We came across this place by accident while driving around the old downtown square. My boyfriend sees the sign reading "Welcome Race Fans", slams on his breaks, and exclaims "Slot cars??!! We're going IN!!"...
The gentleman who owns the shop is very proud of his custom track - told us people from all around the country come there to race their slot cars. We were able to rent two slot cars and the track for $10/hour each, and I have to admit - it was more fun than I thought it was going to be. I thought we'd be standing there for an hour pushing toy racecars around a track. In fact, the track is electrified, so you stand with a controller shaped like a gun - pull the trigger to make the car go. There is a certain element of skill involved which I was never able to master - I kept wiping out at Deadman's Curve...
Fort Hill cemetery overlooks downtown Cleveland, Tennessee - the town where I grew up. As a youth I looked in vain for ghosts here, and as an older teenager, I found it to be a great place for parking with my girlfriend.
Because of Fort Hill's commanding views of the city of Cleveland as well as the railroad and adjacent turnpikes, invading Union troops occupied the cemetery during the War Between the States. Fort Hill also contains the graves of several notable local citizens who played significant roles in Bradley County's history during the War Between the States and Reconstruction. These include Confederate diarist Myra Inman Carter, Union Colonel Spencer Boyd and Judge Levi Trewhitt.
The most somber spot in the cemetery is a mass grave of 270 unknown Confederate soldiers.
Tinsley Park (Kenneth Tinsley Recreational Park) is the best park in Cleveland. It offers 7 tennis courts, softball and baseball fields, a swimming pool, picnic areas, children's playground, and a walking trail.
When I last lived in Cleveland I came here often to walk. The path leads through second growth woods beside Mouse Creek. It is not a loop, so walkers have to re-trace their steps, but that's not so bad. I have also enjoyed bringing my grandchildren here on occasion to play on the swings, sliding boards, monkey bars, etc. in the children's playground.
The ball fields are used for organized teams of various kinds. The park is open year round, but the outdoor swimming pool is open only in summer.
The inscription on the west side of this monument reads:
ERECTED BY THE,
JEFFERSON DAVIS CHAPTER
OF THE CONFEDERACY,
The inscription on the east side reads:
"MAN WAS NOT BORN
TO HIMSELF ALONE
BUT TO HIS COUNTRY."
In front of the monument are the words: TO OUR KNOWN AND UNKNOWN CONFEDERATE DEAD.
Not far from Cleveland, in Fort Hill Cemetary, are the graves of more than 270 unknown Confederate soldiers, killed in battle.
Opened in October , 2000, the Paul Conn Student Union has become the living room of the Lee University campus. It contains the campus bookstore, student post office, meeting rooms, offices, and a food court with Chick Fil-A, Pizza Hut, and Selona Grill.
I am particularly proud of this building because it was named for my brother, Paul, who is Lee's longest serving president, from 1986 to present. The building was also erected by another brother, Raymond, who owns C&S Contractors with offices in Cincinnati, OH, and Cleveland, TN. The project superintendent for the building was a sister, Camilla Conn Warren of Cincinnati. Please pardon my bragging.
At the center of the Lee University Campus, across from the Paul Conn Student Union, is the Sarah Conn Wesson Park and Gazebo. This beautiful green space on the campus was named for my older sister, Sarah, 1943-1970. She was a Lee Alumna and the park was furnished through contributions made by her brother, Paul. All three of Sarah's children have graduated from Lee, and a scholarship has been set up in her honor.
When I was a student at Lee this building housed the library. Now a new library and research center have been built, and the older structure has been renamed the Vest Building, after a former Lee College President. The two lower floors of the Vest Building house the University's administrative offices, and the top floor is the Edna Minor Conn Hall. It was named for my mother, a Lee Alumnus, wife of a former president, and mother of the current president of the University. Mom, the only true saint in our family, passed away in 1997. I miss her dearly.
The Conn Center is the principal auditorium on the Lee University campus. It is named for my father, who was Lee's president from 1970-1982. The full name of the building is Charles W. Conn Center for Christian Ministries and the Performing Arts.
In addition to University functions, the Conn Center is also often the venue for civic events such as Community Concerts.
Lee University is a Christian Liberal Arts University with an enrollment of almost 4,000. The students hail from all 50 of the United States and more than 47 different countries. It is the largest church related institution in Tennessee, and the second largest private university in the state, being surpassed only by Vanderbilt in Nashville. Although it is owned and operated by the Church of God, Lee has both students and faculty from a wide variety of denominational affiliations.
The school was founded January 1, 1918 as Church of God Bible Training School. It relocated to Sevierville, TN, between the years 1938-1947. Upon the return to this spot in Cleveland, in 1947, the name was changed to Lee College, after Flavius J. Lee, an early president of the school and church leader. In the past decade the College has grown to University status.
Lee occupies a beautiful 115 acre campus surrounded by an older residential neighborhood, just north of downtown Cleveland.
Our family has many strong links to Lee. I grew up a short walk from this campus and most of my childhood memories center around this neighborhood. My parents met each other at the old BTS when it was located in Sevierville, and all 12 of their children are Lee alumni. Several in our family either are or have been on the faculty or staff, so pardon me if I sound a bit biased in Lee's favor.
When I was a kid the Bradley County courthouse in downtown Cleveland was a beautiful old red brick structure, with lots of charm and character. In the name of "progress" they tore the old courthouse down in the early 1960's and built a modern "Million Dollar Courthouse." I've never seen an uglier one in all of Tennessee.
A positive note is that since the building of the present courthouse trees have grown up around it so that the building is mostly hidden from view. In 1992 the 1,200 pound McLeeny Bell from the old courthouse was placed in front of the new one, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the City of Cleveland. It is a beautiful bell.
The playground equipment at Deer Park is designed to be an educational learning center. Kids love it. But the main attraction for many seems to be the small un-named branch which runs through one corner of the park. The channeled stream looks exactly the same as it did when I waded here as a kid. Wondrous creatures may be found in the creek: crawdads, salamanders, tadpoles, and water striders. Occasionally one may even find a harmless snake. The kids in this picture are in hot pursuit of a salamander.
Perhaps most people wouldn't list this small park as a "Must See" activity, but my grandchildren do, and so did I when I was their age. The oldest park in Cleveland, it has changed only a little during the intervening half century, even with its renovation in 1998. The only ammenities in Deer Park are a large playground and picnic areas. The tennis courts which were once here have been moved to a newer and larger park.
The area around Cleveland is known for it's rivers, the Tennessee, the Hiwassee, the Ocoee, and the Conasagua. No wonder then that the theme for this award winning museum is the "River of Time." Exhibits interpret 7 time periods in the Ocoee Region of Tennessee, from prehistory to the present.
The museum also contains a gift shop, cultural center, and an educational center.
Admission is $5.00 for adults and $4.00 for children and seniors.
Hours are Tues.-Fri., 10-5 and Sat., 10-3. The museum is closed on Sun. & Mon.
I am proud to note that the Museum Center was erected by my brother Raymond's construction company, C&S Contractors.