Day 33: Georgia & Tennessee

This was one of the last big shooting days at the end of the trip. I had decided to skip Northern Alabama for now and get a wee bit of Tennessee in instead. Retirement is about six years away and I’m so looking forward to not having to make these tough decisions in order to frantically drop what I’m doing and hustle the interstates back in time for work-on-Monday.

This sign in Dalton, GA previously advertised for the Downtown Motor Inn. It may have been used for something else before that. I’m glad that they kept the rocks and the Swiss or German guy with the lantern. I’m imagining more of a chalet text panel on top. There was a readerboard where the digital display is now.

The Big V Restaurant is in Chatsworth, GA:

I’m sure this Best Jewelers sign in Rossville, GA was a beauty originally with neon and possible bulbs on the arrow:

The display cases are still very nice:

This sign in Chattanooga, TN was originally built for a Jiffy Drive-in. There would have been a neon chef on top of the oval panel. The Jiffy Drive-in name would have been on the oval with the word “HAMBURGERS” on the rectangular panel:

This barn in Flintstone, GA advertises for the nearby Rock City tourist attraction. This barn advertising campaign started in 1935 and nearly 1000 barns were painted. However, I think this is a modern version since I don’t see it at the barns map at this website:

This sign in Chattanooga, TN has definitely fallen on hard times. I can’t find any vintage photos or postcards of this one but I’m sure the neon and bulbs were pretty:

Sam’s Burger Deli in Rome, GA featured two Gulfstream jet dining rooms…

and a vintage VW Microbus with wings, tail and propeller wheels:

The Adco Motel is in Chatsworth, GA. There was originally a readerboard panel and a longer arrow originally. It looks like an AAA seal-of-approval neon logo also:

This Norge Ball in Dalton, GA was restored after the owner found my webpages about these signs. When he learned that only one of these was still lit and spinning, he decided to get his going again. However, just months after that, there was a major water heater fire inside the building. The place was closed from that event when I took photos there this summer. However, it has reopened and I’m hoping that the sign is back working again:

The Ellis Restaurant in Chattanooga, TN has been closed around 1979 and the sign has mostly been neglected since then. An ambitious owner decided to at least restore the frogs in 2017:

The letters at the KK’s Pawn Shop in Manchester, TN came from Big K department stores. For more about the chain — see this website:

The Oakwood Cafe in Dalton, GA opened at this location in the 1940s. This looks to be a replica sign:

This Masonic Lodge sign is in Ringgold, GA:

How about a couple of gas stations? This one in Chattanooga, TN was originally a Pan-Am station — easily recognizable by the horizontal bands around the building:

This Starbucks was built as a Cities Service station across the street from the Rock City tourist attraction at Lookout Mountain, GA. At some point, it was castled-up a bit and the rooftop sign was removed:

Roy’s Grill in Rossville, GA has opened and closed countless times in recent years. It opened in 1934 as a Krystal hamburger place. I don’t know when it became Roy’s but this building was constructed during road-widening in 1949. It was looking great this summer — both inside and out:

These vacuum form, backlit plastic signs were mass-produced and I can’t get enough of them. I’m guessing there were hundreds, if not thousands, but there are only maybe a dozen left on public display. This one is in Signal Mountain, GA:

I have never been able to figure the original tenant out for this sign in Chattanooga, TN despite all my Google and searches. This was Soup’s On when I first shot it in the early 2000s. I love the ribbon shape and I assume there was some neon on this guy originally. And then later lit with that light up on top:

This beauty in Chattanooga was originally an American National Bank & Trust Co. branch, built in 1953:

The Town & Country Center shopping center in Chattanooga was built in the late 1950s, I think. The “CENTER” letters originally had neon and the top panels were corrugated plastic with plastic letters on top reading “T’C”. But, I gotta say, the sign is sure looking better after it was restored sometime after 2018:

Most of these double-drive-thru Central Park restaurants are now occupied by other businesses. This one in Chattanooga is pretty intact. The sign panels at the top would have been taller with flags on the corners:

The wrong time of day to shoot this one (pole shadows) in Chattanooga but at least you can see the rust and raised letters. I’m betting this was always a painted sign, maybe 1940s?:

And, lastly: the WDEF-TV sign in Chattanooga from 1958. I posted the full body shot (building plus sign) at Flickr earlier today. In case you didn’t know or haven’t had time, I post different photos to Flickr right before I do these blog posts:

I’ve got three more days from this trip to Photoshop, insert into my website, and post to Flickr and this blog. I’m hoping to get that all done by the New Year but it’ll more likely be all done slightly after that.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

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