A 52-Week Photo Journey

… Mary Nell Moore's Photography


Week 39 – #31. Neon

Pardon me boys, is that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo? In 1941, the famous Glenn Miller song, “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” was heard over radio stations across the nation, describing the journey of a train travelling from New York City along the Eastern Seaboard until its end at Terminal Station in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Terminal Station was opened in 1909 and was the largest and most modern station that the city had ever seen. Donn Barber, a student of the École des Beaux-Arts, designed the station, which featured a large, arched main entrance as well as a ceiling dome with a skylight. Brass chandeliers completed the rooms, bestowing an air of grandeur. During the 1950s and 1960s, rail traffic decreased significantly until 1970, when the last passenger train, the Birmingham Special, left Terminal Station.

A group of businessmen bought the station and surrounding property in 1972, renaming it, “The Chattanooga Choo Choo,” after the Glenn Miller song. The flashing neon sign can be seen for miles around downtown.
Neon DSC_8441



Week 30 – #21. Industrial

Once a thriving industrial business, this is all that remains of Standard-Coosa-Thatcher Mills in Chattanooga, TN. It was one of many textile mills that dominated the local economy and built their own communities of employees around them. Excellent working conditions and high wages were paid to the 2,200 employees, one week of paid vacation, a retirement plan, and death benefit as reasons for the contentment of the workers.

In 1916, Standard, Coosa and Thatcher were three separate mills located directly beside each other. Coosa and Thatcher Spinning plants processed the incoming raw cotton and eventually spun the cotton to a finished yarn – which would be transported to the Standard Processing Plant for further refining (mercerizing) and dyeing.

Through the decline of the textile industry in America, changes in ownership, and eventual bankruptcy, the mills’ workforce was dramatically reduced in the early 1980’s and were completely closed by 2003. In February, 2015, the remaining buildings of the Standard-Coosa-Thatcher Mills were added to National Register of Historic Places. Plans are currently underway to convert the building(s) into Standard Coosa Artist Lofts: 170 Affordable Live/Work Rental units for artists and their families.

To the photo, I added a grungy industrial frame complete with nail heads.
Industrial HDR DSC_8370


Week 28 – #26. Mealtime

Recently, mealtime found me at The Terminal Brewhouse on Market Street in a section in Chattanooga, TN known as the Southside, which is undergoing gentrification.

A little history: The Terminal Station (Choo-Choo) opened in December of 1909 and created an immediate need for a nearby hotel to give comfort to the weary travelers. The very next year The Stong building was built next door and The Terminal Hotel came to life soon after. The hotel featured steam-heated rooms, fancy for that era, with meals served all hours in a café. Legend holds that through the years the Stong building was home to speakeasies during prohibition, illegal casinos and even a house of ill repute.

Sometime in the early 1940’s Chester Davis, a porter at the Terminal Station, saved his tips and purchased the Stong building becoming one of the first black business owners in Chattanooga. The building stayed in his family, housing many different businesses. It was purchased in 2006 by local raconteur Joe Sliger who immediately began restoring the property. Not long after, he found a crew interested in this historic building. This band of visionaries had, coincidentally, a vision for the wonderful old building. The walls and rafters seemed to cry out to these rugged, brilliant men. “Beer” said the walls “amazing food” said the rafters and so an idea was born.
Terminal DSC_8417


Week 23 – #33. Old Timer

Happy New Year!

When I am in Chattanooga, I love riding through the historic district of Fort Wood. There are many homes built in the mid-to-late 1800’s that are being beautifully renovated, such as this “old timer” located at 800 Vine Street and originally built for Joseph H. Warner.

A document from the Historic American Building Survey says: “The house is a ‘high Queen Anne’ structure, with pressed red brick, stone trim, and solid oak paneling and woodwork in the interior. The hallways are large, and a fine attention to detail was paid to the terra-cotta and rusticated stone trim.

“This home was designed by architects Townsend and Stone with one idea in mind: extravagance. But its features also mask the luxurious interior, blending into the surrounding community with ease.

“Construction began on the home in 1890 and was completed in 1891.

“The real question is, then, who was this Joseph H. Warner?

“Born in Sumner County in the year 1842, Warner made his mark early by participating in the Civil War. In 1862, he joined Company A, 19th Tennessee Regiment Confederate Infantry, until he was captured at Missionary Ridge.

“He then spent the rest of the war in a federal prison.

“Upon his return, Warner sought to change the lives of Chattanoogans and launched an extensive hardware business.

“Eventually, that business would grow to include areas such as coal, iron, banking—Warner was one of the original organizers for Third National Bank—and railroad.

“Warner become known as ‘practically the founder and creator of the modern street railway in [Chattanooga],’ according to the HABS document.

“Before his death in 1923, Warner was the first city commissioner of public utilities, grounds and buildings, which is the reason Chattanooga’s Warner Park bears his name to this day.

“According to Maury Nicely in his ‘Chattanooga Walking Tour and History Guide,’ Warner ‘practically laid the first stone in the founding of a playground system in the city.’

“When built, the Joseph H. Warner home cost $26,000.”

Old Timer DSC_9475


Week 8 – #16. Frame Within A Frame

During a recent outing, I stood in this spot viewing John and Mabel Ringling’s winter home in Sarasota, FL. The statues and trees are strategically placed creating a frame within a frame as visitors walk the brick-lined sidewalk taking in the beauty of the entire estate.


Week 5 – #15. Faces In Everyday Places (Pareidolia)

Even though the temperatures and humidity soared last week, Mike and I decided to stroll the grounds of the Ringling Mansion. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon “faces in everyday places (pareidolia).”