NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — For mystery seekers and those in hopes of holding on to a piece of the past, many have found a community in the Facebook group with 220k+ members, Abandoned Tennessee.
“You just kind of wonder about the stories behind it, and what happened to get it to where it is at today,” said James Barnett, who created Abandoned Tennessee group on Facebook in 2015.
What began as a place for him to share photos has now become a place of nostalgia for so many – from old finds to hidden places across Tennessee.
“That’s part of it with the photographs, we take the photographs, and it records a little piece of it, even if it is torn down. There’s a piece of it out there, for people to see,” he said.
Some of his favorite photos include an abandoned tractor graveyard in Lawrence County.
He thinks it used to be a tractor repair shop that now grass grows tall around what’s left behind. But, not even the weeds can replace the memories.
“When I posted that on Facebook the other day, a lot of the people were posting, you know I grew up learning how to drive one of those tractors, that’s how I learned to drive. A lot of comments like that,” Barnett said.
Another unique find of his includes an abandoned clock tower from the old Lawrence County Courthouse. It now sits inside the David Crockett State Park.
“That has gotten everyone’s attention, they’ve really liked seeing that, a lot of comments on it, a lot of people have said, ‘I’ve lived here for 20 years, and I didn’t know that was there.'”
Young and old, there’s a place for everyone in this group.
“We have found a lot of people in the group are shut-in people and that can’t get out. Especially a lot of the older people that really like to see the old things because they grew up with it, and now, they can’t get out and see it.”
And in some ways, this group serves as a call to action for those who care.
“You see the story when it’s falling apart, and you see when people started getting involved and start taking care of it again,” he said.
This is Barnett’s way of honoring and preserving history, one photo and post at a time.