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Tennessee Signs (page 1)

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Athens Signs:
Sliger's Jewelers

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.

More Bristol Signs:
Belmont Lanes
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.

Centerville Signs:
Breece's Cafe

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. [map]

Town & Country Center
Chattanooga, TN
Volunteer Garage
Chattanooga, TN
Foster's Clothing
Chattanooga, TN
Town & Country Center sign might be from the late 1950s or 1960s. The sign was restored and changed a bit sometime after 2018. These photos are from 2021. The "CENTER" letters originally had neon. The T/C panels were originally corrugated plastic with T'C letters installed on top. For more, see this website. [map]

The Volunteer Garage was built in 1927. It is next to the Volunteer State Life Insurance Company building which was built in 1916. This sign might be from the 1940s. It has raised letters and had neon originally. I don't know if the panels were always painted or if there is porcelain enamel underneath. [map]

The Foster's Clothing sign was probably built in the 1950s. It had been covered up for many years. Around 2014, the panels that covered it were removed. It was restored in 2020 by Ortwein Sign and installed on the building that it was installed on originally. The building now houses the Glass House Collective. For more, see this website. [map]

Soup's On
Chattanooga, TN
Lookout Mountain Tourist Lodge
Chattanooga, TN
Budget Motel
Chattanooga, TN
2007: 2021: 2007: 2021: 2007: 2021:
The sign at Soup's On was probably built in the 1950s or 1960s. Soup's On adapted the sign when it moved in around 1993. That restaurant closed around 2011. The sign was adapted a couple of times after that. It now advertises for the Han-Mi Korean Pub. Does anyone know what was here originally? [map]

The Lookout Mountain Tourist Lodge was built in 1945. This sign is most likely from the 1950s. The motel is no longer operating but the sign is still there. The bottom part of the sign has been covered with a "For Sale" sign since around 2020. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Budget Motel was built around 1955 and this sign is probably from then. It originally had neon and bulbs. [map]

former Ellis Restaurant
Chattanooga, TN
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 owner believes that restoring the sign will make the space more 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. These photos are from 2021.

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
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. The sign is now in a private collection.

Vacation
Motor Hotel
Clarksville, TN
The Mart
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]

More Clarksville Signs:
Acme Boot [gone]
D&D Radiator Service

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 top "Polk" panel will be displayed inside the visitors center. The rest of that sign remains. The smaller sign on the right was also removed. It has been restored and is now displayed inside the lobby of the Graduate Nashville hotel. 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]