Friday, April 3, 2009

Towers, Museums and FOOD

We've driven past this stone tower a dozen times, so today we decided stop and find out what its story was.
We'll it turns out that it was built as part of one of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal Programs. It was built in 1937 to house the offices of the Cumberland Homesteads project. The tower holds a 5000 gallon water tank and has a winding stairway with 97 steps that take you to the lookout platform at the top. At least that's what they say, 97 steps my a**, I think that I lost count at 537, or maybe it was the lack of oxygen to my brain that had my count off a little. The base of the tower holds a three room museum with photos and artifacts from the project
This project was to build 250 homesteads in the area, during the first two weeks over 2000 applications were turned in, the project covered over 10,000 acres and all the homes were built with local material, all of them had indoor plumbing and were wired for electricity even though there was none in the area, the TVA came into the area a few years later. Some of the requirements to qualify for the project were, “high character, ability, honesty, and willingness to work and cooperate with the government in this planned Community. Sounds a little like how our new government would like things.
As you drive around this town if you see a house built from stone, it's one of the original homes from the project.

Everybody back on board please, our next stop is the Military Memorial Museum, located right downtown. This a small local museum that has only been open for a few years now but its packed full of pretty unique military items and gives a good history of the military people of the area. It starts with the Civil War and covers everything right up to the present. The neatest thing we found out is that there was a POW camp here in town which housed 250 German Officers. It wasn't much of a prison since the prisoners all worked at the local farms to make some spending money, they pretty much came an went as they pleased, as a matter of fact one prisoner did try to escape and it was a few days before any boy noticed that he was gone. Camp Crossville became known as the Hyatt Regency of POW Camps. After the war many of the prisoners decided to stay in this area and many returned after going home, for many years after the war prisoners would return to this area to look up the old friends they had made while interned here.

These are the patches that were used to represent General Patton's Ghost Army for the invasion of Europe, and cover up the real D-Day plans for Normandy.

Some one in this area must have had something to do with the film Band of Brothers because they have a lot of props from the movie on display here. Right before you leave you see two American flags on display, one contains the names of the 911 victims and the other has the names of all the police, fire and EMT's that were killed.

While heading home we decided to stop at the restaurant in the state park, they have a big buffet for $7.95 and everybody has been telling us how great it is, so we'll see if they're right. All I can say is WOW! Everything looked so good that I almost had my plate full when I noticed a huge platter of ribs at the end, I managed to squeeze everything to the side of the plate so I could get a few bones on the plate. These are the best ribs I can remember eating, on my second trip I started at the end to make sure I had plenty of room for the ribs, hell you can get salad and veggies anywhere. We found out that they normally only serve ribs on Saturday night and it's $14.95, they only started serving dinner on April 1st for the season and they had a new smoker that they wanted to try out before the first big rib dinner next Saturday so we ended up being the guinea pigs. Imagine experimenting on live human subjects like this, I'm not going to say how many trips I made or how many bones I ate but I sure got my $14.95's worth, oops I mean my $7.95's worth. Cathy didn't keep up with me on the ribs but she did have 2 deserts.
We flipped a coin to see who had to drive back to camp and who got to nap in the back seat.
A few weeks ago when we told some one that we we're going to Crossville for a week, they looked at us funny and asked “Why would you want to go there for a week there's nothing to do there”.

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