Monday, December 17, 2007

Greenback, Tennessee. It has been a crazy, busy month. Just thought I would wish you happy winter and all that goes with it. This is indeed, a self-portrait done for the AIGA's (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Christmas card competition. Well, that is not completely true. It was one of the images I did not use on the final card but really liked. The card competition is an annual Knoxville event that raises funds for the Second Harvest Food Bank. The theme was "Give." A bit of a tricky one, that was! Four winning cards were chosen to be packaged and printed for sale. Mine was not chosen, but it was still good to be included. Knoxville has some fabulous designers.

If you are not on the L.S. King Photography mailing list and would like to receive the official card, please email your mailing address to lsking at

If you would like to see more about the AIGA contest, click here. Bet you can guess which was my entry.

Monday, November 19, 2007

As She Stands

Greenback, TN. This is not a location, a site or anything all that historical. What it is is beautiful or should I say what she is...Though this site is mostly about historical landscapes, I hope you will forgive the every-so-often need to share with you a figurative subject. Depending on how my time goes, eventually I may create a sister blog to this and call it something like Beautiful People Who Have Stood Before Me. :)

So, I present to you my rendition in pixels of Diane. She is a friend of mine and a wonderful yogi. In helping her with her promotions, I did a shoot for her, but these I did for me.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lost Landscape

Vonore, TN. The pictures have waited on my hard drive patiently. Perhaps they wondered if I would call them the "New Hiking Boots" pictures or if I would correlate them to a historic site. So, I will just say that I went for a short hike in nearby Vonore, Tennessee to break in my new hiking boots (they were sorely needed as my sneaker's have had a long, slow death). These are special hiking boots, real hiking boots, made for walking off the beaten path we photographers follow. LOL.

My new boots took me to a trail that I am presently trying to track down, as well as the history behind it. I have spent way too many hours trying to find it on the web. Finally, it was suggested that I go offline and look on a local map of Monroe County. Found! Now I plod along. But alas dear reader, you will have to wait awhile longer while I compile the information. So today, I leave you with the above landscape from that excursion.

    • Latitude: 35.57889
    • Longitude: -84.20583
    • The Toqua Cemetery, Vonore, Tennessee

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Saga of Three Museums

East Tennessee. Though I am working on a volunteer project that includes photographing historic sites and museums, I had decided I probably would not include modern museums in this blog unless they are historical sites (that I deem interesting). So, it would stand to reason that the three museums I am about to mention would not have made the cut onto the blog, but they are involved in tales of my photographic expeditions through out East Tennessee and because of there very nature, need to be included.

First, there is the Farragut Folklife Museum in Farragut, TN. It was incredibly easy to find, great signage along the way (which has not always been the case in my new beloved Tennessee). This alone almost makes this a place worth seeing. The museum is located in the Farragut Town Hall, a new building that is tastefully done (to my aesthetics). What is special about this museum and why would anyone care outside the local community? Well, for you Naval buffs out there, this museum houses the collection of
Admiral David Glasgow Farragut. He was the first commissioned Admiral of the United States Navy and is best known for the quote, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead."

11408 Municipal Center Drive, Farragut, TN
Longitude: -95.677068

The next stop on this particular day was to the
The Girl Scout Museum at Daisy’s Place. You will note there are no pictures here for this. This is because I could not find it. Just par for the course of this project. Urrrrrrr. Apparently though, they just remodeled and unveiled the museum, so maybe this time I will find it. It will be awhile.

My last stop was one that a few may find a tad uncomfortable, and that is the Knoxville Police Department Museum located at the Knoxville City Police Department. The big thing to know about this museum is that you need to call in advance to make an appointment to see it. I did not know this the first time I went to photograph it. There I was, little ol' me looking for any sign of the museum, when a lady police officer, hand on holster, asked if she could help me. I wanted to hold up my hands and yell ,"Don't shoot!" but I didn't. She was actually extremely nice and helpful when I told her what I was up to. It did mean having to return and photograph the building another day. This was the day, and yes, Chief Owen gave me permission to photograph the it (thank you very much.).

800 Howard Baker Jr. Ave. Knoxville, TN 37915
Longitude: 35.975922
Latitude: -83.904562

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Residual Remains

Perhaps there will be time a bit later to share a recent, and maddening museum adventure, but my blog time is fleeting.

Well, you know I am a photographer and I do living history. The other thing of interest to me is greatly related to the past - ghost. I am most fascinated by the concept. So as a member of the South Eastern Paranormal Research Society, I spend a few Saturday nights till the dawn hours searching for proof of residual energy.

