Uncle Bob's Travels

Places I've hung out in or just neat postcards

Archive for the month “August, 2015”

Norris Dam

“571:-T. V. A. Proposed Norris Dam and Lake on Clinch River, Tennessee”
This is an Asheville Post Card issue that was developed from a TVA pre-construction drawing of Norris Dam.  Norris was built between 1933 and 1936.  If you go to Google Earth and enter “Norris Dam” you’ll see that the finished dam looks pretty much like this.  Not bad for nearly 80 years.
However, this is what makes this card interesting:
This is an RPO, a railroad post office, processed card.  In the round postmark: CIN. & CHAT. TR 43 APR 23 1935
In the blue inscription:
The proposed Norris Dam project is being built by the Tennessee Valley Authority (T.V.A.) and is to be the center of the power development of the South by the U.S.  It is located on Clinch River in Tennessee, just below the point where Cove Creek joins, therefore was originally known as Cove Creek Dam.  The dam proper of reinforced concrete will be almost 250 ft. high and 1800 ft. wide.  The estimated cost is thirty-five million dollars and will take approximately three years to complete it.  The lake will flood around 80 sq. miles of land and will have a shore line of over 800 miles.

In the message area:

6:00 P.M.
Danville KY
Still going strong.  Bill

Addressed to:

Ota Looney
Route 9
Greeneville Tenn

Apparently, Asheville Post Card Company’s slogan in the 30s was “In the Heart of the Blue Ridge”.  It’s in the blue circle to bottom left.
The blue circle on the right is a union designator, I think.  I dislike being vague, but I can’t tie this down to any specific thing…in the past, I’ve seen symbols in this area that clearly were union originated.


Dante Post Office

No Smoking.  No Loitering.

on the door:

Push hard against door.  Door is always open but gets stuck

No Animals in Post Office.

Johnson’s Mill

This is the historic and, apparently, closed Johnson’s Mill in Claiborne County TN. You can still see the wheel – that rusty thing on the right of the building.
Want to find out more?  Johnson’s Mill
You’ll have to scroll down the page a bit.  I know, I know, work is soooo tiring.

Maynardville TN

Drive along old US 33 in Maynardville TN (Union County) and you’ll run across one of these signs:

This refers to a movie called “Thunder Road“.  The screenplay came from a story written by Robert Mitchum, who also starred in the movie, produced it and sang the theme song.  It was released in 1958 and was hugely popular in East Tennessee, anyway.  We all knew the theme song, which mentions him “screaming by Maynardville” on one of his moonshine runs.  Rumor had it that some scenes were shot around Knoxville, but the only location shooting cited on imdb.com was in Asheville.
“The law they swore they’d get him, but the devil got him first.”
Oh, and Roy Acuff was born in Maynardville, too.

The Garden at Bald Creek School

This is on the right hand side of Bald Creek Elementary School west of Burnsville NC on Hwy. 19.  You’ll see on the website that the school was founded in 1895, but the building you can just see a bit of on the left was build with the help of the WPA in 1938.  In North Carolina, particularly, a lot of the WPA-built schools are strikingly well done in ashlar stone.



I’ll bet that on the nights that the Centerview (Cocke County TN) Elementary School Falcons play, this little booth beckons in the parents and close friends.  It’s hard to get a decent crowd at an elementary school football game.  And I bet it was hot in there in the early autumn evenings.  Indian Summer, and all that.

Two North Carolina Post Offices


This is the Post Office on the Micaville Loop.  Micaville is in Yancey County between Burnsville and Spruce Pine.  Just to the right of this building, State Highway 80S begins its climb to Mt. Mitchell.  There’s also a very pleasant arts and crafts (and music) shop a little bit to the right.
Micaville was the central mica mining location in Yancey County is the 20th century.  Not much here now.


This is the Post Office for Penland NC, also in Yancey County.
For the 411 on this operation, go to penlandpostoffice.org

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