Independence Day 2012 – Fireworks on the Water

Nothing beats a beautiful fireworks display around water, and the Cumberland River and Old Hickory Lake will certainly be bright at night over the next several days!


Saturday, June 30th – Old Hickory Lake, Mt. Juliet, TN – Enjoy the spectacular fireworks extravaganza courtesy of the Cedar Creek Yacht Club.   Access to the club is private, but there are many surrounding coves and public access points offering tremendous views of the show, which begins approximately 9:00 pm.

Saturday, June 30th – Cumberland River/Cheatham Lake, Ashland City, TN – Just minutes from downtown Nashville at Ashland City’s Riverbluff Park will be an evening fireworks display to mark the end of their 2012 Summerfest.  CLICK HERE for more information

Tuesday, July 3rd – Old Hickory Lake, Hendersonville, Tennessee – July 3rd Freedom Festival at Drakes Creek Park.  CLICK HERE for more information.  Drakes Creek on Old Hickory Lake features many places to anchor and will offer spectacular views of the display.

Tuesday, July 3rd – Cumberland River, Clarksville, TN – at the Clarksville Riverfront, you will find a huge celebration in McGregor park from 6-10 pm, with another huge fireworks display to end the evening.  CLICK HERE for more information.

Wednesday, July 4th – Old Hickory Lake, Gallatin, TN – Picnic in the Park starts at 6:00 pm at the Civic Center.  Although not directly on the lake, there should be some spectacular views from Fairview Plantation and Station Camp Creek, just off of the main river channel.

Wednesday, July 4th – Cumberland River @ Riverfront Park, Nashville TN – “Let Freedom Ring” begins in the afternoon and ends with the most spectacular fireworks show you will ever see.  CLICK HERE for more information.  For those viewing by boat, the main river between the pedestrian bridge and Woodland Street will be closed to boat traffic.  Visiting boaters must anchor above the Korean Veterans Bridge, or below Woodland Street bridge.


Over the next few days, families and friends will join together to celebrate.  Let’s not forget just what it is supposed to be all about!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.


The Return of Steamboating to Tennessee!

There were three Queens that once plied the US inland rivers.  The Delta Queen, The Mississippi Queen, and The American Queen.  All were once owned and operated by The Delta Queen Steamboat Company.  In 2008, each of these boats ceased operations.

The Delta Queen was fortuante enough to continue her service as a hotel in Chattanooga.  The Misissippi Queen was sold for scrap.  CLICK HERE for a previous blog article about The Delta Queen. 

Meanwhile, The American Queen, originally launched in 1995, was idled in foreclosure at the US Maritime Reserve Fleet in Beaumont, Texas to await its fate.

Fast forward to 2011, and the start-up of the Great American Steamboat Company, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.  The American Queen was purchased and towed to a shipyard in Sulphur, Louisiana for renovation.  The American Queen Steamboat Company is putting the that third queen back into service!

CLICK HERE for the history of the American Queen.

Thanks to The American Queen Steamboat Company, the only authentic overnight paddlewheel steamboat in America will have Memphis has its home port!  And the new Godmother of this reborn legend is none other than Priscilla Presley.

The maiden voyage of The American Queen departs New Orleans on April 13th, 2012.  On April 27, 2012 the Queen will arrive in Memphis for its christening ceremony at Beale Street Landing.

For the rest of 2012, The American Queen will offer a variety of 5 to 10 night cruises departing from New Orleans, Vicksburg, Memphis, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Chattanooga, and St. Paul, MN.  Here is the current American Queen website.

To learn more about the rebirth of this grand vessel, visit the American Queen Steamboat Company website.

Who knows, maybe The American Queen will pay a visit to Nashville in 2013.  We’ll be there when she does!

(photos courtesy of American Queen Steamboat Company website and Facebook Page)


Trey Lewis is VP Sales & Marketing for Ole South Properties Inc, Tennessee’s largest independent home builder,  615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340 or email  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Nashville Homes Blog: It’s Christmas on the Cumberland

Christmas in Nashville.  There’s so much going on, and its hard to experience everything in one season.

The Nashville boating community is a great group of folks, consisting of boaters from the Cumberland River, Old Hickory Lake, and Percy Priest Lake.  While many decorate their homes, there are others that decorate their boats.

And then there are some groups that go all out for the season.  One such group is the Rock Harbor Yacht Club, who kicked off the Fifth Annual “Dock Crawl” this past weekend at Rock Harbor Marina.  If you are a boater, or enjoy boating, this is a must-do event.