Recently (today), the Knoxville Sentinel ran a story about our exploits. We had a great time hanging out with reporter Amy McRary. Click here to read her article on us. I also got to be a ghost first hand with the expert handling of Clay Owen's photography.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fort Craig

Maryville, Tennessee. In rambling about the Maryville Greenway, there is a true historic spot on the path. It is the site of Fort Craig. There seems to be little to no remains of the fort itself, just a monument that has been erected. But it was pretty amazing to just be wandering along and stumble upon it. It seems like it should be mentioned in its own right.

    • Latitude: 35.758374
    • Longitude: -83.966925
    • The Maryville Greenway, off of Washington Street, behind the Camber of Commerce
    • On Pistol Creek
    • The fort was built in 1785 to protect settlers from Indian attacks. (1)
    • This was a wooden palisade owned by Revolutionary War Veteran John Craig. He then donated 50 acres of land for the creation of the city of Maryville. (2)
    • It was originally referred to as Craig's Station. (3)
    • The fort of about 280 people once held off 500 Indian attackers and forced their retreat. (3)
    • The citizens of the fort asked that this land not be part of Knox county, but be a county onto its own and Blount county came into being. (3)
  • CURRENT USAGE: Greenway, Memorial

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Greenway

Maryville and Alcoa, Tennessee. In thinking about how I could participate in Blog Action Day's theme of environmental issues, what immediately came to mind was to introduce you (for those of you not familiar) to the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway. It is a beautiful connection of parks and green spaces that runs between the two cities. It is a great example of what cities can do to beautify their lands and keep green a color in their environments.

I actually shot this last week, during a bout with a cold. What I realized very quickly as I experienced the landscape with an aesthetic consciousness, I had no cold, no nose, no pockets full of tissues. I was not alone. I was not with any one else. I just was.

  • MAP:
    • This is a cooperative effort between two cities in Blount County Tennessee.
    • The Maryville Portion was completed in 1998. (1)
    • It is 15 miles long. (2)
  • CURRENT USAGE: Parks, Bike and Walking Trail, and Fitness Trail

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fort Loudoun

Vonore, Tennessee. What can I really say about historic Fort Loudoun? It has been a part of my life for two years (come November). Often I am struck with awe at the beauty of landscape (though it is a bit marred by the new housing development that has gone up on the other side of the lake - realize I speak for myself here, no one else). Sometimes I get lost in time when the park has closed to visitors and we remain in in the 18th century, watching the sunset, swimming in the lake, and singing old tavern songs. It is really amazing in the fading light of an exhausted sun to watch a random person wall across the hill, lantern light shining the way towards the comfort of the barracks. Sometimes I look for the original occupants, trying to understand, but then I feel like an impostor on 17 feet of new soil that covers the original fort, a necessary change thanks to the work of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

    • Latitude: 35.598485
    • Longitude: ,-84.216642
    • 338 Fort Loudoun Road Vonore, Tennessee 37885
    • The fort was built to house the Independent Company of South Carolina (1756) and to help protect the British Colony of South Carolina interests from the French during the French and Indian War.
    • It was named after John Campbell, the fourth Earl of Loudoun, who was the British Commander-in-Chief in North America from 1756 to 1758. (3)
    • This secured an alliance between the British and the Overhill Cherokee Nation. (1)
    • In 1759, the British and Cherokees began warring over suspicions and betrayals by one another. (2)
    • These included the execution of 23 Cherokee at Fort Prince George in South Carolina in late 1759. (3)
    • In response, the Cherokees halted Fort Loudoun's supply line through the mountains to Fort Prince George. (3)
    • By June 1760, rations were reduced to one quart of corn per day divided among three persons. (3)
    • On August 6, 1760, the Cherokees laid siege to the fort and the Independent Company of South Carolina Surrendered. (2)
    • On August 9, 1760, the British garrison left the fort with 180 men and 60 women and children. (3)
    • On August 10, 1760, the retreating garrison was ambushed by the Cherokee and many of the garrison were killed or sold off into slavery. Those killed included all the officers, except for one, and twenty to thirty others. (3)
    • The fort was later burnt down by the Cherokee.
    • This the second reconstruction of the fort.
    • The first was reconstructed by the Works Project Administration.
    • The current site is now 17 feet above the original site and has ongoing reconstruction. (4)
  • CURRENT USAGE: Historic Site, Museum, and Recreational State Park

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Not Really Off the Topic

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day
Just a quick posting to let you know that Monday, October 15 is Blog Action Day and the theme is environmental issues. Please be sure to check back. You can participate just by subscribing to this blog.

