J.R. Manning

About Me 

Email: Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com

I'm just a regular guy who likes old stuff - mostly old cars, old buildings, old highways and old bridges. I'm not a professional historian nor an engineer, I'm just a guy who likes history and wants to help document all these wonderful old structures before they're gone.

Old cars: In 2003, I drove my 1929 Model A Ford, "Sonja," to Manhattan where I met up with 53 other nuts in 26 other cars. We drove the Lincoln Highway to San Francisco. Sonja was the oldest car in the parade, and if you visit the Bridge Hunter site, you'll notice that some photos of Lincoln Highway Bridges were taken through Sonja's windshield. Sonja shows up in a few pics around here, too.

Ames Monument

Yup, we were there, too. The Ames Monument in Wyoming.

Old Highways: Well, as you've probably noticed, I'm a fan of the Lincoln Highway and I posted several LH bridges on the Bridge Hunter site. I'm intrigued by many of the named highways of the United States and what America's highways were like before 1926 when they became numbered roads. Just yesterday, I found myself on the Herbert Hoover Highway in Iowa. I often find myself on the Wisconsin segment of The Yellowstone Trail.

Old Bridges and Landmarks: I'm particularly fond of trusses, arches and movable crossings, including movable bridges and ferries. We seem to have a great number of movable bridges in Wisconsin and it's been fun to hunt them down.

Holton Street Viaduct Bascule Span and Marsupial Bridge

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

There's nothing like the thrill of finding an interesting bridge or landmark, especially when you're not even looking. (I found the two bridges in Waushara County by accident - I was on my way to somewhere else and just came across them.) I came across a beautiful Queen Anne in Dubuque recently that isn't on the NRHP but is a local landmark and will add it to our little database.

Capitol

Dome, Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison

Works of Art: Sometimes, a landmark is itself a work of art, or it contains, works of art. In Wisconsin, we have several sites created by amateur artisans, sometimes called, self taught artisans. Probably most famous are the The Grotto and Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park, both listed on the NRHP.

Dickeyville Grotto

The Grotto, Dickeyville, Wisconsin.

Concrete Park

Lincoln Todd Monument, Wisconsin Concrete Park.

Professional artisans have made their mark on the landscape, too. In the Milwaukee area, Mary Nohl decorated her home with statues and whimsical figures, so much so that her home became known as "The Witch's House" and was the subject of several ridiculous urban myths. After her death, her estate is the subject of much controversy. The Mary Nohl Art Environment, her estate, is listed as one of the most endangered landmarks in Wisconsin.

Mary Nohl Art Environment

Mary Nohl Art Environment, Fox Point, Wisconsin.

Music City, USA (Nashville, Tennessee) is famous for many NRHP listings, including the only full-scale replica of The Parthenon in the world. The Parthenon, in Centennial Park, is also home to Athena Parthenos, a modern replica of a statue that was part of The Parthenon in ancient Greece. The statue, by Nashville artist Alan Lequire, was created from descriptions of the ancient original.

Athena

Athena Parthnos, The Parthenon, Nashville.

Several years ago, I had the good fortune to have a job that sent me all over the midwest. I took several thousand photographs for my employer, and when I had time off, what did I do? Shot photos of bridges and landmarks.

Oh, one more thing. I don't take life too seriously, after all, I'm never going to get out of it alive, anyway. If one of my posts doesn't seem just quite right, you might just want to read it again. ;)

I've often told my friends that I'm one of the few people who can say that I've visited every county in Wisconsin, all 72 of them. Other than politicians looking for state-wide election, it's not something most people aspire to and I'm not even sure why I established that as a goal. Just the same, if you look at every county on the Wisconsin map, you will find photos that bear my copyright of several landmarks in each Wisconsin county.

As much as I love traveling, my home state of Wisconsin is a beautiful place, I've always enjoyed living here. The politics drive me nuts sometimes, but I suppose that is true wherever you go. When you put that aside and look around, you realize that each county has something interesting to offer. From the rolling cornfields of Polk County, to the breath taking Apostle Islands in Bayfield and Ashland Counties, the lakes of Oneida County, the orchards of Door County, the unbelievable Driftless Area of the southwest, the Kettle Moraine of the east and the combination of natural and man-made landscapes in Milwaukee, there's something of interest everywhere.

