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 

Petersburg Historic District (Unspecified county, Tennessee)

February 14, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected listing
Al. Ringling Theatre (Sauk County, Wisconsin)
Likely the first "movie palace" designed by Rapp & Rapp
February 8, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected a spelling error and updated status
Modjeska Theater (Milwaukee County, Wisconsin)
Named for a popular Polish Shakespearian actress, the closed movie palace is looking for a savior
February 4, 2019: New photos
Modjeska Theater (Milwaukee County, Wisconsin)
Named for a popular Polish Shakespearian actress, the closed movie palace is looking for a savior
February 4, 2019: Added
Winona High School and Winona Junior High School (Winona County, Minnesota)
Middle and High School Buildings re-purposed as apartment buildings
January 31, 2019: New photos
Winona High School and Winona Junior High School (Winona County, Minnesota)
Middle and High School Buildings re-purposed as apartment buildings
January 31, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Soo Line Locomotive #2719 (St. Louis County, Minnesota)
The last operational steam locomotive on the Soo Line, previously at Carson Park, Eau Claire, WI
January 28, 2019: New photos
Australasia Shipwreck (Wooden Bulk Carrier) (Door County, Wisconsin)

January 15, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added GPS Coordinates
Egyptian Theatre (De Kalb County, Illinois)

January 11, 2019: New photo
American Club (Sheboygan County, Wisconsin)
The only AAA Five Diamond Resort Hotel in the Midwest
January 11, 2019: New photos
American Club (Sheboygan County, Wisconsin)
The only AAA Five Diamond Resort Hotel in the Midwest
January 11, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description and added photos
Discovery of Gold Historic Marker (White County, Georgia)

January 8, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Note added to the description.
Brumback Library (Van Wert County, Ohio)

December 28, 2018: New photo
Brumback Library (Van Wert County, Ohio)

December 28, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Surf Ballroom (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Opened in 1934, Destroyed by fire in 1947, reopened across the street in 1948
December 27, 2018: Added
Printers Alley Historic District (Davidson County, Tennessee)

December 24, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS data
Whitland Area Neighborhood (Davidson County, Tennessee)

December 23, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added GPS Coordinates
Home for Aged Masons (Davidson County, Tennessee)

December 23, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS data
McGavock--Gatewood--Webb House (Davidson County, Tennessee)

December 23, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS data
Dr. Richard and Mrs Margaret Martin House (Davidson County, Tennessee)

December 23, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS data
Beech Grove (Davidson County, Tennessee)

December 23, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS data
Fire Hall No. 1 (Davidson County, Tennessee)

December 23, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS data
Centennial Park (Davidson County, Tennessee)
132 Acre park on Nashville's West End, Originally home to the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition
December 23, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS data
Cartwright-Moss House (Davidson County, Tennessee)

December 23, 2018: New photos
Cartwright-Moss House (Davidson County, Tennessee)

December 23, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Company E of the 167th Infantry of the Alabama National Guard Armory (Marshall County, Alabama)
Former armory now serving as the local museum
December 20, 2018: New photos
Company E of the 167th Infantry of the Alabama National Guard Armory (Marshall County, Alabama)
Former armory now serving as the local museum
December 20, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
New Providence School Gymnasium (Hardin County, Iowa)

December 20, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS data
Thomas Holland House (Lawrence County, Alabama)
One of a few remaining dogrun houses in Alabama
December 19, 2018: New photos
Thomas Holland House (Lawrence County, Alabama)
One of a few remaining dogrun houses in Alabama
December 19, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status to destroyed by fire
Merrimack Mill Village Historic District (Madison County, Alabama)
A neighbrhood of a very wide range of mill house type structures
December 19, 2018: New photos
Merrimack Mill Village Historic District (Madison County, Alabama)
A neighbrhood of a very wide range of mill house type structures
December 19, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Madison Station Historic District (Madison County, Alabama)

December 19, 2018: New photos
Madison Station Historic District (Madison County, Alabama)

December 19, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Butlers' Store (Madison County, Alabama)
Former general store repurposed as municipal buildings
December 19, 2018: New photos
Butlers' Store (Madison County, Alabama)
Former general store repurposed as municipal buildings
December 19, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
James H. Bibb House (Madison County, Alabama)

December 19, 2018: New photos
James H. Bibb House (Madison County, Alabama)

December 19, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
New Decatur-Albany Historic District (Morgan County, Alabama)
Several blocks in the downtown commercial area of Decatur
December 19, 2018: New photos
New Decatur-Albany Historic District (Morgan County, Alabama)
Several blocks in the downtown commercial area of Decatur
December 19, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Rhea-McEntire House (Morgan County, Alabama)
A historic antebellum Greek Revival mansion located along the shoreline of the Tennessee River's Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Alabama.
December 19, 2018: New photos
Rhea-McEntire House (Morgan County, Alabama)
A historic antebellum Greek Revival mansion located along the shoreline of the Tennessee River's Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Alabama.
December 19, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Albany Heritage Neighborhood Historic District (Morgan County, Alabama)

December 19, 2018: New photos
Albany Heritage Neighborhood Historic District (Morgan County, Alabama)

December 19, 2018: New photos
Albany Heritage Neighborhood Historic District (Morgan County, Alabama)

December 19, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Col. Francis Dancy House (Morgan County, Alabama)
Oldest building in Decatur and one of four antebellum houses in Decatur to survive
December 17, 2018: Essay added
Col. Francis Dancy House (Morgan County, Alabama)
Oldest building in Decatur and one of four antebellum houses in Decatur to survive
December 17, 2018: New photos
Col. Francis Dancy House (Morgan County, Alabama)
Oldest building in Decatur and one of four antebellum houses in Decatur to survive
December 17, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Princess Theater (Morgan County, Alabama)

December 17, 2018: New photos
Bank Street Historic District (Morgan County, Alabama)

December 17, 2018: New photos

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.