Time To Get Out And Ride

January 11, 2023
This is the first time in 56 years that I do not have a 'official' job to go to since I retired after 20 years at my last place of employment. Since the weather looks pretty tolerable and I'm caught up on chores, I figure I'll take a ride. As is my normal routine, I head for the Natchez Trace to mull over my route for the day.  
I take the shortcut through Newsom Station and pass by the old dam. It's such a shame that when they put through I40 that they destroyed the old Newsom Plantation house. Mr. Newsom had quite the spread with a grist mill powered at this dam, a large mansion and a rock quarry near by. Many of the historical buildings in Nashville used rock from his quarry. And now about all is left is part of the old mill house and dam.
But soon I am on the Trace proper and nowadays I still scratch my head as to why the Park Service moved this sign from the entrance where it sat for years to a mile or so further along the Trace. But I have learned that the government and 'common sense' do not usually belong in the same sentence unless 'none' is applied.
The Trace is quiet this morning which gives me plenty of time to enjoy bends and contemplate what my next turn will be.
  But as always on the Trace, your deer 'alarm' better be on at all times of the day. I don't believe the local deer have Apple watches as they show up whenever you least expect them.  
When I get to where Highway 50 crosses to Trace, I know good roads in either direction. One of the advantages of having a lot of roads in my head is 'on the fly' routing. Since I haven't done Little Lot and Highway 48 in a while, I take a right and head in that direction.
Off of Highway 50, Highway 230 runs through Little Lot and up to Highway 100.
It's a dandy run that I have enjoyed for many years but isn't really on anybody's riding radar - which is fine with me.

Little Lot proper has seen better days as the general store was demolished a long time ago. The reason for the name is quite simple - Little Lot was named for its diminutive size when a founder declared -

"It is such a little lot, we can't give it a big name".

I hit Highway 100 at the end of 230, hang a left and stop for a break a local store I know at the corner of Highway 100 and Highway 48 - the next piece of my route. But I happen to notice that they are doing a bridge rebuild so I won't be going that way today.
Well, with that plan in the bin, I head back toward the Holler on Highway 100. Then it occurs to me that I might could get to 48 if I hook a left at Lyles and take Pinewood road over to Highway 48. That intersection should be beyond the bridge out so I'm on it like a duck on a June bug.

The story of Pinewood where this road leads is both amazing and sad -

Down the road a piece in the north central part of Hickman County is the community of Pinewood. Mrs. Samuel (Frances) Graham named the community from the fact that the original buildings were all constructed of pine.
Settled in 1806 by James Davis, by 1820 there was a grist mill and cotton gin. It was in 1848 that Samuel L. Graham, with his brother Richard Graham and brother-in-law, William Lytle purchased the Davis farm and sixty five acres of land on Piney River. Samuel L. Graham and his son, John, came to solely own the land and kept buying until they owned sixty five hundred acres of rich farm land.
It was under Graham’s foresight and determination that Pinewood came into its own as a self-sustained village with rows of houses, a brick factory, a textile mill, saw mill, blacksmith shop, a canning factory, along with a grist mill that ground flour and meal. Included in this progressive community of more than four hundred was a hotel, general store, post office, a church, a school, and the Grahams’ Pinewood Mansion.
Completed in 1868 the Pinewood Mansion cost an exorbitant $32,000 to construct. Unlike anything ever seen in Hickman County, the home boasted elaborate Italian plaster work and solar heated water. The bathtub was copper, the basin was marble, and the faucets were silver. But the feature most remembered by all who entered was the grand winding stairway, hand carved of Cuban mahogany.

The tallest monument in Hickman County is the granite grave marker for Frances Helm Graham. Requiring eighteen mules to haul from Dickson, the marker still stands in the center of the Graham Cemetery on the Pinewood Farm. Mrs. Graham died in 1863. Mr. Graham died in 1892.

Son, John Graham suffered financial crisis in the early 1900s and sold much of the land. The land fell to different ownership through the years with Mack Craig purchasing the mansion and surrounding forty acres in 1967. Mr. Craig restored the house and filled it with antiques. In 1971 the Pinewood Mansion was added to the roster of the National Registry of Historic Places. In March of 1975 a fire started in the kitchen, burning the mansion to the ground.

At the time of his death, Mr. Graham owned over 6,000 acres, oversaw a self-sufficient community with its own currency and was the wealthiest man for many miles in any direction. Now all that is left of his 'empire' is a lonely grave marker that sets out in the middle of a field that can hardly be seen from Highway 48.

I do miss some of the sweeter twists and turns on the closed section of Highway 48, but there are still some mighty nice ones left.
Highway 48 takes me through Dickson, up to Charlotte where I hang a right on Highway 49 - one of my favorite rides. And just off of Highway 48 is a mighty fine bit of pavement call Highway 250.
Off of 250 I hang a left that will take me by the Narrows of the Harpeth and the Montgomery Bell Tunnel - which has a bit of unique history itself.
It's a short run but enjoyable run to the Holler from here. It's awful nice to be able to get out and get some wind in your ears and for that I will be always thankful.