Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 55

Northeast. It made perfect marketing
sense to entice them to continue on to
"See Rock City atop Lookout Mountain."
In 1994, Bill Chapin, nephew of Garnet Carter and president of Rock City
Gardens, commissioned me to find and
photograph all the remaining Rock City
Barns.
With 35-year-old, often sketchy records
and occasional hearsay reports as my only
sources of information, finding the sites
was an endlessly fascinating piece of detective work, leading me 35,000 miles to
more than 500 sites in 15 states.
Barns have burned, blown down, been
bulldozed for highway construction or
simply fallen from disuse and disrepair.
To complicate things still further, highways have been changed, re-routed and
re-named. Often, the only way to locate
a site was to find someone who remembered the property owner:
"Do you remember so-and-so, who had a
place out on Highway 19 south of here?"
"Oh, sure, knowed him well. He and
my daddy used to go fishin' together all
the time. Good ol' feller. He's dead now."
"Well, he had this barn on his farm, with
a sign that said 'See Rock City.' Here's an old
picture of it."

3 A& B: On U.S.
Highways 411/441
about three miles
south of Sevierville,
Tennessee. Very well
preserved and still
looks as it did in the
book. (3B is recent.)
4 A& B: On U.S. 411
near Madisonville,
Tennessee, this is a
log barn, but since
publication of the Rock
City Barns book, the
owners have covered
it with boards and
painted it red. Sign is
faded, but readable.
5: On U.S. Highway
129 about 4.5 miles
from the 129/411
junction in Tennessee.
Has not been repainted
recently, but the sign
appears to be in fair
shape.

3A

4A

3B

"Sure, I remember that ol' barn. Fact is,
I helped him take it down, back around
1985. It had got all rotten and falling
down, y'know. Weren't safe."
I also learned to take information with
a grain of salt. The people most familiar
with an area are often the least observant.
In Robbinsville, North Carolina I asked a
gas station attendant about a barn. "Oh,
sure," he said, "it was just down the road
here, 'bout a half mile. But it's been torn
down." Checking for myself, I found that
not only was the barn still standing, it had
just been repainted and was one of the
rare barns with "See Rock City" signs on
two sides!
What began as a job became a labor
of love as I grew to treasure the dignity
and individuality of each old structure.
I learned to see beauty even in the isolation in which so many barns are ending
their days. As a veteran photographer, I
know most of the ways to help subjects
look their best, but I soon learned that the
barns wanted to be photographed simply
and directly, without artifice. They seemed
to say, "Here we are. This is the way we
are. Please let us speak for ourselves."
So here they are. I hope they will speak
to you.

5

4B

MAY/JUNE 2019

55



Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019

Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG1
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG2
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG3
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG4
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG5
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG6
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG7
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG8
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG9
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG10
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG11
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG12
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG13
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG14
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG15
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG16
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG17
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG18
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG19
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG20
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG21
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG22
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG23
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG24
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