This year’s celebration centered around various crock pots and platters, followed by specialty drinks at each boat.  Afterwards, the group crawled to the club house for karaoke, a true sight to behold!

While this event provided a good time to all, it also served the needs of many area children.  Every participant donated a toy, or a $10 donation, to Toys For Tots.

We were glad to be able to make the trip down from Blackjack Cove Marina on Old Hickory Lake to enjoy this year’s dock crawl.  It was great to see visiting boats on The Great Loop also in attendance.   Rock Harbor welcomes transient boaters all year round and is just minutes from downtown Nashville!

If you are considering “The Great Loop” trip on your boat, make it a point to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Cumberland River and Old Hickory Lake during your voyage!  If you come to downtown Nashville’s Riverfront Park for New Year’s Eve 2011, we’ll see you there!  And so will Lynrd Sknyrd!

Now, enjoy the sights of Rock Harbor Yacht Club’s 2011 Dock Crawl:

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Nashville Homes Blog: Santa’s early visit to the Cumberland River

To many residents of the Waterford Subdivision in Nashville, Santa has already arrived in town, and he has set up shop on the Cumberland River.

View of Waterford from Upstream Cumberland River

Except this year, he didn’t arrive in a sleigh full of toys.  He arrived with barges full of gravel.

Choctaw Transportation Company Tow Boats

Many remember that the Waterford subdivision was devastated from the now-infamous May 2010 Flood.  Those homes you see overlooking the barges were actually underwater.  Many say this subdivision should have never been built, but that is hindsight.  It was built, and it suffered.  Take a look at the erosion that has taken place over the years:

In September of this year, work started on the Waterford Stabilization Project, in which plastic sheeting is attached to the riverbank and covered with rock, commonly called rip-rap.  Over 100,000 tons of rock will be used to stabilize this 1/2 mile stretch.

The May 2010 flood dealt a harsh blow to Nashville, and many areas are yet to recover.  This project is just one sign that good things can come out of bad situations.   Just ask one of those residents!

Meanwhile, further downstream in the Pennington Bend area, activity seems to be breaking loose.  Although many homes are still like they were after the flood, many have been totally remodeled, or are in the process.  I know of a totally renovated 3-bedroom, 2 bath ranch with a sunroom that will be available for rent in January.  And this is the view you will see every day from your backyard:

Ingram Barge's David K. Wilson

There are several new homes being built along the river, just upstream from Opryland:

New Home on the Cumberland River

And not just homes are being renovated on the river!  Lets check the progress being made at the old Nashville Bridge Company Offices in downtown.  Here is the story:

And further downstream, an older renovation project is still moving forward, the former Neuhoff Packing Plant.  Remember Frosty Morn?

Here are pictures of the Neuhoff Building that I borrowed from another site:

Rivers and Lakes have always attracted people.  The risk of possibile flooding is outweighed by the certainty of a great lifestyle.  If you have ever wanted to live on a lake or river, now is a pretty good time to start exploring.  And guess what?  I want to help you when you do!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Nashville New Homes: And what a Fourth of July it was!

Well, the Fourth of July is now behind us, but there is still a LOT of summer left for all to enjoy.  And there’s no better place to enjoy summer than in the Greater Nashville area of Middle Tennessee!

At just six months old now, this 4th of July was Ruby’s first.  You can tell she is excited about going to the lake:

She wasn’t quite as thrilled about getting in the lake though:

Our weekend officially started with the fireworks show at Cedar Creek Yacht Club.  I found this upload on you-tube that is much better than any pictures I could have taken, which you will soon agree:

Sunday was a busy day on Old Hickory Lake.  I think this is the most boats I have ever seen in “Two-Foot Cove,” which is Old Hickory Lake’s “Party Cove.”

Sunday night, a huge crowd of boats gathered at anchor in Drakes Creek of Old Hickory Lake to view Hendersonville’s fireworks display at Drakes Creek Park:

Fortunately, I found a video on you-tube capturing the finale of this event.  My pictures just didn’t turn out well.  After all, I am a Realtor, not a photographer!

Monday was a day to hang out at the marina and enjoy a great meal at The Black Pearl restaurant.  The steel drums playing maje it the closest thing in Nashville to the Caribbean.  If you haven’t experienced their Sunday Brunch, you owe it to yourself.

And then, Monday night topped off the entire weekend at Riverfront Park in downtown Nashville.  I simply did not have the energy to make the trip downtown, but here are some videos I found on You-tube once again!

