Wonderguide by

Caleb Cook


Included are: 10 historical places you must not miss! 4 notable colleges/universities 3 top careers in Tennessee 3 Extra Just-For-Fun places to go

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Historical Points of Interest

Here are 10 of Historical Places of Interest, scattered throughout the state that are worth your time to visit.

Image - Carnton
Caleb:This is a private home that turned into a makeshift hospital during the Battle of Franklin in the Civil War. There were so many wounded soldiers and amputations that took place and so much blood that soaked into the wooden floor that you can still see the blood stains to this day!
Image - Graceland
Caleb:This is where Elvis lived at the height of his fame, where he died, and where he is buried. It was actually smaller than I had always imagined it being and very tacky its decorations, but it was state of the art back in the 50s and 60s and it is worth seeing, even if you are not an Elvis fan. You cannot go upstairs to view the bathroom where he died, though, just in case you were wondering.
Image - National Civil Rights Museum
National Civil Rights Museum
Caleb:This is a place every American should visit. It is in the Lorraine Motel, in Memphis, which is where Martin Luther King, Jr was shot. You can see inside room 306, where Dr. King had stayed just that night before he was killed, but the main thing to visit is the museum. This place chronicles the life of Dr. King and his iconic speeches. There are exhibits that tell the story of slavery, about the sit-in demonstrations made by brave African-Americans, and so much more. This is history that needs to be known and is worth the trip.
Image - Historic Jonesborough
Historic Jonesborough
Caleb:This is Tennessee's oldest town. It was established 1779, which is 17 years before Tennessee even became a state. You can take a guided historical walking tour and learn about all the famous people who came through there at one time, like John Sevier, Andrew Jackson, and even Davie Crockett. If you find yourself lucky enough to visit in the month of October, you could experience the annual National Storytelling Festival in which folk tellers come from all over the nation to tell their stories. It is a fun event, but even if you can't be there in October, you can still visit the National Storytelling Museum which is open all year.
Image - Blount Mansion
Blount Mansion
Caleb:This is considered by many to be the birthplace of Tennessee. Located in downtown Knoxville, this wood frame family home also served as the territorial capital of the Southwest Territory. Owned by William Blount, the governor of the Southwest Territory and one of the signers of the US Constitution, this house saw much of the Tennessee Constitution drafted, and is considered by many to be the most important historical spot in Tennessee. It s located on top of an embankment which overlooks the Tennessee River. The house and grounds are open for tours and is Knoxville's oldest operating museum, open since 1926.
Image - Cherokee Removal Memorial
Cherokee Removal Memorial
Caleb:Everyone should learn about the Trail of Tears which was the removal of the Cherokee Native Americans from their mountain homes in the Tennessee Smokies. The Trail of Tears crosses Tennessee from east to west and this memorial is next to Blythe Ferry, which transported many of the Cherokees across the Tennessee River on their way west to Oklahoma. It is inside the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge and is dedicated to those that died and those that shed their tears as they were pushed out of their native home.
Image - Reelfoot Lake State Park
Reelfoot Lake State Park
Caleb:This site has real historical significance because this lake was formed by one of the largest series of earthquakes ever to hit the earth. The New Madrid (pronounced MAD-rid, with the emphasis on the Mad) earthquakes happened in 1811-12 and were a series of 3 large quakes, with many aftershocks. The average magnitude of these were 7.5 on the Richter scale. This area sits on a large fault line called the New Madrid Seismic Zone. It was these earthquakes that caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards for a time! It also formed Reelfoot Lake. It is a beautiful area and definitely worth a visit, especially if you love the outdoors.
Image - Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Caleb:The beginnings of country music actually had its start in Bristol, not Nashville. This museum has the complete history of country music, from the first country music recordings, back in 1927, called the Bristol Sessions, how this musical heritage continues to live within today's music. Even if you're not a country music fan, this museum is definitely worth a visit.
Image - The Nations Silo West Nashville
The Nations Silo West Nashville
Caleb:This place is amazing! And its of historical significance! There is an old neighborhood, called The Nations, in west Nashville that is bit-by-bit being torn down to make room for newer dwellings and trendy restaurants. It is more affordable so a lot of younger people are moving in. To preserve the history of old West Nashville, an Australian artist, named Guido Van Helten and painted a gigantic life-like portrait 91 year old resident, named Lee Estes, who is one of the last living residents of the original "The Nations" neighborhood. The painting is on the side of a 15-story abandoned concrete silo. The artist wanted to preserve the past with this painting, plus the paining will be joined soon, on the other side of the silo, with another painting of two young boys, symbolizing the future. This incredible painting is worth the drive to see it.
Image - The Read House
The Read House
Caleb:This historical house is actually a hotel. Back when it was built in 1872 it was one of the most renowned "hostelries" in the whole south, known for its extravagance and hospitality. It has survived war, epidemics, floods, many owners, and near bankruptcy. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places and has housed presidents, celebrities, and world leaders. Newly renovated in 2018, it is open for business and is the most luxurious accommodations in Chattanooga. Definitely worth a stay if only for the historical aspect alone.
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Notable Colleges and Universities

