Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Step Back in Time: Tiny Town on the Tennessee!

Click on any photo for a better view.

I am not sure how to even start this post.  
I guess, that first I should warn you, it's long.  
Do you have a cuppa somethin'?  
You'll be glad if you do!  

For such a short twenty-minute walk through this tiny town of fifty-some residents, I could have stayed a lot longer, but I snapped as many photos as I could while I walked.  Levi was so tired and had had quite a long day to this point and we could only stay a little while.

We were on our way home from somewhere else, you see, and after I'd laid eyes on this place, I wish it had been our original destination.  

It's that special.

To me, old places like this --they reach out to me, they touch my soul, and I feel it.

The history hugs me, and the sense of place touches my hand and says "Stay awhile!".

I will be back, because I didn't see near enough (there were two or three more streets) and I need to soak up more of this little town built in a swampy river bottom, near the mighty Tennessee River--where cotton was once king and plantations filled the countryside as well as the plant that built the south, as it thrived on the beautiful red dirt.

The trees...oh, the trees.  

I felt like I had walked into a story book.  The trees were GIANTS.  They dwarfed every house, large and small.  None of the homes looked big compared to the trees that they sat beneath, and there were many large homes in this old southern town.  Trying to look to the very top of the trees sat you back on your heels.

And this place, this place that time forgot just sits a few miles from the space and rocket industry where vehicles are engineered and built that shoot men and women's bodies at thousands of miles per hour out into space--this place has sat under that busy sky, a dome with a canopy of blue space, practically untouched by time.

AND...how lucky was I that I was able to be here in the spring, while Dixieland is in full bloom?

I felt like I was in a fairy tale...or a movie, and that it wasn't all real.

But it was.

Click on any photo to enlarge for more detail...this cottage is adorable!

This little town was incorporated in the early1800's.  And it has remained largely unchanged since then.  Some of the homes have been in the same families for years.  It is not a museum town, it is a real town, where real people live, in homes that are beautiful, old and yet modernized to accommodate families.  

The streets are paved, and are quiet and genteel...I felt as if I should have a fan or a parasol...not a camera.

The porches, the fences, the yards...oh my!  Pickets in rows along the roadsides to make your heart go pitter pat, rocking chairs on porches and gates with arbors, and flowering bushes, trees, and tulips and daffodils...it was all so magical and so sweet for this girl fresh from a winter storm in Michigan.  

(It's amazing what you can get away from by driving for ten or twelve hours!)

See that little, tiny cottage on the right?  Looks like a doll house?  It's not!  It's someone's sweet little home!

Around each corner was a surprise just as sweet as this one, only each one unique and different, nothing like today's planned communities where almost every home is a carbon copy of the next one.

Let's walk...let's look.  

I just loved the way the afternoon sun was shining on old glory here...

Such a pleasant porch...

I loved the way the dogwood framed the beautiful and unique old front door on this old home...

I can never resist the curly-q shutter stays...

I spy some...

OH MY!  

This wisteria graced a tennis court!
Dixieland has their wisteria...which I guess would rival the lilacs we have in the north.
They are just breathtaking, and I was here at the perfect time!

The beautiful arbors...there were many.

And if you can, imagine this little village at Christmas!  Go here for a feature of that season.

I tried, but couldn't capture the height on these gigantic trees!

This looked to be an old log farm-style home...set in a fairy-tale like yard, with gigantic trees making a forest...and this magical gate and arbor set in the old timber fence along the front..a rustic beauty that just invites you in.

The ivy tenderly curves and weaves and leads you into the yard that is a special hideaway from the outside world...the gate is a clever creation with the rustic look to match the old home.

Even the sheds and the garages in the neighborhood were sweet and original...

There had been quite a rainstorm the night before and you can see the red dirt splashed up onto this old shed.

More wisteria welcomes you into this courtyard...
southern gardens are the things that dreams are made of!

A garage...!

 And an old carriage house...

 A burial plot?

I'm sure some reconstruction has taken place out of necessity...but it's all kept within the time period of the originals.

The dogwoods are a sight to behold...

A beautiful old church in the town...just breathtaking.  Instead of a cross on the steeple, there was a hand sculpture, with one finger, pointing UP.  I wasn't able to capture it at the angle I was shooting from, but I'd never seen anything like it, ever.

See it, way up...up there, pointing to God?

I'm sure the thick brick walls were designed to keep the oppressive heat out during the summers.

Front doors to the church were gorgeous...

The town's post office, original...still using the original post office boxes for the fifty-some residents!

Are you still with me?

A tiny restaurant, formerly the town's general store--that I will come back to, it's only open for breakfast and lunch, we were there right around dinnertime.  Oh, and it was more adorable on the inside than it was even on the outside!  I peeked in the windows...I must go back!

The day was so perfect that dining outside would have been ideal!

And on the side of the restaurant, a tiny garden/courtyard...that I'm sure gets used for weddings and other gatherings, just beautiful, and southern and genteel in every way possible...

How sweet is this?

I hope you enjoyed visiting Mooresville, Alabama with me, on this beautiful  and gentle spring day!  Aren't you glad we stopped in?



Meadowbrook Cabin Primitives said...

Joni ,

There is nothing like the South in the Springtime ! The dogwoods , white and or pink in all their glory, the romantic wisteria wrapped around old wood, the blooming flowering bushes and flowers ..I could go on and on..

There are many old towns that time forgot down South. I have been in a few of them.

Thank you for sharing those lovely photos .. I even enjoyed the red dirt splashed up on the old wood garage or shed. Boy, even with clorox, you just can't get that red dirt out of white socks ! :o)


Connie said...

I love it when you travel Joni! I'm right there with you in spirit! It's the only way I get to see these places and I'm very thankful that you take so many wonderful photos.


Picket said...

Oh my word...I loved this!!!!! Things like this just move me so and actually bring tears to my eyes...it is truly like a step back in time...thanks for such a beautiful post....Picket

Nancy said...

Wow! What a gorgeous little town. Seems there must have been a special building or tree or sign at every turn. What lovely photos. Would make a great coffee table book! :)

Carmen said...

So pretty! Love the link to the Christmas decor!

Teri said...

What a treat! I'm so glad you took pictures and shared them with us! I've already viewed them 3 times!!

Shirley said...

What a lovely little town - another one I'll need to add to my list while living her in Alabama :) Next time you're down, we'll have to try to catch a cuppa together :)

Brenda Evans said...

Oh how incredibly beautiful! I could have gone on for hours. Thanks for sharing all the gorgeous photos. Makes me proud to have been born in Alabama.

Susan said...

Beautiful. I looked it up on Mapquest and it is about 5 hours from my house. I hope to visit there soon. Thanks for all the wonderful pictures.

Our Country Bungalow said...

What a beautiful town!

It's funny that you should feature a southern town this morning because my mother just returned home here to Michigan last night after a trip to the south. All she could talk about was the beautiful gardens and the garden shops they visited. Together we have such Southern garden envy!

Thanks for sharing.

basketsbyrose said...

Breath taking!

Karen~The Barely There Primitive Bear said...

Thanks for the tour, I sure would like to go there and see it for myself! I love old towns and especially those in the South.

Bear Hugs~Karen

Julie Hinds said...

I wish you would have gone inside the post office, I'm so curious now, thank-you for the tour! I love the wisteria that looks like it's growing on top of a white pillar, so cool!

aimee said...

Thank you Joni for the wonderful walk back in time! I LOVE historical buildings and would have loved to be with you on your journey!

~Christine~ said...

How fun! Gorgeous pictures. Thanks so much for sharing this priceless treasure of an old town! Lucky you for experiencing it first hand!