Here is the finale of “Let Freedom Sing” with this year’s special guest, Darius Rucker:

And when you have time, here is another video showing more of the extravanganza at Riverfront Park in Nashville.

Nashville was not the only city on the Cumberland River celebrating Independence Day.  Clarksville was also a great place to be, especially since many troops are returning from their service for OUR freedom:

And half way in-between Nashville and Clarksville, Ashland City lit up the sky over their Riverfront as well:


Special thanks to all that took the time to film these great displays of fireworks and for allowing me to borrow them from You-Tube!   It was a great weekend, but is now time to return to helping future homeowners find the perfect new home for their needs.  At Ole South, this IS still the “Yes Days of Summer.”  Come see why!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Fireworks on the Cumberland River – Smoke on the Water & Fire in the Air!

We are lucky to live in Nashville, where we have an abundance of rivers, lakes, and streams to play in!   And this is the weekend that we’ve been waiting for and where anything that can be cooked will be cooked on a grill.

And after the meals, there are few scenes more beautiful than fireworks over the water.  There are some great opportunities coming up on the Cumberland River and Old Hickory Lake over the next few days that you will not want to miss.  

Saturday night, July 2nd, Cedar Creek Yacht Club, located on Benders Ferry Road in Mt. Juliet, will present a huge fireworks display at 9:00 pm.  Although Cedar Creek Yacht Club is not open to the public, there are many parks and other places nearby where you can enjoy the breathtaking views.  There are a lot of nearby coves to anchor in, which is where you will find many of us.

Sunday evening, July 3rd, the festivities move to the other side of the lake at Drakes Creek Park, where Hendersonville will host a terrific fireworks display at 9:00 pm.

And on July 4th, Nashville will host one of the largest fireworks extravaganzas in the country at approximately 9:15 pm at Riverfront Park, titled as “Let Freedom Ring” with special guest star Darius Rucker.

If you plan to watch the fireworks by boat, you will not be allowed to dock at Riverfront Park.  You used to be able to, but former Mayor Bill Purcell put an end to that years ago.   Don’t let that stop you from going by boat though!

Now, you must anchor (good luck) upstream of the Korean Veterans Bridge, or downstream from Woodland Street.  No boat traffic, other than law enforcement or the General Jackson is allowed between those two bridges.

Nashville on the Fourth of July is simply spectacular!  Check out the schedule of “Let Freedom Sing,” which lasts the entire weekend!

If you don’t plan to venture out on the Cumberland River for fireworks,  there are numerous celebrations taking place all over Middle Tennessee.  Here is a list:

And from now, through the end of the holiday weekend, if you are looking for more to do, here is a list of many area happenings:

One thing in particular we all need to do over the next few days…. we all need to take a moment to reflect on the freedom that we enjoy in this great country and remember all the brave men and women that are serving, and have served, our country defending that freedom.

Happy Independence Day! 

P.S.  After the Independence Day Weekend Celebrations are over, Ole South’s YES DAYS OF SUMMER celebrations will continue!  Visit or join our Facebook Fan Page  for the location nearest you!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Spend the night on a real steamboat? You still can in Tennessee!

Although I didn’t take this picture, I remember visiting the Delta Queen one evening when it was moored at Nashville’s Riverfront Park in 2007.   The lights were dim, and all was quiet.  Puzzled by this at 9:00 pm, I approached a crew member and enjoyed a great conversation about life on the Delta Queen.  It was dark and quiet because everyone had gone to bed!

Here is a log of a 2007 voyage of the Delta Queen, including its stop in Nashville.

We have also passed this historic liner many times during recent years on the Cumberland, Ohio, and Tennessee Rivers.   That is a sight we won’t see any more, thanks to the US Congress, who refused to renew the Queen’s exemption from the 1966 SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea) Act, an exemption that every President has signed since Richard Nixon in 1970.  Read the history of this vessel here:!abouth-the-dq

In February of 2009, the Delta Queen arrived in Chattanooga to become a floating hotel at this city’s vibrant riverfront.   From $89 per night, you can step back in time and experience the closest thing to the “glory days” of river travel.  If you don’t have time for overnight, why not visit for a meal?  Here is a link to the hotel website.

It is interesting that the Queen’s “Brother Ship” the “Delta King” serves in a near identical capacity in San Francisco, where the two began service together in 1927.  Of the steamboats, the Delta Queen and King are among the luckiest.

