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Remember "See Rock City" barns?

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Chattanooga, Tennessee

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 Chattanooga.

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 website


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.
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