Some of our wonderful states most notable colleges and universities.

Image - Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University
Caleb:Started in Nashville, in 1873, through a 1 million dollar "gift" from Cornelius Vanderbilt, it was built to "contribute to strengthening the ties that should exist between all sections of our common country". Today it is world renowned for its excellence in education and research. Vanderbilt has 10 schools in total specializing undergraduate degrees in arts and sciences, music, engineering, human development, and education. Its most notable graduate degrees are in law, education, business, medicine, nursing, and divinity. It is a privately supported university and affiliated closely with nonprofit Vanderbilt University Medical Center, with which they work to drive innovation. Alumni of Vanderbilt includes Nobel Prize winners, professional athletes, governors, members of congress, CEOs, judges, and ambassadors. One of Tennessee's finest centers for higher learning.
Image - University of Tennessee
University of Tennessee
Caleb:This wonderful university was founding in Knoxville in 1794, but it was called Blount College. It was renamed East Tennessee University in 1862, and, in 1879, finally became the University of Tennessee. The famous (or infamous, depending who you talk to) orange wearing football team is called the Tennessee Volunteers, after Tennessee getting the nickname because of sending 1500 VOLUNTEER soldiers to help the US in the War of 1812. (Fun Fact: UT is a designated Bee Campus, which is "part of a national effort among universities to raise awareness and provide new pollinator habitats. [utk.edu/aboutut/acclaim/]) It consists of 11 colleges with over 370 undergraduate programs of study and 547 graduate programs. It has the excellent UT School of Veterinary medicine. But, it is also very famous for it's "Body Farm", where students of forensics study decomposition of the human body.
Image - Carson-Newman University
Carson-Newman University
Caleb:On the banks of Mossy Creek, Carson-Newman is a midsize university located in Jefferson City, TN, near the Great Smoky Mountains. It was founded in 1851, but started as 2 schools: Carson College, which was a men's college, and Newman College, which was a college for girls. The campuses were right next to each other so they combined to create Carson-Newman College. (Interesting Fact: During WWII C-N took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program, which offered students a road to a Navy commission - it was only 1 of 131 colleges to do so) Then, in 2012, became Carson-Newman University. It offers 90 different undergraduate programs and their nickname is the Eagles. This is where my Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather graduated, my grandfather graduated, my mom graduated, and probably where I'll graduate, too.
Image - Tennessee College of Applied Technology
Tennessee College of Applied Technology
Caleb:This wonderful school is located in west Tennessee, with its main campus located in Memphis. It started in 1963 offering vocational programs for local residents. It has an incredible Aviation Campus that is located at the Memphis International Airport and has a wonderful selection of post-secondary education choices. TCAT also works with local high schools and offers dual enrollment so students can train in their vocation as they continue to finish high school. It is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education and offers programs from Nursing to Machine Tool Technology to HVAC Certifications.

