Saturday, May 16, 2015

HGB Road Trip 2015 Day 1 - Chattanooga, Tennessee

 Chattanooga is the fourth largest city in the state of Tennessee. Native Americans were the first to settle the area and the name Chattanooga is derived from the Muskogean words for rock and dwelling. The Muskogean tribe were the first in the area followed by the Cherokee. In 1816, John Ross settled the area and it became known as Ross' Landing. John Ross was half Scottish, half Cherokee. The Cherokee would be interred at Ross' Landing and then driven out in 1838 by the United States government. This became part of what we know today as the Trail of Tears. Ross tried to alleviate concerns and make the transition better and he came to be known as the Cherokee People's Moses.

In 1839, Ross' Landing incorporated and became known as Chattanooga. The location near water and the railway caused Chattanooga to become a boom town. During the Civil War, the city became a battleground. The Battles of Chickamauga, Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain, all took place here. After the war, industry took over and Chattanooga flourished once again. A large flood in 1867 overwhelmed the city and a reservoir system was built to prevent future flooding.

The 1930s saw Chattoanooga take on the nickname "Dynamo of Dixie" and the song "Chattanooga Choo Choo" by Glenn Miller was released in 1941. As is the case with all major cities, there are things here that go bump in the night! Being the center of battles during the Civil War seems to have left some residual energy in the area. Spectral battles have been witnessed throughout the decades. Old Green Eyes is one of the legends of the battlefield. He apparently is a man who lost his head to a cannonball. He wanders the battlefield looking for his body, so the head must just float about. And people swear they have seen the green eyes floating towards them. Two people even wrecked their cars in the 70s and blamed the crashes on Old Green Eyes.

The Tively Theater in town is reported to be haunted. Moccasin Bend has the most active ghosts. We went on the Chattanooga Ghost Tour and had a great time with our guide Kevin. He shared stories of the hauntings at the Hunter Museum and the Chili's parking lot, along with lots of other great stories and the history of how the city was built and the Coke Bottling Company's contribution to the growth of Chattanooga.

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