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Tennessee Signs (page 1)

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Blaine Signs:
Webster's Courts [vintage; gone]

Maxwell's Big Star
Bolivar, TN
Flowerland [gone]
Bristol, TN
Maxwell's Big Star is a grocery store. I believe it was part of a local or regional chain originally. [map]

Flowerland is long gone but this sign remained for many years. The Renew Body Spa occupied the space below when this photo was taken in 2011. The sign was gone by 2018.

Belmont Lanes
Bristol, TN
The Belmont Lanes sign is probably from the 1950s. [map]

More Bristol Signs:
Bristol Slogan Sign

ZZ's Kream Kastle [gone]
Brownsville, TN
This ZZ's Kream Kastle neon sign was there in 2003. The business replaced it with a plastic box sign by 2009. Does anyone know what happened to the old sign? For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3.

See Rock City [gone]
Chattanooga, TN
See Rock City
Lookout Mountain, GA
Rock City is a tourist attraction on top of Lookout Mountain at the Tennessee and Georgia border. The owners began advertising with painted barn signs throughout the South in the 1930s. Many of these are still around and maintained. In the early 1950s, Rock City produced a "See Rock City" mailbox that was frowned upon by the U.S. Postal Service. They were then promoted as birdhouses. These barn-shaped birdhouses are still sold at the Rock City gift shop.

The large billboard sign shown above was located at the base of Lookout Mountain. This photo was taken in 2007. By 2011, this sign was gone.

This simulated birdhouse is at the summit next to the attraction itself. [map]

There is a birdhouse-shaped See Rock City barn in Flintstone, GA.

Soup's On
Chattanooga, TN
Lookout Mountain
Tourist Lodge
Chattanooga, TN
Budget Motel
Chattanooga, TN
former Ellis Restaurant
Chattanooga, TN

Soup's On had been here since around 1993. This ribbon-shaped sign looks older than that. Does anyone know what was here originally? Soup's On closed around 2011 and the sign was adapted for the building's next occupant, Nawlins Big Easy Bistro. The building now houses Mrs. B's Reggae Cafe. [map]

The Lookout Mountain Tourist Lodge was built in 1945. It is no longer operating but the sign is still there. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Budget Motel is still in business. This sign had neon and bulbs originally. [map]

The Ellis Restaurant opened in 1909 and moved to this location across the street from Terminal Station in the 1930s. It is believed that this sign and its current wording are from then. The restaurant closed around 1979 and the building has been vacant since then. The photo above is from 2005. The owner believes that restoring the sign will make the space highly desirable. In 2013, Cornerstones Inc., a historic preservation organization in Chattanooga, earmarked $10,000-$20,000 towards restoring the sign. The sign will remain in place until funding for the balance of the $100,000 estimate can be raised. In 2017, the frogs were restored and put back up. The rest of the sign and facade remains unrestored for now.

The sign is about 23 feet wide. It is installed over black vitrolite glass tiles. The entire facade was covered with these tiles originally but many of them have been broken and removed. The words "Steaks" and "Chops" were painted directly onto the tiles above the sign. The tiles and oval window will be repaired during the restoration. The "Ellis Restaurant" letters were lit with red neon and surrounded by more than 600 white, flashing bulbs. The green neon jumping frogs were lit in four part animation. The restaurant was famous for its steaks, chops, and frogs legs. For more, see this website. [map]

More Chattanooga Signs:
23rd Drive-in [vintage; gone]
Chattanooga Choo-Choo
Coca-Cola [map]
Cotten Patch [vintage; gone]
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
M&J Liquors [gone]
Town & Country Restaurant [gone]

Mountaineer Restaurant [gone]
Church Hill, TN
The Mountaineer Restaurant featured Southern specialties and giant banana splits. It closed in 2008 and the sign was removed. The restaurant has been replaced with a Walgreens.

Vacation
Motor Hotel
Clarksville, TN
The Mart
Clarksville, TN
Acme Boot [gone]
Clarksville, TN
The Vacation Motor Hotel opened in 1954 and originally had an on-site restaurant. As of 2010, the hotel was closed and for sale. This sign appears to have been inspired by the Holiday Inn Great Sign. Some have conjectured that pieces from a Great Sign were used to create this one. There was never a Great Sign in Clarksville so the pieces would have come from elsewhere. For more, see this website. [map]

The stores at The Mart shopping center have changed but this sign remains. [map]

This giant boot sign was located at the Acme Boot store. The store closed in 2001. A furniture store moved into the building but this sign was still there when this photo was taken in 2007. The sign was dismantled in 2009.

One Hour Cleaners
Cleveland, TN
Ridgeview Motel
Clinton, TN
This One Hour Cleaners sign is probably from the 1950s. [map]

The Ridgeview Motel also appears to be from the 1950s. [map]

More Cleveland Signs:
Rebel Drive-in [map]

Crown Liquors [gone]
Columbia, TN
James K. Polk Motel [gone]
Columbia, TN
Bucky's
Family Restaurant
Columbia, TN
Crown Liquors had a faded wooden add-on Jack Daniels bottle. This photo is from 2007. By 2013, the sign had been replaced with a new plastic box sign.

The James K. Polk Motel has two signs which were installed in 1963. They were built by the Columbia Neon Co. These photos are from 2007. By 2012, the signs had been repainted. The motel is named after President Polk. The James K. Polk Ancestral Home is located in Columbia, TN. The motel closed in 2014. In 2018, the tall sign was removed by the sign company. The top "Polk" panel will be displayed inside the visitors center. The smaller sign was also removed but I don't know where that one went. For more, see this website. [map]

Bucky's Family Restaurant features a Broaster Chicken on its sign. [map]

More Columbia Signs:
Jumbo House Hamburgers
R.C. May Jewelers [gone]