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Remember "See Rock City" barns? If you traveled anywhere in the
southeastern United States in the 1950's or 1960's, chances are you've seen hundreds of
the barns, each with the roof or sides pained with white letters on black background,
"See Rock City." "See 7 states."
|It all began in the 1920's, when
Garnet and Frieda Carter developed a garden walkway on their estate atop Lookout Mountain,
in northern Georgia, overlooking Chattanooga. America was in the Great Depression
when the Carters opened their gardens to the public in 1932. In what would become
one of the most unique advertising gimmicks ever, Carter hired Clark Byers to paint
"See Rock City" on hundreds of barns located along highways leading to
Clark Byers died February 19, 2004 at age 89. From 1937 until his retirement in
1969, Byers painted over 900 barns in 19 southern states
The barns are so cherished by America's baby boomers, that miniature replica "See
Rock City" birdhouses are sold worldwide. Most of the original barns are but a
memory. If you are lucky, you still may see one on America's backroads!
- -Loren Eyrich,
Two-Lane Roads magazine
Go to Rock City
||Book - Rock City Barns: A Passing Era
by David B. Jenkins
In a celebration of both regional history and outdoor advertising art, Rock City Barns
provides an excellent visual catalog of hundreds of barns which sported the Rock City ad.
The author drove over 35,000 miles in a period of thirty years to capture these vanishing
relics on film: over 500 sites in 15 states are captured in a fine, unique photographic
odyssey. Hardcover, 160 pages, 104 color photos.