Chattanooga News, 8 Nov 1891

Shared from Picnooga

Among Chattanooga history enthusiasts, David Moon of Picnooga is truly the ‘bloodhound’. He actively hunts for and finds items and photos that are wonderfully unique. Recently, he located and Picnooga purchased a set of five unpublished, perhaps one-of-a-kind, original period prints from the early 1890s.

Fortunately, the photographer had written detailed notes about what appears to have been an entry into a photography competition. We know he was Stephen Clay Dodge. ‘S. C.’ explains he’s 40 years old and an amateur photographer. The amazingly clear view of the ‘new bridge’ under construction was taken about 3pm on June 16th, 1890. What we now know as the Walnut Street Bridge would be opened just 8 months later.

Photography was a popular hobby by the 1890s - as ready-to-use glass plates made it much easier to capture photos. And the majority of those participating were amateurs. Yet, amateurs have preserved history in photos in remarkable ways. Without them, we would not have the wonderful captures of everyday life. How these photos survived – we don’t know, but are thankful.

Photographers Detailed Notes

June 16th, 1890 at about 3pm




Cameron Hill Casino Under Construction

Winter ~1891

Points of Interest

R. C. Gunter

The R.C. Gunter, Sternwheeler, wooden hull, built in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1886 was one of the major packet boats operating between Chattanooga and Paducah, Kentucky.

The Gunter family operated two boats, the R.C. Gunter and the Nathan B. Forrest. They also owned the Bridgeport Land Company. Guntersville, Alabama is named for the Gunter's of Bridgeport.

Unbridled Entrepreneurialism

A mini-series could be made from the litigious drama leading to the construction of an incline, pagoda, casino, hotel, and beer garden near the crest of Cameron Hill, only to end in bankruptcy in less than two years. READ MORE: Chattanooga's Most Obscure Transit Operation, 1889-1892.

According to Chattanooga transportation author and historian, David Steinberg, these are the only known clear views of the incline trestle, passenger car, and upper station of this short-lived enterprise.

Herman Goodman Leather Co.

Herman Goodman Sr. founded the Goodman Hide and Leather Company on Market Street. Goodman and his helpers would drive through the Chattanooga area with horse and wagon, buying hides from people in the country. Often Goodman would spend the night at the home of one of his suppliers. His own residence was on Railroad Avenue between Seventh and Eighth Streets.

The Goodman Hide and Leather Company closed April 1, 1978, after over a century in business in Chattanooga. Its last location was at 801 East 11th Street. Fred Williams, the last owner, said hard times had fallen on the leather business.
SOURCE: Chattanooga’s Story - John Wilson

Stone Fort

A huge limestone outcropping once loomed in the area now occupied by Warehouse Row, adjacent to Market and 11th streets.

Seen here - a fervered effort to remove the stone to make way for the erection of the Customs House, built in 1893.