Chattanooga has so much history and being surrounded by natural beauty makes our city very picturesque. Among the city's most notable features are its bridges, which are not only functional but also add to the city's unique character. Each bridge tells a story of innovation and progress, and together they have played a significant role in shaping the city's identity.
Walnut Street Bridge:
The Walnut Street Bridge, a historic icon of Chattanooga, was constructed in 1891 and was the first non-military bridge to span the Tennessee River. It was a feat of engineering at the time, as it was the longest and highest bridge of its kind in the world. Previously called "The Country Bridge" it used to carry the trollies of the Chattanooga Traction Company to Signal Mountain. The bridge was a symbol of Chattanooga's prosperity, and it quickly became a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. It played an essential role in the city's growth and was integral to the transportation of goods and people. The bridge was closed to motor vehicles in 1978 and sat in disuse and disrepair for nearly a decade. Repairs and structural modifications have been made to turn the bridge into what is now a pedestrian walkway. The Walnut Street Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1990.
Today, the bridge is a pedestrian-only walkway that connects the North Shore and Downtown areas, and it remains a beloved landmark of the city with fun events like Wine over Water, holiday fireworks, or the scenic part of the course in the annual Ironman or other races.
Tennessee River Gorge Bridge:
The Tennessee River Gorge Bridge, also known as the "Suck Creek Bridge," was constructed in 1981. It spans the Tennessee River Gorge and is one of the tallest bridges in the southeast. The bridge was designed to be a functional structure while also being visually impressive and blending with the natural beauty of the area. During construction, it won the "Most Beautiful Long Span Steel Bridge" award from the American Institute of Steel Construction. It played a vital role in connecting the communities on either side of the gorge and has since become an essential part of the region's infrastructure.
Market Street Bridge:
The Market Street Bridge is a bascule bridge that spans the Tennessee River, connecting Downtown Chattanooga to the North Shore neighborhood. A bascule bridge (also referred to as a drawbridge or a lifting bridge) is a moveable bridge with a counterweight that continuously balances a span, or leaf, throughout its upward swing to provide clearance for boat traffic. Some other notable bascule bridges include the Tower Bridge in London, UK!
Market St. Bridge was constructed in 1917 using reinforced concrete and was a significant engineering feat of its time. The bridge won several awards for its innovative design, including the "Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award" from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Vehicular traffic originally included streetcars, but streetcar service across the bridge ended in the 1930s. The bridge was formally renamed the Chief John Ross Bridge in 1950. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 20, 2010. Four times per year, the bridge is closed for a brief inspection to test its hinge mechanism, as mandated by the US Coast Guard. While some find it a quick inconvenience when the bridge draws up, it always draws a crowd when it does. The bridge is a critical transportation link for the city, and it has played an important role in the city's growth and development.
Chattanooga's bridges are more than just functional structures - they are symbols of the city's progress and innovation. From the historic Walnut Street Bridge to the modern Market Street Bridge, each bridge has played a vital role in shaping the city's identity and connecting its communities. The bridges serve as a reminder of the city's rich history and a symbol of its promising future. Whether you're a history buff or just looking to take in the beauty of the city, be sure to drive or walk Chattanooga's iconic bridges on your next trip.
The Read House Hotel in Chattanooga is an iconic landmark that has welcomed guests since 1872. This elegant hotel has a rich history that has attracted numerous famous visitors over the years, including celebrities and politicians. However, the hotel also has a reputation for some darker aspects, including a rumored haunting and a connection to organized crime.
One of the most famous guests to have stayed at The Read House was none other than Winston Churchill. The legendary British statesman stayed at the hotel in 1939 during his visit to Chattanooga, and his room has since been named the Churchill Suite in his honor. Other notable visitors include Al Capone, who was said to have frequented the hotel during the prohibition era, and Elvis Presley, who stayed at The Read House while filming the movie "Stay Away, Joe."
However, not all of the hotel's guests have been of the living variety. There have been numerous reports of a ghostly presence in room 311, which is said to be haunted by the spirit of a young woman named Annalisa Netherly. According to legend, Annalisa was staying in the room in the 1920s when she was murdered by her lover. Ever since then, guests have reported strange occurrences in the room, including the sensation of being touched by an unseen presence, as well as mysterious knocks and whispers. If you're not afraid of possible ghosts you can stay in room 311 during the Halloween season, a draw for many paranormal enthusiasts.
In addition to its ghostly reputation, The Read House has also been linked to organized crime. During the 1920s and 1930s, the hotel was allegedly frequented by mobsters such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, who would use it as a base for their illegal activities. It is even rumored that there is a secret tunnel running from the hotel to a nearby brothel, which was once used by mobsters to avoid detection by the authorities.
Despite these rumors and legends, The Read House remains a beloved landmark in Chattanooga. Its elegant architecture and luxurious accommodations continue to attract visitors from around the world. Whether you're interested in history, ghost stories, or simply a comfortable place to stay, The Read House Hotel is an unforgettable destination.
What's Southside like in Chatt?
Chattanooga, is growing and thriving, and one of its most exciting areas is Southside. This up and coming neighborhood is located just a short distance from downtown and is known for its new restaurants, homes, and businesses.
