Sunday, June 01, 2008

Tennessee tumbledowns

I aim to please. I really do. However, Avus has requested pictures of classic backwoods Tennessee shacks. The kind that Lem and Alvin might inhabit. But Tennessee is a long, narrow, stretched out state that starts in the Smokey Mountains, then flattens out, is criss-crossed by mighty rivers and ends at the Mississippi. My time was spent in the flatter, Western portion of the state; my mental picture of Clem, Lemuel or Alvin, beards and all, places them in the hollows of the eastern mountains.

On that wonderful wild country ride with The Other Niece From Memphis. we did find classic unpainted, tumbledown buildings, such as the barn above. This example was quite unexpected, as it was located on a fairly prosperous-looking horse raising spread; if you look closely, you'll see horses under the roof.

We passed these abandoned trailers as we headed down a less traveled highway; turned out they probably belonged with the automotive jetsam across the road (below). Again, the operation looked to be supporting a comfortably life-style for the owners. The surprise was finding a junker business out in the middle of nowhere.

Another possibility. Not. Though unpainted, this barn appeared to be in operating condition. Also, note that it has power.

But as we closed in on our goal, the freshwater pearl museum, we passed through a very curious enclave of truly abandoned houses and outbuildings. I'd guess that this house was the central building of the cluster, Big Daddy's home as it were.

Something more like the shanty that Avus has in mind. It was one of several stretching along the road.

Further back on the property...

...then these tired, worn-out structures were next.

This more modern, house appeared to belong to the abandoned group of buildings. Note that its roof is not corrugated iron -- and has withstood the ravages of wind, rain and more wind.

Next to the "modern" home in the pictures above was this classic backwoods Southern house...

...and this building, thoroughly overgrown. What a strange story must lie in behind such abandonment -- perhaps an estate became tangled in the intricacies of probate, with all heirs dead or settled in California by the time matters were finally settled.

As for Jeb or Abner, the backwoods boys, here's where they'd probably be living these days -- in a second or third hand single-wide mobile. Not nearly as colorful, but a lot more comfy!

Linkages: Thanks to Terrell, my post about Swamp Things made it into the monthly Learning in the Great Outdoors round-up, which lists several interesting places to explore. BTW, I didn't mention in the previous post that I finally had a reason to try out the sports setting on my camera, which made photographing the Apache Crown Dancers much easier. I was inspired by Amie's sequence of her dog leaping into the lake; very cool.


smilnsigh said...

Great photos.

Although sad too.

One does wonder about the story behind each and every one...

But whoever is in the last one, has a window A/C!!!


The Artful RV Adventurer said...

"Rust never sleeps" (Neil Young)

when I see old falling down barns and buildings,
I see art.

thanks Grannyj.

TomboCheck said...

Very cool pictures (as usual). I bet some interesting things would await anybody daring enough to venture into some of those buildings. :)

Granny J said...

SnS -- yes, it is a bit sad; I suspect that anyone not in the mountains has an A/C. Gets h-o-t & muggy in those parts.

mark -- they do make great pictures & I couldn't resist any of them!

tombo -- starting out with not-so-nice venomous snakes, followed by one's foot breaking through the rotted floor.

herhimnbryn said...

Great images. Loads of different textures. Thankyou for the tour.

Granny J said...

Welcome back, hhb. We had fun finding the examples -- and were particularly fascinated at that cluster of one-time homes in the woods which had all been abandoned. So near the little resort, too.

Lucy said...

Magical! The top one with the horse silhouettes is a stunner.

Never mind the poisonous snakes etc though, Tombo's comment's got my mind running on Southern Comfort type psychotic locals lurking in the shadows!

Granny J said...

lucy -- too many scary movies! We weren't in the deep enough woods for the types you are thinking of. But it would be moonshine, not Southern Comfort, which is a hair pricey for the hill williams.

Avus said...

Thanks a bunch, Granny! Lovely old back wood shacks, just as I imagined. (Type of place Dolly Parton grew up in, I guess)
the stories they could all tell.......

Granny J said...

avus -- glad to be of service. Of course, I would have photographed those buildings even if nobody had requested it -- they were begging for pictures. And there certainlyhas to be a story behind such a cluster of abandoned dwellings...

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