Tag Archives: Chattanooga TN

The (accidental) discovery of a lifetime

Leo Lambert (1895-1955), though trained as a chemist, was an avid cave enthusiast. He was the first person to explore the Tennessee Cave on Mount Aetna (now known as Raccoon Mountain Caverns), and at one time managed the Nickajack Caverns in Marion County, TN. He moved to Chattanooga because his fiancée Ruby Eugenia Losey moved […]

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The country is full of gold

Here’s a letter written by one George A. Barrows to a Lewis ______ (perhaps Coleman) in Seattle, Washington, dated June 16, 1901. It’s from the James B. Frazier Papers Collection in the University of Tennessee Special Collections Library. James Beriah Frazier (1856-1937) was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1881, and began his practice in […]

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George W. Christians, American fascist

It is the privileged role of the Art Smiths, the William Pelleys, and the George Christians to lay only the cornerstone of fascism. It is in their rudimentary organizations that the petty bourgeoisie receives its first elementary schooling in dictatorship. It is from the Smiths and the Pelleys that it learns to scrap its democratic […]

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Family Makes Treasure Trove of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available for Book

“It turns out there were boxes and boxes of photos in the collection from early Chattanooga photographer David Stokes and son, Will Stokes. David Stokes was in Hamilton County before the Civil War and he fought with the Union Army. He married Mary Tennessee Fitzgerald, whose family was from Ooltewah. David Stokes was a painter and he also tried his hand at watchmaking. He was briefly the proprietor of the Eblen House, which was on Market Street between Fifth and Sixth streets. But, by the time he died at the early age of 58 in January 1901, he was known as one of the city’s most prominent photographers after opening his photography shop on lower Market Street about 1881.”

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Empress of the Blues

When Bessie Smith sang the blues she meant it. Smith (1894-1937) was the greatest and most influential classic blues singer of the 1920s. Dubbed “The Empress of the Blues,” Smith embodied the blues feeling, while her songs, drawing from her sordid lifestyle, rang true with rural and urban audiences alike. Smith was born on April […]

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