The History of Southside:
The Southside Historic District is home to the Chattanooga Choo Choo, a hotel and business complex centered on the early-1900s Terminal Station. In 1973, the Terminal Station was almost completely destroyed, and with it history that dated back before the Civil War! But some local businessmen knew the history and the with the popular song "Chattanooga Choo Choo", they knew this could be huge for the city. Enter, the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, a premier vacation destination. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, the Chattanooga Choo Choo Historic Hotel is considered one of Chattanooga's first historic preservation projects.
A Thriving Food Scene:
Southside is quickly becoming known for its delicious and diverse food scene. From Southern comfort food at Bluegrass Grill, to international cuisine at Conga Latin Food or Bollywood Tacos, the area offers a wide range of options for any taste. The new restaurants are attracting both locals and visitors. Whether you're in the mood for brunch, a quick bite, or a fine dining experience like at Alleia’s, Southside has something for everyone.
New Homes & New Business Opportunities:
In addition to its food scene, Southside is also growing in terms of real estate. New homes and developments are popping up everywhere, providing residents with new opportunities to live in the heart of the city. With Finley Stadium; home to The University of Tennessee Chattanooga Moccasins and the Chattanooga Football Club; you've got a premier location for new restaurants, local breweries, and late night spots for everyone.
An Annual Festival:
Southside is also home to Mainx24, an annual festival that celebrates the
neighborhood's small businesses, local resident’s, and the surrounding community. It allows them to showcase their products, services, local outreach programs, as well as the fun loving nature of their residents. This event provides an opportunity for the community to come together and learn about the local businesses in the area.
Overall, Southside has come a long way from an unutilized part of town. Many residents who have been around for a few years are surprised at how fast it’s grown and how it has become its own area of town. With its delicious food scene, the historic Choo Choo, and annual festival, Southside is a place where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the best that the city has to offer. So why not come and experience the exciting Southside for yourself!
Chattanooga is filled with natural beauty, and for those who are passionate about gardening and flowers, it offers a wealth of opportunities to learn and grow. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, there are plenty of places to go to learn more about the art of cultivating plants and flowers.
Local Nurseries and Farms:
One of the best things about gardening in Chattanooga is the abundance of local nurseries and farms that offer a wide range of plants and flowers. These local businesses are staffed by experts who can help you find the perfect plants for your garden and provide tips and advice on how to care for them. From small, family-owned nurseries like Hughes Farmers Market & Nursery, Signal Mountain Nursery, to larger garden centers like The Barn Nursery. There’s also local farms, like Crabtree Farms of Chattanooga. Crabtree Farms pride themselves on having access to educating the community on urban gardening and connecting with the land. They frequently have events for the whole family.
The Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center:
The Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center is a stunning 67-acre park that features a wide range of gardens and natural habitats. Visitors can explore the wildflower gardens, herb gardens, and butterfly gardens, and learn about the diverse range of plants that thrive in the region. In addition to its beautiful gardens, the Arboretum also offers educational programs and events, making it a great place to learn more about gardening and nature.
The Rock City Gardens:
Located just a short drive from downtown Chattanooga, Rock City Gardens is a breathtaking botanical garden that covers over 400 acres. This natural wonderland is filled with stunning rock formations, wildflowers, and over 400 species of plants. Visitors can take a guided tour of the gardens and learn about the different types of plants and flowers that grow in the region. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just looking for a relaxing escape from the city, Rock City Gardens is a must-visit destination.
The Hamilton County Master Gardener Program:
For those who are serious about learning about gardening, the Hamilton County Master Gardener Program is an excellent resource. With over 25 years of education, this program provides training and resources to help gardeners develop the skills they need to cultivate plants and flowers successfully. Whether you're interested in growing your own food or just want to learn more about the art of gardening, the Master Gardener
Program is a great place to start.
Overall, Chattanooga is rich in gardening and flower-growing opportunities. With its local nurseries and farms, stunning botanical gardens, and educational programs to further your learning, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city. Hopefully with warmer weather coming soon, you can utilize some of these locations on growing you gardens, adding curb appeal to your home, or just being in nature here in Chattanooga.
St. Elmo is a picturesque and historic neighborhood located in the heart of Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is an area rich in history and culture, known for its charming and eclectic blend of old and new, as well as its bustling community atmosphere. Founded in the late 19th century, St. Elmo was one of the first suburbs of Chattanooga, and its residents were among the city's most prominent citizens. Over time, St. Elmo grew and evolved into the vibrant neighborhood it is today, attracting visitors from all over the world.
The Early Years of St. Elmo
The area that would eventually become St. Elmo was originally settled in the late 1800s by a group of prominent Chattanooga citizens who sought to escape the hustle and bustle of the city center. These residents were drawn to the natural beauty of the area, which was then known as St. Elmo Springs. The founders of St. Elmo had a vision for a community that was both serene and dynamic, and they worked hard to create a neighborhood that would be both a haven for families and a hub of commerce and culture. Over time, this vision became a reality, as St. Elmo grew into one of the city's most sought-after suburbs.
