Its called Memorial Day for a Reason.

Monday is Memorial Day, a day for many that includes a celebration of hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, chicken, and basically anything that can be cooked on a grill.   It is also the holiday weekend that signals that summer has arrived!

But it is a lot more than that also.  Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those that have died serving our country, was originally called “Decoration Day.”  It was first observed on May 30, 1868 when the graves of fallen Union and Confederate soldiers were decorated with flowers at Arlington National Cemetery.

It was not until after World War I that the day became “Memorial Day” to honor the fallen soldiers of any war.  In 1971, Congress passed the bill proclaiming the last Monday in May as the official recognized “Memorial Day.”

Here is a link to the history of this all-important day:

http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

There are a number of ideas that come to mind on what to do this weekend.  With record high temperatures forecasted, the lake is probably the best place to be!

Two-Foot Cove is a popular cooling off spot on Old Hickory Lake.  There is a volleyball net to keep things jumping!  Don’t worry, the channel is clearly marked and just the volleyball area is the “two-foot” deep part.

While you’re at Old Hickory Lake, why not visit Blackjack Cove Marina, and The Black Pearl Restaurant.  They are already on their second batch of Captain’s Punch and the weekend hasn’t even started yet! The Black Pearl is open all weekend and you will not want to miss it’s awesome Sunday Brunch, a great atmosphere accompanied by steel drums.

Here are more scenes from Old Hickory Lake for your enjoyment.

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Everytime I see Ingram boats on the river, I am amazed.  In the above picture, the HB Stewart is pushing 6 barges filled with coal.  Hard to believe that it would take 318 tractor-trailers to haul the same amount.

Another fun and inexpensive outing would be a boat ride from the legendary Cherokee Steak House, near Gallatin.  Visit www.cumberlandrivercruises.com for more information.

So get out there, fire up the grills and ice cream churns, slice some watermelon, and enjoy this weekend.  But please, take a few minutes for remembrance and tribute of those who died protecting these very things we enjoy.  And if you get a chance, thank a living soldier or veteran 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 homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

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:  http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/stories/2010/10/04/daily20.html

And further downstream, an older renovation project is still moving forward, the former Neuhoff Packing Plant.  Remember Frosty Morn?    http://wikimapia.org/1560269/Historic-Neuhoff-Buildings

Here are pictures of the Neuhoff Building that I borrowed from another site:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/greystgirl/sets/72157608368624763/

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: 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.