Cotton States Archive
Cotton States Archive features ephemera, publications, objects and images pertaining to people, places and events throughout the course of southern history. The items contained in this department are all part of my personal collection.

Greg Freeman, Editor

Post Cards are fascinating items to collect. While many enthusiasts enjoy collecting cards that originated from a particular publisher or involve a specific theme (such as Valentine's Day or Christmas), certainly southern related cards merit collecting. Southern post cards can offer a glimpse of life in the region in previous eras and, as an added bonus, the handwritten messages on the reverse of postally used cards are often as intriguing as the obverse.

Atlanta's Briarcliff Hotel:  A Part of Ponce de Leon Avenue's Comeback?  Atlatna's Briarcliff Hotel:  A Part of Ponce de Leon Avenue's Comeback?
Atlanta's Briarcliff Hotel, designed by G. Lloyd Preacher, once contained the penthouse of a Coca Cola heir, housed the offices of gospel music's Statesmen Quartet and featured the popular and upscale King & Prince Restaurant, a business venture between gospel's Don Butler and Roland "Rozie" Rozell.  Gangster Al Capone is even rumored to have had a suite at this Druid Hills landmark.
Hamilton County Bridge:  A Centerpiece of Chattanooga's Riverfront Renaissance  Hamilton County Bridge:  A Centerpiece of Chattanooga's Riverfront Renaissance
Now known as the pedestrian-only Walnut Street Bridge, Chattanooga's Hamilton County Bridge once spanned the Tennessee River to connect Chattanooga's downtown to Hill City.  Today, the Delta Queen Hotel, Tennessee Aquarium and Bluff View Art District are all within easy walking distance of the bridge.  The site of brutal, racially-charged lynchings, the bridge is now an integral part of Chattanooga's riverfront renaissance.
Healey Building Post Card Begs the Question:  Who Was Marie Brandon?  Healey Building Post Card Begs the Question:  Who Was Marie Brandon?
Postally unused, but quite old, this card depicts Atlanta's still-standing Healey Building.  Making this card unique is its handwritten message on the reverse, in which the writer is telling the reader about an encounter with a vaudeville performer, Marie Brandon, at Childs' Restaurant.  Research to uncover details about Marie Brandon has been met with no success, but perhaps someone will some day be able to answer the question:  Who was Marie Brandon?
Forgotten Faces of Walhalla

The Ponce de Leon Apartments:  One of Atlanta's Most Distinguished and Endangered Properties

Situated at the corner of Peachtree Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta's trendy Midtown district, the Ponce Condominiums (formerly known as the Ponce de Leon Apartments) is opposite the Georgian Terrace Hotel and across the street from the Fox Theatre.  The Beaux-Arts building, Atlanta's first luxury apartment building, was designed by famed architect William L. Stoddart.  Learn more about this architectural jewel and its reported influence on the design of one of Downtown's most prominent skyscrapers.

Man o' War:  The Wonder Horse

Touted even today as the greatest racehorse in history, this article explores the racing and breeding career of a true champion.  Perhaps Man o' War's greatest contributions to horse racing were his offspring, including Triple Crown winner, War Admiral, and Hard Tack, the sire of 1938 Horse of the Year Seabiscuit, the subject of a motion picture that received seven Academy Award nominations (including one for Best Picture).

Hamilton National Bank:  Chattanooga's Needle in a Haystack

Completed in 1911, the Beaux-Arts style Hamilton National Bank building was designed by R. H. Hunt, an architect described as "the master builder of Chattanooga."  Still standing today, the building can be difficult to spot in the cityscape due to the glass and steel facade that has concealed its original exterior since the 1960s.  This card, postmarked 1917, is an interesting piece of history.  A photography studio was using the post card to remind a client of a payment due.

The Winecoff Hotel:  An Atlanta Irony

The site of the worst hotel fire in American history, the Winecoff Hotel has been the subject of books and even a song.  The tragic event of December 7, 1946, in which 119 individuals lost their lives seems but a distant memory now that the William L. Stoddart-designed structure has been converted into the boutique-style Ellis Hotel.

Andrew Johnson Hotel:  Knoxville Landmark Where Hank Williams Would Have Spent Final Night

A Knoxville landmark since 1928, the Andrew Johnson Building (formerly the Andrew Johnson Hotel) remained the city's tallest building until 1979, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.  Country music legend Hank Williams checked into the hotel on the fateful night that he passed away while en route to Charleston, West Virginia for a concert.

"I've Been to Memphis!"

This post card, depicting the beautiful Beaux-Arts style Cotton Exchange Building, features a delightful glimpse into the past when cosmopolitan destinations like Memphis were something to talk about because of all the paved streets and plentiful automobiles.  Designed by Neander Montgomery Woods Jr., this lovely building still stands today as one of Memphis' skyline's most elegant bastions of the past.
The Ponce de Leon Apartments:  One of Atlanta's Most Distinguished and Endangered Properties
Man o'War:  The Wonder Horse
Hamilton County Bridge:  Chattanooga's Needle in a Haystack
The Winecoff Hotel:  An Atlanta Irony
Andrew Johnson Hotel:  Knoxville Landmark Where Hank Williams Would Have Spent Final Night
"I've Been to Memphis!"
Publications, Objects, Images & Ephemera featured here include books, periodicals, photographs, artwork, letters, documents, advertising items and the like. These are fun to collect, and often some items can be obtained very inexpensively at yard sales, flea markets and from dealers of antiques and collectibles. What's the saying? One man's junk is another man's treasure? That adage certainly applies here, explaining why an exorbitant amount of money isn't necessarily needed to enjoy this segment of the collectibles market. Treasure Amid the Dusty Covers and Musty Pages
Treasure Amid the Dusty Covers and Musty Pages
Unappreciated at the time they were given to me, the items featured in this article include old books and other interesting little bits of history from the estate of Mrs. Moser, who lived just over the hill from me.  These books, scribbled notes and even a dried, brittle, pressed four-leaf clover transport me to a different era, one about which I have always been curious.  Pickin' and Grinnin' . . . Live on the Radio!  Forgotten Faces of Walhalla
Recalling the days of live radio, this story features some of the popular radio performers of my mom's childhood.  Listening to radio stations in Greenville, South Carolina, as well as Royston, Gainesville and Athens, Georgia, Mom collected these photographs, which include Greenville's local star, Country Earl.  Efforts to identify the Gainseville, Georgia band have been in vain.  Any information readers might have would be most appreciated.
Quite possibly someone's great-grandfather or perhaps someone's great aunt is depicted among the forgotten faces shown in these photographs, which were given to me by my grandmother, but only one of the images includes any sort of identification.  If you have Walhalla, South Carolina connections, one of these individuals could be related to you! 

An interesting piece of ephemera, this old ink blotter, promoting an insurance company, features a bucolic scene complete with fun-loving boys swimming au naturel and splashing in their favorite old swimmin' hole.  The Old Swimmin' Hole
Southern Edition

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