Also, you will notice this widget in the right column. This is my challenge to you. It is called Learning from the Living. To maintain a balance in the present, we need to learn from the past in order to look to the future. Giving students the opportunity to learn by interacting with history is a way to do this. When students meet those who were directly involved with events that make us who we are, it not only teaches them the basics but it teaches them responsibility, that their actions are large and do have meaning.

I am raising $311 for the purchase of digital voice recorders for a rural school in North Carolina who is doing a project the invokes the spirit of the above paragraph. Please help support this.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Living Fort Loudoun

Vonore, Tennessee. You will probably notice that this posting is a little different from my explorations of history. You may have also missed that I did not post this past Saturday. The following pictures will explain the reason. Rather than sitting at the computer, I went about another huge interest of mine. I have long been into living history and currently, one of my personas is a laundress (not laundry wench, L-A-U-N-D-R-E-S-S, thank you very much) with the Independent Company of South Carolina. We portray the life at Historic Fort Loudoun, where the British Redcoats, the Provincials, the Cherokees, the laundress and like, lived during the 1750s (French and Indian War). I will feature Fort Loudoun as I have the other sites, but for now, I give you the people who bring it to life...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fort Marr

Benton, Tennessee. Fort Marr, in my mind, has gone down during this project as one of those iconic if not ironic sites. The very first time I went looking for Fort Marr, I had no luck what so ever in finding it. Not even the locals at the corner gas station seemed to know of this piece of Tennessee history. I kept driving back and forth on Route 411 and nothing, no sign of it. Even my partner, whom I called numerous times on that frazzled day, was able to conjure directions to it from the Internet. That afternoon I came home completely frustrated.

A few weeks later, my partner decided to come with me on a second attempt and had he not been driving, we would have missed it completely. There it sat, on the grounds of the Polk County Jail, in an area almost hidden from traffic, as it sits lower than the road. But there it was. And it even had a large sign, facing the parking lot of the jail.

But, luck had it out for me. Those digital images disappeared. They vanished back into air as if I had never pressed the shutter.

Needing to go back to that area this winter, we made another pilgrimage and photographed it before the first little bit of snow fell on East Tennessee.

It is also my hope to journey back again and find the real site of the fort.

    • Latitude: 35.167298
    • Longitude: -84.659329
    • Off of Rt. 411, Benton, Tennessee 37307
    • Located on the grounds of the Polk County Jail (no signage off of Rt.411)
    • Not on original location
    • The origins of this fort are speculative. (1)
      • One perspective claims that it may have been built in the early 1800s as a military command post when a treaty with the Cherokees authorized the construction of a federal road from Georgia to Tennessee
      • Another perspective holds that it was built around 1814 when a road through the area was used to supply Andrew Jackson's army during a war with the Creek Indians.
    • The blockhouse was thought to be part of what was Fort Morrow, which became a stop-over to hold Cherokee's during the Cherokee Removal. (1)
    • In 1858, the blockhouse was moved to a local farm. (1)
    • In 1923, it was relocated to the Polk County High School grounds.(1)
    • 1965, it was relocated to its present site. (1)
    • Ft. Marr has gone by a few names throughout history: (1)
      • Fort Armor
      • Fort Morrow
    • What is left of Fort Marr is a two story block house made out of oak hewn wood. (2)
    • The second floor is twenty-four feet square and extends four feet out over the first floor. (2)
    • There are 72 gun apertures, of which riffles could be fired and second floor projections have holes cut in the floor so that occupants could shoot directly down on any attackers. (2)
    • There has been renovation to this structure, including a new roof. (1)
    • The part of the building's upper floor has been removed. (1)
  • CURRENT USAGE: Historic Site
  1. Tennessee Trail of Tears Association
  2. W.J.Marrs Personal History Site

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cresent Bend

Knoxville, Tennessee. So far all the places that I have photographed that are included on this site are based on a list form the East Tennessee Historical Society. When I plan to go to a site, I tend to look it up on the Internet and try to get a feel for it or look for something that jars my creativity. Crescent Bend, also known as the Armstrong-Lockett House has proved to be a bit difficult.

Their web site is non-existent and it is hard to say who is running the show (I admit, I have not called the site). It is beautiful and famous, though, known for its Italian terrace gardens.

