Arts & Culture

Book Review: Forgotten Tennessee

Forgotten Tennessee by Jerry JCL Winnett explores the best finds on Tennessee’s backroads. {Photo by Tabitha Evans Moore, Lynchburg Times}

As anyone with a proclivity for rambling Sunday drives knows, there’s an art to roaming the backroads of Tennessee. What will you discover today ? … An old drive in movie screen covered in kudzu, a long-abandoned sharecroppers house, or a broken down roadside motel. You never know.

It’s that love of back road discoveries and roadside surprise that inspired Jerry JCL Winnett’s new book, Forgotten Tennessee. The 128 page photo book features over 20 different photo essays of the places Winnett’s discovered while rambling through the state from the east to west and all places in between. He also describes the nerve-racking work with an unspoken rule that it’s better to beg for forgiveness than ask permission. Most photographers who love shooting abandoned locations try to get in and get out as quickly as possible with as many images as possible before getting noticed.

“Places like this should be frightening, and they are, but they emit such an aura of mystique that one is able to kick fear to the curb.”

Author and Photographer Jerry JCL Winnett

The book captures gritty, broken down place like the hidden grave site of Esquire Alfred Blackman, one of the founders of Murfreesboro, that Winnett discovered while rambling near Interstate 840.

“To say the least, I was shocked that I’d found myself walking through the burial ground of such a historically renowned family, a burial ground apparently forgotten by many residents,” Winnett says.

Other cool finds include the world largest tree house in Crossville, abandoned Greer Stadium in Nashville, and a sailboat sitting in a field near the Shelbyville Highway in Rutherford County.

To learn more about his work, you can follow Winnett on Facebook on his Abandoned in Tennessee page. You can also follow his blog by clicking here. You may purchase the book on Amazon and other book retailers for $24.99. •

{Editor’s Note: The Lynchburg Times donated our review copy to the Moore County Public Library if you’d like to check it out there.}

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