Recent Updates 

Langlais Sculpture Preserve (Knox County, Maine)
90 acre homestead of self-taught artisan, Bernard “Blackie” Langlais, and his wife Helen
April 23, 2019: Added
Pasaquan (Marion County, Georgia)
Seven acre site consisting of the work of a self-taught artisan
April 23, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, GPS Coordinates and added some links
James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden (Sheboygan County, Wisconsin)
Whimsical collection of concrete sculptures by a self-taught artisan
April 23, 2019: Added
Paul & Matilda Wegner Grotto (Monroe County, Wisconsin)
An extraordinary sculpture environment by Paul and Matilda Wegner on their farm
April 21, 2019: Added
Ernest Hüpeden's Painted Forest (Sauk County, Wisconsin)
Simple white frame building with walls and ceiling covered with murals
April 21, 2019: Added
Hartman Rock Garden (Clark County, Ohio)
The work of self-taught artisan, Harry George “Ben” Hartman
April 21, 2019: Added
M.T. Liggett's Political Sculptures (Kiowa County, Kansas)
Fanciful artwork of the late M.T. Liggett
April 21, 2019: Added
Chauvin Sculpture Garden & Art (Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana)
Work of self-taught artisan, Kenny Hill, gifted to Nicholls State University Art Studio
April 21, 2019: Added
Whirligig Park (Wilson County, North Carolina)
Collection of whirligigs built by Vollis Simpson
April 20, 2019: Added
Messer--Mayer Mill (Washington County, Wisconsin)

March 24, 2019: New photos
Mulbery-Washington-Lincoln Historic District (Lincoln County, Tennessee)

March 23, 2019: New photos
Hugh Bright Douglas House (Lincoln County, Tennessee)

March 23, 2019: New photos
Lincoln Theater (Lincoln County, Tennessee)
1951 Theater extensively remodeled and twinned, updated to digital capability
March 21, 2019: New photos
Lincoln Theater (Lincoln County, Tennessee)
1951 Theater extensively remodeled and twinned, updated to digital capability
March 21, 2019: Added
St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church (Lincoln County, Tennessee)

March 21, 2019: New photos
St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church (Lincoln County, Tennessee)

March 15, 2019: New photos
St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church (Lincoln County, Tennessee)

March 15, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
South Elk Street Historic District (Lincoln County, Tennessee)
An eclectic collection of 24 homes, 2 structures and 7 non-contributing buildings
March 15, 2019: New photos
South Elk Street Historic District (Lincoln County, Tennessee)
An eclectic collection of 24 homes, 2 structures and 7 non-contributing buildings
March 15, 2019: New photos
South Elk Street Historic District (Lincoln County, Tennessee)
An eclectic collection of 24 homes, 2 structures and 7 non-contributing buildings
March 15, 2019: New photos
South Elk Street Historic District (Lincoln County, Tennessee)
An eclectic collection of 24 homes, 2 structures and 7 non-contributing buildings
March 15, 2019: New photos
South Elk Street Historic District (Lincoln County, Tennessee)
An eclectic collection of 24 homes, 2 structures and 7 non-contributing buildings
March 15, 2019: New photos
South Elk Street Historic District (Lincoln County, Tennessee)
An eclectic collection of 24 homes, 2 structures and 7 non-contributing buildings
March 15, 2019: New photos
South Elk Street Historic District (Lincoln County, Tennessee)
An eclectic collection of 24 homes, 2 structures and 7 non-contributing buildings
March 15, 2019: New photos
South Elk Street Historic District (Lincoln County, Tennessee)
An eclectic collection of 24 homes, 2 structures and 7 non-contributing buildings
March 15, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
McDonald-Bolner House (Lincoln County, Tennessee)

March 15, 2019: New photos
McDonald-Bolner House (Lincoln County, Tennessee)

March 15, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church (Lincoln County, Tennessee)

March 13, 2019: New photos
Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church (Lincoln County, Tennessee)

March 13, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
William Madison Otey House (Madison County, Alabama)
Antebellum mansion with grounds developed into an upscale subdivision
March 8, 2019: New photos
William Madison Otey House (Madison County, Alabama)
Antebellum mansion with grounds developed into an upscale subdivision
March 8, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Mrs. William Robinson House (Madison County, Alabama)
Mansion undergoing renovation
March 7, 2019: New photos
Mrs. William Robinson House (Madison County, Alabama)
Mansion undergoing renovation
March 7, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Lowry House (Madison County, Alabama)
Open limited hours as a museum and for special events
March 7, 2019: New photos
Lowry House (Madison County, Alabama)
Open limited hours as a museum and for special events
March 7, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Kildare-McCormick House (Madison County, Alabama)
Mansion VERY closed to the public
March 7, 2019: New photos
Kildare-McCormick House (Madison County, Alabama)
Mansion VERY closed to the public
March 7, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
John Robinson House (Madison County, Alabama)
Virtually impossible to see
March 7, 2019: New photo
John Robinson House (Madison County, Alabama)
Virtually impossible to see
March 7, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photo
Downtown Chevron Station (Madison County, Alabama)