So, on a cold day dappled with warm sunlight, I traipsed over to the site. Maintenance was being done to it, so that proved to be a challenge. Also, there are so many fabulous pictures of the house and the gardens, I did not want to take the stereotypical image.

Currently, there is probably more "me" than "Crescent Bend" to the pictures and I feel like there is more to the site then I know...

Perhaps in another time and place I shall revisit it.

    • Latitude: 35.959598
    • Longitude: -83.944473
    • 2728 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, Tennessee 37919
    • Drury P. Armstrong had Crescent Bend constructed in 1834. He was a merchant, a farmer, and a political figure. (1)
    • It is called Crescent Bend because of its location on the bend of the Tennessee River. (2)
    • The house is one of three houses constructed by the Armstrong family on Kingston Pike in Knoxville. (3)
    • It is also called the Armstrong-Lockett House in memory of its first and last owners who resided there. (1)
    • Twenty-nine years after it housed its first family, in 1863, Confederate General Joseph B. Kershaw used the house as his headquarters. This was during the Civil War siege of Knoxville. (1)
    • This is a traditional brick farmhouse and was the centerpiece of a 600-acre farm. (3)
  • CURRENT USAGE: Historic Site and Gardens

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sam Houston Historic Schoolhouse

Maryville, Tennessee. Sometimes I get these inklings that turn into grand photographic romances. Like an actress falling love with a co-lead, I inevitably crush on certain subjects. John Wilkes Booth was one such example, which lead to my Sic Semper Tyrannus series. It was not so much the legend or the man, but the history, the adventure, the idealism, and the destruction that overwhelmed my imagination.

Then there is Sam Houston. If you are not a Houston aficionado or from Tennessee, Texas may first come to mind. However, his formative years and young political adult life originated in Tennessee. I think I lumped this fellow in with the likes of Davey Crockett and Daniel Boone, but I was sorely wrong. Houston, it seems had quite the life. It included bouts of alcoholism, divorce, mystery, treachery, and somehow, through it all, the ability to rise to the top and over come.

So, is Houston my next arcane romance? I am a bit undecided. Intrigued, yes.

I am slowly plowing through The Raven, the 1920s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography and following his footsteps.

Maryville and the schoolhouse is the first imprint of his that I have set my camera upon.

    • Latitude: 35.796722
    • Longitude: -83.883533
    • 3650 Old Sam Houston School Road, Maryville, TN 37804
    • The schoolhouse was built in 1794 and Henry McCulloch was the first teacher. (1)
    • Sam Houston started his school here rather than taking up the family business of farming.(1)
    • He did this in 1812, when he was 19 years old to pay off either a $100 (2) or a $300 (3) debt. The debt was paid off within one semester. (2)
    • A child could attend this school for $8 per semester term when it was in Houston's hands. (1) He was paid one third of this in money, a third in corn and the other third in calico fabric. (2)
    • In 1813, he was done being a school master. He joined the military. (3)
    • This structure has also served as a church and a tenant house. (1)
    • The schoolhouse is constructed from hewn poplar logs with a seven-foot ceiling. The desks convert from the window apertures and the seats are also made from hewn lumber. (1)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Children's Museum of Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge, Tennessee. For the past three years I have had a grand romance, a romance that still makes my heart feel warm when I think about it. It is a romance with the Secret City. This World War II historic town is ever engaging and always interesting. I look for any chance to go there.

This past winter (alright, cold spring) found me exploring what is now the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge. As I climbed guiltily on the colorful playground equipment (fabulous stuff), I hoped no one would mind my quick moment of relieving childhood. I was totally happy and about to come down one of the funky slides when I noticed that a road crew working on the road just in front of me had stopped their noisy tasks and all eyes were upon me. Drat. Sheepishly, I slide down and walked away.

I have to admit I was a little unenthused with the facade of the building until I remembered that it was indeed a historic site. I looked a little closer. This was an original school during the Secret City years. It now manages to retain the style of that time period and yet is inviting as a children's museum.

As I walked the length of the building, at the end I discovered a very catchy outdoor exhibit featuring a model train rail road track and a Norfolk Southern caboose. (Though you can see this anytime, please be check with the museum to see when it is available for actual entry and exploration).