The Growth of St. Elmo
As St. Elmo continued to grow and prosper, it became known for its thriving business district and lively cultural scene. The neighborhood was home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions, including the St. Elmo Chautauqua, which was a major hub of intellectual and cultural activity in the early 20th century. In addition to its thriving cultural scene, St. Elmo was also known for its beautiful homes and lush, tree-
lined streets. The area's residents were proud of their community and worked hard to preserve its unique character and natural beauty, and their efforts helped to shape St. Elmo into the vibrant neighborhood it is today.
St. Elmo Today
Today, St. Elmo is one of the most popular and sought-after neighborhoods in Chattanooga, known for its charming mix of old and new, as well as its lively community atmosphere. The area is home to a diverse array of shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions, and it attracts visitors from all over the world who come to experience its rich history and vibrant culture. Despite its growth and popularity, St. Elmo has remained true to its roots, and its residents continue to work hard to preserve the neighborhood's unique character and natural beauty. Whether you're a
lifelong resident or a first-time visitor, St. Elmo is a neighborhood that truly captures the essence of Chattanooga.
From authentic Mexican cuisine at Tacos El Tote and Amigos Mexican Cocina, to the mouth-watering pizza at Mr. T's, there's something for everyone. The 1885 Grill offers a sophisticated dining experience
with a menu that features locally sourced ingredients and a beautiful mountain view. The Purple Daisy provides a unique blend of Southern charm and eclectic cuisine, making it the perfect spot for a casual
dinner with friends. The Tap House & Empyreal Brewing Co. is a dream come true for beer lovers, offering a wide selection of craft beers and tasty pub fare. Mad Knight Brewing Co. is another great place to enjoy a refreshing beer and a meal while taking in the stunning mountain scenery. Whether you're in the mood for a night out on the town or a relaxing dinner, St. Elmo has everything you need. Plus, with its close proximity to Chattanooga, TN, there's always more to explore!
As you approach St Elmo, you will be greeted by the International Towing Museum, a unique attraction that is the only one of its kind in the world. The museum showcases a replica of the very first towing vehicle, created in Chattanooga, as well as other vehicles from different countries and eras. To add some bragging rights to your visit, you can take a ride on the world's steepest passenger railway, the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, with its impressive 72.7% grade. The new rail cars feature clear roofs, providing stunning views of the Tennessee Valley, and at the Upper Station, you'll be treated to a breathtaking panoramic view from the tower.
If you'e in the mood for outdoor activities, you can explore the natural beauty of the area by walking or biking the 15-mile Tennessee Riverpark, which runs along the Tennessee River, or hiking one of the nearby trails on Lookout Mountain. Be sure to visit the Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military's Point Park and Sunset Rock, two of the most picturesque
Getting to St. Elmo
St. Elmo is located just minutes from downtown Chattanooga, and is easily accessible by car, public transportation, or foot. If you're driving, simply follow the signs for St. Elmo Historic District, and you'll be there in no time. For those who prefer to use public transportation, the neighborhood is served by several bus lines, and there are also several bike rental options available in the area.
Spring is the perfect time to put your home on the market. The weather is mild, the days are getting longer, and buyers are eager to find their dream home. However, before you list your property, it's important to prepare it for the spring season. This includes considering your final frost dates and preparing for the potential for rainy weather. Here are some tips for getting your home ready for spring listing.
Knowing The Final Days of Winter:
The final frost date is the last day that you can expect the temperature to drop below freezing. This date can vary depending on where you live, but it is typically in mid April or early May. With the warm weather we've had the last few weeks, it might be March this year! Before the final frost date, it is important to remove any tender plants from your yard and cover them with frost protection cloth or bring them indoors. You should also take steps to protect any pipes that may freeze, such as wrapping them with insulation or letting them drip slowly.
Rainy or Severe Weather:
Spring is known for its rain and sometimes even severe weather, and it can be a challenge to keep your home looking its best during this time. To prepare for rainy weather, make sure your gutters are clear of debris and in good working order. You should also inspect your roof for any damage or leaks, and fix them if necessary. In addition, you may want to consider installing a drain system to prevent water from pooling around your foundation. If you are having your home open to showings, suggest removing shoes, or having towels ready for muddy feet. We want to protect your carpets or rugs!
Spring is the perfect time to spruce up your yard and garden. Planting flowers, trimming bushes, and adding mulch are just a few of the ways you can improve your outdoor space. Consider adding a pop of color to your yard with bright flowers and plants, and make sure your lawn is mowed and free of any dead spots.
Before you list your home, it's important to give it a deep clean. This includes cleaning windows, dusting, and vacuuming. You should also consider hiring a professional cleaning service to give your home a thorough cleaning. A clean home will show better and make a great impression on potential buyers. Organizing closets and drawers will also create the look of an organized home...no one needs to see "the junk drawer"!
So if you're thinking of listing your home soon, or even needing inspiration for your own "Spring Cleaning" now is the perfect time to start. By cleaning up winter flower beds, preparing for rainy weather, improving your landscaping, and giving your home a deep clean, you can get your home ready to list and sell in no time!
Mary Beth McConnell
Chattanooga Roots Property Team