Tennessee State Capitol

One thing we both grew tired of during this trip was schlepping bags in and out of motel rooms. Another thing was the variation in mattresses, blankets, and pillows in the various motels that made sleep difficult at times. These are little things but they sure made us appreciate the bus-house... and the ability to take our home with us most anywhere we go.  Well, at least most of the time.

Let's see... I guess it's Tuesday now and we were up early once again. The past day or two I came down with a good old fashioned cold and it was a doozie. Added to the motel experience and the cold rainy morning, I would really have preferred to be back at the bus-house, in my own bed, and just left alone to whimper and moan. But reality is what I had to deal with, so off we went to downtown Nashville to visit the Tennessee State Capitol.

The Capitol Building in Nashville is the 18th we've visited. Built before the Civil War, it's one of the oldest Capitols still in daily use. A small structure compared to the many State Capitols built in the late 1800's and early 1900's, it was designed by William Strickland and is considered his crowning achievement. In fact, he died in 1854, five years before the building was completed, and he's buried in the Northeast corner of the building in a tomb of his own design.


The building is constructed of bigby limestone, quarried just a mile or so from the Capitol. The interior walls are marble from other Tennessee quarries. It's one of only a handful of Capitols that have no dome and central rotunda. Much of the interior was restored to it's 19th Century grandeur during the 1980s. Certainly not one of the most decorated or ornate Capitols we've seen, it still had a charm and good feel to it. And it certainly is a worthy structure for the good people of Tennessee.

The building has only three floors. The top floor houses the House of Representatives, the Senate chambers, and the former State Library. The main floor has the Governor's Offices and Reception Room, the former Supreme Court chambers, and other offices. The lower floor, the basement, is off-limits to the public (we found that out for ourselves) and contains mostly offices for legislators.

By about noon we were once again on the road... Dar driving while I tried to sleep off the cold. From Nashville, it will be pretty much a beeline home... a beeline with one overnight stop that is. Crossing the Ohio River we did see a lot of high water -- the result of the record flooding on the Mississippi, Ohio, and it's tributaries this Spring.

We stopped for the night in Mattoon, IL.

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