This was our weekend in January when Av had an event to attend in Huntsville, and we had decided to make it a real trip by going through Chattanooga (for the Aquarium) then over to Sewanee. This is Cowan, Tennessee where they have such a pretty downtown, with the retro Texaco:
and train station with museum inside:
Although the museum was closed that day, I put the camera up to a window, and…:
Shugie especially loves trains — I think we have enough Thomas to stretch from one side of our home to the other, seriously — so he was very happy that they have trains to climb and pretend on:
These are the *best* brothers:
Cowan is also where the Cumberland Mountain Tunnel is, an antebellum tunnel that according to my WPA book was bored by 400 slaves and is 2228 ft long. When completed in 1852, it was the longest railroad tunnel in the world. Keith cave, with stalactites over 40 feet long, is also in the area (these are some great pics).
Winchester, Tennessee had this great Oldham theater:
We looked for something in my Tennessee WPA book and ran by this:
and found what we were looking for, Hundred Oaks Castle, which is very hard to see from the street:
This used to be known as Hundred Oaks Monastery, established by the Paulist Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church, in 1900. From the WPA: “Surrounded by one hundred massive oaks, the house was supposed to be a reproduction of Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford. It has castellated towers, dormers, lofty ceilings, paneled walls, elaborate staircases, and carved screens and grills.”
This castle, besides being a monastery, has been through several iterations, including as a restaurant with gift shop, and was damaged by fire in 1990 then later restored. These photographs are in the public domain, from the Library of Congress, from the 1930s:
We also went through Lynchburg because I was hoping Miss Mary Bobo’s might be open (they were closed that day, and you really-really need a reservation in the first place):
…but we saw Jack Daniel’s which I toured several years ago:
…and went to the downtown square:
…even ran up to the cemetery where Lem Motlow:
and Jack Daniel are:
from Jack’s plot you can see the distillery:
…but the most interesting monument there was this one for Dick McGee:
We got back to Huntsville and checked into the Doubletree Suites which was where Av’s event was that evening:
While he was at the event, I got to watch the boys make a fort between the two beds and have a big time (they *love* staying at hotels and know that Doubletree = cookies). We had supper at the City Cafe Diner which is fun for the boys and Av had Cafe Alana Shay catering, which is one of James Boyce’s restaurants, he said it was pretty good — I’ve been to his Cotton Row downtown and that was nice.
The next day went through Oneonta on the way home, and in downtown found Miller’s Soda Shoppe where the boys had grilled cheese, Av had a hamburger:
and I had a little salad plate with broccoli salad and ambrosia which — this just made me giggle — had whipped cream on top. Retro!