day. Creepy as heck…gave me nightmares for ages…but I suspect some are false memories created by the hype around the highway…except for the rattlesnakes and Big O’s.

So many memes, and fewer days left in May…I’m not sure if this is a how-to or a warning…but enjoy.

Comment from Pablo
Time: May 30, 2022, 5:45 pm

So, I missed this post because I was on the road. The day it was posted found me spending the night at the River View Inn…on Lookout Mountain.

Life is weird.

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