Careers in High Demand in Tennessee

These are a few of the fasted growing jobs in Tennessee right now

Image - Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Caleb:With a career in the medical field you couldn't do better than work here. As one of the largest academic medical centers in the Southeast, it employees over 24, 000 doctors, nurses, clinicians, and administrative, and they care for over 2 million patients a year. They have over 100 biomedical science labs, are in the nations top 10, in terms of peer review funding (they receive over $500 million per year). The children's hospital, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, is recognized every year as national leaders in children's health by the US News & World Report's Best Hospitals ranking. Vanderbilt continues to improve and grow every year and is one of the best places to work, in the medical field, in the nation.
Image - FedEx World Hub
FedEx World Hub
Caleb:Located at Memphis International Airport, this company delivers freight and packages to over 375 destinations which span six continents everyday! And they need workers, especially at the world hub in Memphis. FedEx employees over 60,000 people worldwide. They pay well, have great benefits, and even have a college reimbursement program so you can continue your education for free while you're employed.
Image - Eastman Chemical Company
Eastman Chemical Company
Caleb:Eastman employees over 8,000 employees and is located in Kingsport. If your major is chemistry, then you could make $150,000 a year. They work mostly with organic chemicals and acetyls, and were known historically for producing Kodak photographic paper. Eastman employees are known to begin their jobs right out of school and stay until they retire, with a comfortable pension. They are also known to treat their employees well. If you're a chemist, you will find a great career life at Eastman.

Just-For-Fun Destinations

These are places you go just to have a good time. They are interesting and entertaining and, I believe, everyone should visit at least once.

Image - Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
Caleb:Located above downtown Gatlinburg, and opened in 2019, this is the longest suspension pedestrian crossing bridge in North America. And it even has a glass floor that is right in the middle so you can look down and see how high you are! You get up to the bridge by riding a chair lift that has been in operation since 1954. A remote camera snaps a picture of you as you near the top and you can buy it, if you wish, at the gift shop, before you go across the bridge. There are souvenirs on both sides of the bridge and the view is breathtaking. The bridge does swing a little bit as you cross, but it is so worth it. A definite must do when you visit Gatlinburg.
Image - The Peabody Memphis
The Peabody Memphis
Caleb:Built in 1925, this hotel is in historic downtown Memphis, and has been known as the "South's Grand Hotel". It is beautiful and is worth a visit in it's own right, with luxury accommodations and two exceptional restaurants, but what makes it really special is the Peabody Ducks. In 1933, they placed ducks in the large fountain that is in the middle of the huge hotel lobby and it has been a tradition ever since. It is called the Duck March. At 11:00 am, every day, the ducks come down the elevator, from their accommodations on the Peabody roof, riding on the elevator, to the lobby floor. Here they get off the elevator, followed by the Peabody Duckmaster, down a red carpet, up a few stairs, and into the fountain. The ducks play all day in this large fountain until, at 5:00 pm, the duck master comes and gets them and they march back out of the fountain, up the red carpet, into the elevator, where they will ride back up to there roof accommodations for the night. So worth the trip to see it
Image - Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Caleb:This is a place you have to see to believe. This place is HUGE! And it has so many things to see and do! Right next to the original "Grand Ole Opry", this place has 2,888 rooms, 9 acres of indoor gardens with waterfalls, an indoor river with a Delta flatboat, shopping galore, and an insanely great upscale outdoor/indoor water park - all under one roof! If you want to experience Nashville, but don't want to bother with driving, this is your place to experience everything, without ever having to get in your car!

Wonderguide map

  1. Carnton
  2. Graceland
  3. National Civil Rights Museum
  4. Historic Jonesborough
  5. Blount Mansion
  6. Cherokee Removal Memorial
  7. Reelfoot Lake State Park
  8. Birthplace of Country Music Museum
  9. The Nations Silo West Nashville
  10. The Read House
  11. Vanderbilt University
  12. University of Tennessee
  13. Carson-Newman University
  14. Tennessee College of Applied Technology
  15. Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  16. FedEx World Hub
  17. Eastman Chemical Company
  18. Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
  19. The Peabody Memphis
  20. Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

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