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Here’s to Emily Post and Road Trips

I am bubbling over with excitement. I came across the most delightful primary source, By Motor to the Golden Gate (1916) by Emily Post who six years later would write her bestselling book on etiquette. By Motor to the Golden Gate is not just for fans of turn of the century American history. It will appeal to anyone […]

Pulling Back the Curtain: Touring Historic Hotels

I am the first to admit that my area of research is loaded with perks. One of the best is getting personal behind-the-scenes tours of historic hotels by people who are passionate about history, architecture, and good stories. I will always be indebted to those who have generously shared their time and knowledge with me. […]

Milestone: Preliminary Fieldwork Nears Completion

By Friday afternoon, I will have visited thirty of the thirty-one National Register-listed hotels and inns across Tennessee. This is a major and hard-won milestone. Mileage for the first three weeks of March alone will be around 1,500 miles. I am pleased, proud, and exhausted in equal parts. Again, I give thanks for a fuel efficient diesel […]

“Endangered” as New Criteria?

The question of the day is whether “endangered” should be added as a criteria for what makes a historic hotel historic in the state of Tennessee? Yes, I am being flip but unfortunately the question has more merit than I wish it had. Of the thirty-one National Register-listed properties included in my study, eight of them have or […]

Kingston Springs: Hotel and Buildings Complex

Please note that visitors are not allowed at the site. I got special permission to access the complex from the owner for research purposes. I was told to stay 100 feet back from the buildings due to their deteriorated conditions.  Today’s field visit was to Kingston Springs, thirty minutes west of Nashville. I went to document […]

What Makes Historic Hotels Historic?

The question of the day – honestly the question I wrestle with most days – is what makes historic hotels historic? Is it enough that they simply proclaim themselves to be historic or is certification by an outside body necessary? Is it their age? Is it their condition and integrity? It is how aesthetically pleasing they […]

Lynchburg: Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House

If you were to run into me and ask how I am doing the response would be “awesome but tired.” Why? Over the last week, I got to explore three new towns – Dickson, Kingston Springs, and Lynchburg – in addition to attending heritage development meetings in some other communities. On Wednesday, I had a delightful day in Lynchburg which […]