Kodax, Tennessee

Day 231

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     We have reached a fork in our travels. Kodak, Tennessee, is just East of Knoxville. We are staying on a farm, converted to an RV park, that is basically used in the summer for a bluegrass festival.

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     It has 170 sites, but today it is empty, being off season. 

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     Our original plan was to go South from here to the Carolinas for warmer weather, taking route 40 to 95 where we will turn North for home. However there are over 40 wildfires in the area. When we arrived here you could smell the smoke, and see it approaching the farm. We are 35 miles from the nearest fire. Going South will take us through the heaviest part of the fire, so our alternative is to go diagonally North by route 81 to 70. We will have to see which way the wind blows. 

Technical Stuff:

Crossville, TN to Kodax, TN 95 miles

2 hours 3 minutes

11.3 MPG

Diesel: $2.25

 

Crossville, Tennessee

Day 224

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     Crossville developed at the intersection of a branch of the Great Stage Road, which connected the Knoxville area with the Nashville area, and the Kentucky Stock Road, a cattle drovers’ path connecting Middle Tennessee with Kentucky. These two roads are roughly paralleled by modern US-70 and US-127. 

     Around 1800, an early American settler named Samuel Lambeth opened a store at this junction, and the small community that developed around it became known as Lambeth’s Crossroads. By the 1830’s this community became known as Crossville. 

     Even before the depression, this community, mostly farms and mining interests, came upon hard times. The federal government’s Subsistence Homestead Division, part of Franklin Delanor Roosevelt’s New Deal, initiated in 1934 a housing project known as the Cumberland Homesteads. The project’s purpose was to provide small farms for several hundred impoverished families. It was similar to the CCC. The Government purchased 10,000 acres from the Missouri Mining Company. They then “sold” the land to the selected families. More than 400 men were employed to clear the land and build roads to support the community. They would also build a house and barn on their alloted plot. They were paid $1.50 an hour. 50 cents was given to them, and the remaining dollar was a credited toward them purchasing the land. The sites ranged from 8 to 20 acres each.

     We visited the first of these projects in Arthurdale, West Virginia. The theory behind that project, conceived of and championed by Eleanor Roosevelt, was to invite industry to the area, have families built homes, and work in these industries. Unfortunately the project failed because the companies that came in could not make a profit. 

     Here, the government considered this a failed project, but the 251 families who got homes, did not. They were taught a trade, which when the government abandoned them they could take to private industry and make a living. The project was abandoned in 1947, but the homesteaders were allowed to redeem their houses and land. Some of their decedents are still here.

     The water tower and government offices that supported this community is now a museum preserving the history of the area.

    It contained a display of each of the 251 families, and their descendants, some of whom still live on the land in these houses.

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Technical Stuff:

Goodlettsville, TN to Crossville, TN 131.0 miles

2 hours and 30 minutes

10.6 MPG

Diesel: $2.20

The Nashville Scene, Tennessee

Day 223

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     Today we toured all of Nashville, the Capital of Tennessee. Starting with the Capital Building.

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     Went to the Nashville Parthenon which is the world’s only full scale replica of the one in ancient Greece. The ancient Parthenon, built in 438 BCE (Before the Common Error) was a temple to the goddess Athena, protector and patron goddess of Athens.

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     Nashville’s Parthenon was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial celebration. At that time Nashville’s nickname was “The Athens of the South”. The first floor was an art exhibit, the second had the goddess Athena.

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     If you remember your mythology, Athena sprang as the fully grown warrior from the head of her father, Zeus. 

     In her right hand is Nike, the shoe guy. Actually, Nike is a girl, the Goddess of Victory.

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Na Nana Na Na!

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     Barbara says no, but I think she has a toe fungus.

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Saw the “circle of butts”, I guess it’s art.

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     We next went to the shop of the TV show “American Pickers”. It looked like junk to me. 

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     What was interesting, is that the shop is located in the old Marathon Automobile factory.

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     The factory building takes up the whole block, plus half a block across the street. It now houses other antique shops, which seemed to have less junk than the Pickers.

     As you walk through the Marathon building you can observe the various machines used to build the cars.

     The Marathon Motor Works manufactured automobiles from 1907 to 1914. The car was developed by William Collier, an eccentric inventor who lived in Jackson, Tennessee. From 1907 to 1910 he produced about 400 cars. But in 1910 a group of Nashville financiers led by Maxwell House Hotel owner Augustus Robinson bought out the company and brought it to Nashville.  They were the only company to completely manufacture the automobile in the South.

     On the top floor of the building are 5 of the only 8 Marathon automobiles left.

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     As a result of over expansion and short supplies as a result of the World War, the company declared bankruptcy in 1914.

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Went to the top of Tootsies for a nice view of Broadway.

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The party goes on all day long.

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     My favorite was B.B. Kings, where we went to dinner for their “lip smacking” ribs.

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