March 4, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added description and photograph
Downtown Chevron Station (Madison County, Alabama)

March 4, 2019: New photo
Dallas Mill Village Historic District (Madison County, Alabama)

March 3, 2019: New photos
Dallas Mill (Madison County, Alabama)
Began operation in 1892 as Alabama's largest cotton mill, manufacturing sheeting.
March 3, 2019: New photos
Dallas Mill (Madison County, Alabama)
Began operation in 1892 as Alabama's largest cotton mill, manufacturing sheeting.
March 3, 2019: New photos
Hartselle Downtown Commercial Historic District (Morgan County, Alabama)

March 3, 2019: New photos
Hartselle Downtown Commercial Historic District (Morgan County, Alabama)

March 1, 2019: New photos
Hartselle Downtown Commercial Historic District (Morgan County, Alabama)

March 1, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Somerville Courthouse (Morgan County, Alabama)

March 1, 2019: New photos
Somerville Courthouse (Morgan County, Alabama)

March 1, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Northern Casket Company Building (Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin)

March 1, 2019: Added

Recent Comments 

Posted July 2, 2013

Now that you mention it, baseball would be a lot less interesting without mounds 60'6" away from home.

Posted June 25, 2013

I didn't want to be the start of a third mound.

Posted May 31, 2013

Andrew, do you know much about the Mothman Prophecies and the collapse of the Silver Bridge? Perhaps you could enlighten us.

Posted May 7, 2013

Great find, Andrew. I think this site should be added to the Effigy Mounds category as it seems to meet the qualifications for inclusion.

http://landmarkhunter.com/tag/68017-effigy-mounds/

Posted May 7, 2013

Great find, Andrew. I wonder if this site should be added to the Effigy Mounds category?

http://landmarkhunter.com/tag/68017-effigy-mounds/

Posted April 10, 2013

Looks like it could use a coat of paint. I'd suggest Aura® in Ghostly Gray with Spectre Spruce trim.

Posted November 11, 2012

According to the wcfCourier, the $6.5 million referendum to build a new courthouse went down to defeat by a 3-2 margin. According to the same newspaper, supervisors said they would pursue building a new courthouse, anyway.

This is the third oldest continually operating courthouse in Iowa. According to Supervisor Joel Voaklander, in the same wcfCourier report, because of the referendum result the county board will now study the possibilities of rehabilitating the old courthouse.

Source: http://wcfcourier.com/elections/issues/mitchell-courthouse-issue-fails/article_a74f8f34-28de-11e2-b57b-0019bb2963f4.html

Posted October 13, 2012

That's okay, Wes, most of us here are off just a little, probably half a bubble.

I love finding places like this! I always wonder about story songs, whether the song's story has any basis in fact (like this one) or if it's just pure fiction.

Actually, this one started out as fiction, the church was built after the song was written. Sometimes, life imitates art.

By the way, the Carter Family recorded the song in 1932. There's a copy of it on YouTube that inculdes an old photo of the church, well before the highway was widened.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wGjlK46a-A

Posted September 23, 2012

The confusion arose because both houses have the same address number.

Posted August 30, 2012

The Surgeon General was right - tobacco is bad for your health.

Posted August 29, 2012

Well, to be perfectly honest, when I shot the building, I saw the ghost but I was so intent on finding the landmark that it didn't register with me. Two days later, when I returned to Dubuque, that sign jumped off the side of the building, climbed into the front seat of my car and slapped me, saying, "HOW COULD YOU MISS ME???"

So I went around the block and shot it!

Posted August 28, 2012

Oh, Guru of the Mail Pouch Barn…did you happen to notice the ghost of Bull Durham on the south face of this landmark?

Uploaded file: JPEG image data, EXIF standard, 1395706 bytes

Posted August 19, 2012

I hereby place this entry into nomination for the award in the category of Best Name of a Landmark.

Posted August 7, 2012

Yes, but I don't want to give this site a PG-13 rating.

Posted August 6, 2012

Why?

Velveeta is to cheese what Ed Wood was to Orson Wells.

Velveeta is to cheese what MD 20/20 is to Dom Pérignon.

Velveeta is to cheese what the Yugo is to Maybach.