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.
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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.
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Week 6 – #38. Powerful

Construction began in 1969 on the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, a nuclear power plant located 20 miles north of Chattanooga, abutting Chickamauga Lake, on the Tennessee River. The facility is owned and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). It is the most productive of TVA’s four nuclear plants and the second most powerful electric plant in the entire TVA system.

Sequoyah was Cherokee, reportedly born in Tuskegee, a town at the confluence of the Tellico River and Little Tennessee River, upriver of the nuclear power plant. He is known for creating the Cherokee syllabary circa 1820. Many Cherokee sites were flooded during the TVA’s construction of Tellico Dam (1967-1979). Naming the site after a local Native American Indian was considered a small political token to the Cherokee in compensation for the dam-flooding and destruction of their historic sites that TVA required to control flooding on the Tennessee River. REF: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequoyah_Nuclear_Generating_Station



Week 4 – #A4. Patriotism

“How can this possibly happen in our town?” was the question asked over and over again on July 16th when a coward, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, opened fire on a recruiting station in Chattanooga, TN and then drove seven miles to a U. S. Navy facility where he rammed the gate, opened fire killing four U. S. Marines and wounding three others before he was fatally shot by a police officer. A U. S. Navy sailor later died from his wounds. While in Chattanooga this month, there was one place I wanted to visit…the U. S. Navy facility. As I stood at the entrance of the facility in the midst of a sea of American flags placed in both directions as far as the eye could see, I was overwhelmed with the showing of patriotism. With my heart pounding, chill bumps covering my body and tears streaming from my eyes, I photographed the scene, although a partial view. I have many friends and family members, past and present, who served or are presently serving in the military and I am deeply saddened as a result of this tragedy. I am asking that you keep the families of the deceased and wounded in your hearts and prayers.


Week 48 – #13. Forced Perspective

When I thought about forced perspective, I had one place in mind so I drove my model, Mike, to the Museum District in Chattanooga. On the corner of an art shop is an antique clock that once stood on the sidewalk outside Fischer-Evans Jewelry Store in downtown Chattanooga. Noting it was a minute or two out of time, Mike agreed to give it a little adjustment. Below is another photo I took later the same day of my model assisting the sun as it sets below the horizon.
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Forced PerspectiveDSC_4136


Week 42 – #50. Urban Scenery

For this week’s theme, I want to introduce you to urban scenery and give you a bit of history about an historic hotel, the Crutchfield House, built in 1847 in downtown Chattanooga. Jefferson Davis stayed there after resigning from the U. S. Senate. During the Civil War, it was used as a hospital only to burn down in 1867. A doctor, John T. Read, and his son built a grand hotel on the old site and named it the Read House, the name by which it is known today. In 1927, it was replaced with the present 10-story building. Famous guests like Winston Churchill, Al Capone, Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper and many others have been guests there but none so famous as the guest in Room 311. Annalisa Netherly checked into Room 311 in the late 1920’s. Not much is known about how or why she checked into the Read House but legend has it that her husband brought her and found her romantically entertaining another man. He slit her throat almost decapitating her in the bathtub. (NOTE FROM MN: Some men are not very forgiving.) Annalisa Netherly is still seen on occasion in Room 311 and for that reason Room 311 is never rented unless specifically requested. In 1977, the Read House was included in the National Register of Historic Places as a prime example of period architecture and decorative art. If you find yourself in Chattanooga, enjoy an overnight stay at the Read House … perhaps requesting Room 311.
Week 42 Urban Scenery


Week 21 – #15. Graveyard

Established in 1880 and located in the historic St. Elmo neighborhood nestled at the foot of Lookout Mountain, Forest Hills Cemetery is the resting place of many important people and a landmark of great beauty and history to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Each year in October, it has a program wherein the gravesites of a select number of Chattanooga’s forefathers are included in a cemetery stroll. During the stroll, a person belonging to the Forest Hills Historical Society is dressed in period attire, seated at a gravesite and tells the history of the person and his/her importance to Chattanooga. The narrator either portrays the deceased, his/her spouse or descendant. The stroll is not only interesting and gives an insight into the person’s personal and business life but is held on a day during the fall season when the tree leaves are beginning to change colors. This was my first time to take the stroll, but it will not be my last.

Forest Hills is where I have chosen to be interred, not because I think I am important but because my ancestors are interred there and if a cemetery can be beautiful, this one certainly is. It is a sanctuary of magnificent botanical beauty. Vibrant spruce trees, wildflowers, dogwoods, azaleas, and fruit trees flourish there. Cuttings from the rare species in the graveyard are used for transplanting in other parts of the country. In the spring, many people enjoy an afternoon drive through the cemetery to see its astounding flora. Forest Hills is a place of beauty, history, and great importance to the community.
15. graveyard