    • Latitude: 36.031956
    • Longitude: -84.267197
    • 461 West Outer Drive, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
    • Built in the 1940s, what is now the Oak Ridge Children's Museum was then the Highland View elementary School. It was the fifth school built in the Secret City. (1)
    • It became the Children's Museum in Oak Ridge in January 1974. (2)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Old Roane County Courthouse

Kingston, Tennessee. Suddenly as I drove into the town proper of Kingston everything began to take on familiar hues. Instinctively I knew exactly where I was and where I was going. For a late afternoon, the parking lot to the Old Roane County Courthouse seemed fairly deserted, and yet the doors were open and in-taking and expelling the hot air of the day.

Inadvertently, I had not put two and two together. In planning my small journey, I had not realized that I was returning to a previous site I had already photographed. Yes, the Kingston Courthouse and the Roane County Courthouse are one and the same. Finding humor in this, I figured there must have been a reason for my return trip and pulled out my camera to re-investigate this site.

It was much the same, but lurking in the shadows of the portico, something moved. My heartbeat faster and I squinted to see what it was. For a few moments, I wondered if I should worry about my security and had I told anyone I was coming out here today?

Then two little green eyes appeared out of the gloom and erased any sense of doom I had felt. I had been scrutinized, it seemed, and found acceptable for I was greeted by a very friendly host. This beautiful (and healthy, I must say) cat did his best to lure me into the confines of the building. Ever so tempting, I knew daylight would be fleeting, and another site beckoned me (one of which I still have not found, but that is another story for another time).

Only the picture of the cat was taken during this second photographic session. The other images were from my first attempt.

    • Latitude: 35.870083
    • Longitude: -84.501479
    • 119 Court Street, Kingston, TN 37763
    • The Old Roane County Courthouse has been a site of strained emotion. The land on which the structure stands was owned by the Cherokee, and became a sore spot in the history of American settlement. The Cherokee signed an early treaty to allow these lands to become the capitol of Tennessee. For one day, Monday, September 21, 1807, indeed the first meeting of the General Assembly was held here. When the meeting adjourned, it was stated that the next meeting, the following Wednesday, would be held in Knoxville. (2)
    • During the Civil War, the structure served as a hospital for both the confederate and the union sides. Graffiti can be found on the walls written by soldiers who were hospitalized there. (1)
    • Until 1974, this was the site of the active Roane County courthouse, which then moved across the street to a new facility. At that time the older structure was deeded to the Roane County Heritage Commission.(1)
    • This combined Greek Revivalist and Federal Style antebellum courthouse features no nails. It is comprised of bricks, native lumber and was made by slaves between 1854 and 1855. The architect was Augustus Fisher and was designed by Fredrick B. Guenther (1)
  • CURRENT USAGE: Museum, Library and home of the Roane County Heritage Commission

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Oliver Springs Southern Railway Depot

Oliver Springs, Tennessee. My head buzzed with pressure from an on-coming change in the weather. When I had set out earlier in the day to photograph the Oliver Springs Southern Railway Depot, now the Oliver Springs Library and Museum, the sky was clear (as clear as a hot day summer day in Tennessee can be). Now rain threatened. As I hurried on ignoring the pain in my head, I found the depot rather easily (not so for a few other historic sites in East Tennessee).

Barely had I begun to investigate this piece of railroad history when indeed a summer shower began. I waited in my car. The rain grew harder. So balancing an umbrella and the camera, I slogged ahead.

As I traveled beyond the parking lot side of building, the other side was brimming with the color red. The contrast of this vibrant color lit up the rather bleak looking day it had become. There was a Southern Railway Caboose and a very well maintained historic firetruck. Also, a separate little ticket booth also stood its ground.

    • Latitude: 0.001895
    • Longitude: 0.002961
    • 610 Walker Ave., Oliver Springs, TN 37840
    • Moved from original site
    • Imagine being wealthy in the late 1800s. You hear about about the miraculous health benefits of mineral springs. You choose a little holiday at a luxury hotel and you get there by train, leaving from Knoxville, Tennessee. Such patronage is how the town of Oliver Springs gained a bit of affluence in the world and why the Oliver Springs Southern Railway Depot came into being. But it truly prospered from nearby coal production.
    • The last passenger train pulled through the depot in 1968.
    • In 1983 Southern Railway planned to demolish the structure. The town rallied for saving this historic remnant and eventually struck a deal with Southern Railway, provided it would be removed from the site and relocated elsewhere. In 1986, the citizens of Oliver Springs were able to have the building moved across the street.
    • This depot is a small-frame style, one story structure. It features gabbles and overhangs. Its original pressed metal shingle roof has been replaced with asphalt shingles.
  • CURRENT USAGE: Oliver Springs Library, Museum operated by the Oliver Springs Historical Society