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company owned three “Queens,” all of which ceased operating in 2008.   The “Mississippi Queen” was launched in July 1976 during our nation’s bicentennial and traveled the inland rivers until being sold for scrap in 2010.  Here’s the story:

I can remember passing the Mississippi Queen on the Cumberland River several times as well.  What a sight.

The third “Queen” is the “American Queen,” launched in 1995 as the largest steamboat ever built.  For Sale with fate unknown, she sits mothballed in Beaumont, Texas with the US Maritime Reserve Fleet hoping for better days.

 When it comes to embracing a city’s riverfront, Chattanooga is light years ahead of Nashville and should be commended for saving the Delta Queen. 

With our emerging status as a “world-class” city, would Nashville possibly consider a project using the American Queen at Riverfront Park, or even Opry Mills?  It’s an idea certainly worth consideration…especially since Bill Purcell is no longer in office to deem it a Homeland Security risk to Riverfront Park.  :0)

Even more reasons why Tennessee is the greatest place in the world to live.  Come join us!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Nashville New Homes: Another Day on the Cumberland River – Part I

Friday afternoon, 8 of us departed Blackjack Cove Marina on Old Hickory Lake for a 46 mile journey down the Cumberland River to Commodore Yacht Club, where an annual brunch was taking place on Saturday.  Since this Sunday was to be the “end of the world,” we weren’t going to take any chances on missing a last river trip.

Gates of Old Hickory Lock

The weather was gorgeous as we approached Old Hickory Lock.  The lock works much like the tank on your toliet.   Flush to go down, fill it to go back up. There are floating “mooring bits” to tie onto in side the lock.

Tied up in the lockExiting the lock

 Within minutes, we were flushed down to the river below.  We exited Old Hickory Lock at 4:10 pm.

There are many interesting sites, and a lot of history along this river.  There are also many pieces of residential real estate along the river that most people don’t even know exist.  It was great to see that many homes damaged in the May 2010 flood have been rebuilt.  But there are also those that have not. 

There will be visual reminders of this catastrophe for years to come but now is a great time to buy riverfront property for a completely different and relaxing lifestyle.   And even though there is the chance of flooding, the investment potential is great.  They simply aren’t making any more riverfront property!

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All of the above scenes were taken on the 25 mile stretch of river between Old Hickory Lock and Nashville’s Riverfront Park, where we arrived at 5:50 pm to spend the night.

There was considerably more barge traffic on the river than usual.  Lots of sand, and even more coal!  It is amazing that each barge can hold the equivalent of 53 tractor-trailer loads of material.  

One of Ingram’s boats that I am partial to is the “Martha Denton,” which was named after a dear friend of our family that I have known since birth.  Yep, a long damn time. 

Ingram Barge Company's Martha Denton

Before she passed away last year, Martha joined us for a day on the boat and we learned the history of each individual the Ingram boats are named after.  It is ironic that some of the boats actually seem to take on the “personality” of their namesake!   Seeing the Martha Denton brings a smile every time we pass.  A very fitting tribute to a great lady.

Downtown Nashville is simply beautiful.  The river flows through its center much like blood flows through the heart of the body.  I hope one day Nashville can have a Riverfront to be proud of, much like Knoxville and Chattanooga.  Clarksville has greatly improved their riverfront and docking facilities too.  Why can’t we?

Docked at Riverfront Park

 The administration of Mayor Karl Dean is directing much-needed emphasis to the East Bank and it is great to see the progress.  I think his administration just might “get it” when it comes to a viable Riverfront.

Richard Fulton was the first mayor to acknowledge that we even have a Riverfront, and the docking facility we currently have was built on his watch. 

Nothing much has happened since then, except for the addition of courtesy docking for LP Field and Mayor Bill Purcell removing docking privilidges during holidays and special occasions under the disguise of Homeland Security concerns.  

Perhaps the real reason was that he didn’t have a boat and wanted to get even with everyone that did.  Regardless, it was a stupid policy that remains in effect to this day.

In reality, it is time for all of the docking facilities to be located on the East Bank.  Spend the night on a boat at Riverfront Park, or try and navigate a string of barges under the Shelby Pedestrian Bridge and you too will agree. 

Friday evening, it was our intention to hit the nightspots of downtown in a big way.  We never made it.  Too much good food and good friends to leave! 

In the next blog post, we’ll look at other scenes between downtown and Commodore Yacht Club, a 19 mile stretch of river.

Nashville New Homes: Back again to the Cumberland River.

What is back?   You used to see it regularly on the Cumberland River in the late 80’s and 90’s.  Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians, and other rich and powerful folk used to grace her decks and dining salons.  

