How many of you remember, or have ever seen, a “See Rock City” barn along the highway?
Ever since Rock City, an iconic 80-year-old Chattanooga-area tourist attraction located on Lookout Mountain just across the Tennessee state line in Walker County, Georgia, was opened, there have been “See Rock City” barns on various highways all over the American South. These barns have been just as iconic, if not more, than Rock City itself, and are a true piece of old “Americana”.
Two years ago, Ben Morris purchased some property on Atlanta Highway (GA 9) just south of Cumming, GA, in Forsyth County. This property includes an old produce stand, an old house, and a barn that was built in the 1930s. Until GA 400 was completed in 1981, GA 9 was US 19, a major highway linking Atlanta with the mountainous regions of Georgia and North Carolina.
According to Mr. Morris, who had the barn recently restored, a handyman had found that “See Rock City” previously existed on the barn’s roof. As a result, Mr. Morris had the barn restored back to the iconic look. Unfortunately, the Forsyth County code enforcement officers were not impressed and he received a citation as a result. Mr. Morris does plan to fight this citation.
Early this evening after enjoying a nice dinner in Cumming, I decided to drive over to Mr. Morris’s barn and get some photos for posterity. Here’s one my wife Mary took of me posing in front of the barn…
In my honest opinion, Forsyth County is intruding on the rights and freedoms of a landowner who only wanted to restore a barn to it’s original iconic image. Mind you, I have no problem with enforcing code violations such as junky cars, extremely tall grass, or a structure that has become a total eyesore and results in the degradation of property values in the vicinity. However, I fail to see where this barn would be an eyesore and Forsyth County should just drop the charges and leave this barn alone. Frankly, for all I care, he could’ve painted anything on this barn and it wouldn’t bother me one bit. It’s his property and Mr Morris has done a really nice job with this barn.
Here’s an idea… let’s e-mail, call, or fax the Forsyth County Code Enforcement Department. After I complete writing and posting this blog, I will immediately send an e-mail to Steve Zaring, the department’s supervisor. If you also feel that they need to leave the barn alone and drop the charges against Mr. Morris, then I encourage you to contact them as well.
If you wish to see this barn up close and in person, here are directions from Atlanta…
– US 19/GA 400 north to Exit 13 (GA 141).
– Turn left on GA 141.
– Turn right on GA 9 (Atlanta Highway) toward Cumming.
– Go past Billy Howell Ford/Lincoln and the Lakewood/400 Antique Market.
– The “See Rock City” barn is located on the right side of GA 9 just past Lakewood/400. (There is a parking lot near the barn. It is a business, however, so if you do visit, then please do so respectfully and briefly.)
Finally, I know that I haven’t blogged near as much as I used to, but I do regularly post stuff on the GRG Facebook page, which I hope you “like”. I’ve also created a new Instagram page for posting newer road pics from the road. Please be assured that I will post blogs whenever I get the urge to blog about something road-related that I believe in and that I always appreciate your support.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and “liking” our Facebook and Instagram pages and please come back often.
SOURCE: “See Rock City” Barn Leads To Dispute, WXIA-TV (11 Alive), Atlanta, GA, April 5, 2013.