Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Rock City

Hello dear readers! Today’s destination is just a small part of a larger whole. The area in which it resides is so large that I’m going to break it down into some of the major attractions in several posts. I will also cover the area as a whole at a later time. Are you ready??

Perhaps, if you have been to the South, you’ve seen this sign before. ebd2ecca-1f39-45a9-ae85-edc4ab567b1f

Yep, Rock City. It’s technically located atop Lookout Mountain, in Georgia, although most people tend to say it’s in Chattanooga, TN. However, before we talk about the place, let’s talk about these barns. They have a history all their own.

Depression weary Americans were just starting to love the open road again and in 1935, Rock City Founder Garnet Carter came up with the genius plan of using barns as billboards. Clark Byers, the man who painted the barns, braved bulls, lightning strikes, and more for three decades. By the time he retired, in 1969, he had painted more than 900 barns in 19 states.

The owners of the barns were usually given free passes and a bunch of promotional wares, such as a Rock City thermometer, along with a full repainting of the barn. The highway beautification act of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency saw them as more of an eye sore and the legislation meant that many of the signs had to be removed.

The barns are still painted today by Byers’ successors and most of them are found in small towns with colorful names like Stamps, Arkansas.

Rock City has been around for a while. There is history to support that Native Americans lived here, as well as the Battle of Lookout Mountain (where both Union and Rebel soldiers claimed to be able to see seven states from the top). Hikers and geologists were familiar with it long before it was a public attraction.

Garnet Carter was going to develop a residential neighborhood complete with a golf course. He was going to call it Fairyland because of his wife’s love of European folklore. Fairyland was 700 acres, encompassing Rock City. His wife, Freida, set out to make it a big rock garden, marking a path that wound its way around the rocks, ending at Lover’s Leap. She planted flowers and placed statues all along the path. Her husband realized people would pay to see it and opened it to the public in 1932.

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There are many attractions here. Unique rock formations such as the Fat Man Squeeze, the Needle Eye, and the Balanced Rock (910 tons) are just a few things to be found here. There are thousands and thousands of labeled plants and trees, wildlife, and views to die for.

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Rock City also has several special events though out the year: Valentines at Lovers LeapShamrock CitySouthern Blooms Festival (For all you gardeners!), Summer Music WeekendsRocktoberfest, and the Enchanted Garden of Lights. Whether you go for a special event or just because, there’s never a bad time to visit Rock City! Have you been? Share your experience with me!

 

  • today my professor told me
    every cell in our entire body
    is destroyed and replaced
    every seven years.how comforting it is to know
    one day i will have a body
    you will have never touched.”  – Brett Elizabeth Jenkens
  • “We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” – The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall
  • “She is delightfully chaotic; a beautiful mess. Loving her is a splendid adventure.” – Steve Maraboli
  • “Like wildflowers; you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.” – E.V.
  • “They say the things that finally break you Are the words caught in your throat, And she has years of thoughts not uttered Crammed in the pockets of her coat. A whisperer amongst a world That’s learn only to speak, Where silence must be broken For the proof that it is weak. But wherein lies the weakness Of keeping words held in your hand? When others listen to reply She listens just to understand. Surely it’s strength when things unspoken Fill the room up to the brim, And she’s the only one among them Who has taught herself to swim.” – e.h.
  • “There’s nothing in this universe that exists the same as you, and stars would weep with joy at what their lonely atoms grew. And maybe you’re just a point of light in a world that makes you small, but our sky with one less star is not really our sky at all.” – E.H.
  • “She was a person you would not be surprised to find sitting by herself in a corner of the world where she didn’t belong, writing things in a notebook to prevent the rise of panic.” – Alice Munro, Hold Me Fast, Don’t Let Me Pass
  • “She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.” – Ariana

 

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