Remember when 103 KDF ‘s Carl P. Mayfield used to have remote broadcasts on her from Riverfront Park?  What a coincidence she was 103-feet long too!  Everybody always waved at the owner.  He was a fun and popular guy.  Oh,  “The Good Ole Days.”

What I am talking about is the 103-foot motor yacht, named Dolce Vita, that once belonged to Mario Ferrari, owner of the legendary Mario’s on West End.  I have always wondered what happened to this Cumberland River icon.  I heard it had sunk, then there it was laid up at Rock Harbor in pretty rough shape.  Then, she disappeared and we never knew what happened.

Dolce Vita, at Rock Harbor Marina - in the early 2000's

There is something about older, classic boats.  The rich wood paneling, the classic lines, and the teakwood decks are not quite as evident on modern-day yachts.  Back in the early 90’s, I had the pleasure to join some rich friends for lunch aboard Dolce Vita, prepared by Mario himself.   He really is a gracious and colorful guy… and was a great host.  The atmosphere aboard echoed it’s name… “The Good Life.”

Back to the story.  It turned out that Dolce Vita had been purchased and taken to Louisville, KY.  It then ending up being “left for ruin” on the Ohio River.   I recently heard a rumor that it had been sold again, and was back in Nashville, tied to a bank of the Cumberland River below downtown.  Here is Dolce Vita, when it was “for sale” on the Ohio River.

Yesterday, our friends Cona and Rudy departed Old Hickory Lake on “The Great Loop.”   (Read about their trip in yesterday’s blog post or follow their trip blog at

 I asked them to be on the look out to confirm the rumor of Dolce Vita being back in town.  This morning at 8:00 am, I received these pictures.  Well, I will be damned.  There it is.

It looks like a lot of the cabin “superstructure” has been removed, along with the pilot house.  I certainly hope the new owner will restore the classic lines she once had.  Until then, I’ll save judgement on this project being a classic “restoration.”   

One thing for certain, that 1966 hull is “structural” aluminum and should last forever if maintained properly.  Another certainty…. it will take many thousands of dollars to bring it back to life.  That is a strong commitment someone is apparently making.   Best of luck to them.  

Now, on to another subject…. you don’t have to undertake a boat restoration project, or any project for that matter, to live on the water.  And you don’t even have to mow grass.   Swim by choice in Old Hickory Lake or your own swimming pool.  Check this out:

You don’t have to own a boat to enjoy lakeside living.  But even if you do, you can dock it just a few footsteps away at the new Blackjack Cove Marina!   Might as well leave the cooking behind too!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Nashville New Homes: Another Floating Farewell

This morning, we gathered for breakfast at Blackjack Cove Marina to say good-bye to more great friends, Cona and Rudy Rundlett, and Lucy – the lucky dog. 

Cona and Rudy are departing Old Hickory Lake this morning, beginning their 6000+ mile “Great Loop” voyage aboard “Miss Ellen,” their 48′ Sea Ray Motor Yacht. 

Cona’s last day of work was Friday, March 4th and they were all set to depart on Saturday, March 5th.   The heavy rains last week delayed their trip until this morning.  We’re glad the rain held them up a few more days because we got to spend more time with them!

Their voyage will take them down the Cumberland River into Lake Barkley, through the Barkley Canal, up the Tennessee River on Kentucky Lake, down the Tombigbee Waterway to the Mobile, where coins will be flipped to see where in the Gulf of Mexico they want to go next!  

Below is the route of “The Great Loop.”  Odds are they’ll throw in some side trips to they Florida Keys and Bahamas too!

 On their travels, they are going to see many beautiful sights and meet many new friends.  Speaking of friends, they will probably catch up with Charlotte and Bill (who also recently deserted us) in Marathon Key. 

“Miss Ellen” has more than all of the “comforts of home” and a guest stateroom that hopefully has our name on it sometime!   Here is Rudy’s new office, complete with all the latest technology and gadgets that would even excite “Captain Kirk:” 

Rudy assures us they have no set schedule.  Good thing because their next delay is a string of barges approaching the lock at Old Hickory Dam!   Thats just more time to enjoy this beautiful sunny day in Nashville.

May God be with Cona and Rudy on their travels until we meet again, which we hope will be soon!  In the meantime, we look forward to following their adventure on their trip blog,

Who will be next to turn props on “The Great Loop?”    Odds are pretty good it won’t be us…yet anyway!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee