Gunfight In Dixie XV Part 2

A total of 222 cowboy's and cowgirl's turned up for the Gunfight and by yesterday it was all over bar the shouting.

Jack and I both finished with clean matches and no major dramas, so we're very happy. I've got to say that we really enjoyed the stages. The weather held out, still a little on the cool side but was sun shiny magic!

 

After lunch, the shootout was held for the Top 16 men's and Top 8 ladies. A great stage of all rifle knockdowns, the Texas star for pistol and then shotgun to makeup and take out the final decider plate.

 

We visited with many great shooters this weekend and enjoyed catching up with some we hadn't seen for a very long time and making new acquaintances with others! Good times!

The banquet last night was set in the Shriner Club, with stage, dance floor, band and photo corner. Prizes were drawn and awards given. A white steer head pin was given to 36 shooters who shot the match clean!

Congratulations to all shooters who placed in their categories this weekend, won side matches and enjoyed the team match and shootout.

The Regional winners were given a category plaque with the Memphis Gunslingers signature steer head and region map on it. 1st Place winners of each category (within region or not) got a really nice silver and gold accented buckle, with 2nd receiving a white/silver and 3rd on, a bronze coloured/silver buckle.

Jack finished in 2nd Place for Silver Senior Category! (Mistakenly 3rd last night) Congratulations to Fast Eddy 1st Place and SE Regional Champion, 3rd Place Two X Tom, 4th Place Max Payne, 5th Place Three Sheets, 6th Place Badlands Charlie.

 

I finished 1st Place in Lady Wrangler category! Congratulations to Dew R Dye, 2nd Place and SE Regional Champion, 3rd Place Belle Vaquera.

 

The shootout was won by Prestidigitator (Tator) and myself. We thoroughly enjoyed shooting with him over the weekend.

 

Congratulations to Tator for taking top honours! 1st cowboy overall and SE Regional Champ with Dodge City Dixie being the SE Regional Champion cowgirl. I was ecstatic to place 1st lady overall. Lots of awesome shooters and many world champs at this match!

 

Thanks again to the Memphis Gunslingers and everyone who helped put on the shoot.

 

As Elvis would say 'thank you very much!'

Kat xo

 

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Lotz House

The home of the Lotz family built in 1858, occupied for 3 years prior to the Battle of Franklin.

He was a humble man, a woodworker on a 5 acre lot with some animals. Not well to do but would have had better furniture and fixtures than most (not to the calibre of the plantation owners) due to his craftsmanship. His house was a showcase of his talents, both for structural woodworking and for instruments, he had no slaves so everything was done by the family,

Mr Lotz had heard there may be a battle but Federal officials also said that there wouldn't be a battle here, that they had planned a battle for Nashville. Mr Lotz' home was a timber structure and was concerned for his family. Across the way was the Carnton Plantation, there home made of brick. The Carters would allow the Lotz family to come stay with them should a battle occur in Franklin.

The youngest, 2 year old twins, had died before the battle after drinking contaminated or poisoned water the Federals had tampered with prior to the Confederates coming into Franklin.

This family had already endured the rigors of war before the battle had even begun.

One night when a Union officer came knocking at his door Lotz gathered up his family (and his toolbox) and they hurried to the Carnton Plantation.

It must have been difficult for him to watch his house be ruined by unruly soldiers who were merely cold, hungry. They pulled out all his out houses, barns and fences, cut down trees etc and when hungry started killing his livestock for food.

His house was severely damaged from fire, cannon's and bullets. His house was used as a field hospital for both Confederate and Federal soldiers. (Hence the red flag I the picture below)

The Battle of Franklin rendered 10,000 casualties in its short 5 hours. It is said that once the troops moved on the towns folk would see the devastation that would be forever burnt in their memories.

Death and destruction like no other, as he took his family back to their home they literally had nowhere to put their feet that they weren't stepping on bodies. Seventeen horses lay dead in the front yard and no way to move any of them as he now had no stock to pull the wagon. For two weeks they lay there.

The family then lived in the root cellar (where you stored your root vegetables duri the winter), a dirt floor next to no heating during cold weather while Mr Lotz began repairs on the home, mending floorboards, walls, taking out broken windows and boarding up the right side of the house. Burnt boards were taken off and flipped over to be re-affixed. With no nails or anything, Mr Lotz pulled the horseshoes off the dead horses to use the nails for fixing floorboards.

What an overwhelming thought of grief, pride, yet sheer resilience this man and indeed his family had to be able to go on wih their lives.

It took him four years to restore his home to livable conditions. Now Mr Lotz was trying to gain commissions again for furniture and instruments. He built a piano and inlay a confederate flag one end and an American flag the other. A wingspread eagle through the centre had its talons clutching the Confederate flag.

The Klu Klux Klan was a 'good' group in the very early days. They supported Confederate families who had lost loved ones during the battles. They had heard about Mr Lotz piano and they set out to see the masterpiece. At the knock on the door Mr Lotz was excited they may be coming to see his work and purchase the piece however it took a turn for the worse. They were so outraged and felt it dishonourable to show the eagle clutching the flag that after heated discussions took place Mr Lotz was threatened that they would be back to tar and feather him.

Mr Lotz feared they would definitely be back, he quickly packed his covered wagon, sold as much as he could and left the rest, selling his house to the Buchanan family …… And along with it some other items of furniture AND the piano. By the way, he moved clear East to San Jose, California.

For the poor family who bought the home, awoken by a crashing noise, found the Klan had indeed come back and broken into the house, retrieved the piano, took it outside, smashed and burnt it.

Anyway that's all I can remember from Miss Helen's guided tour of the house. No pictures could be taken inside unfortunately. There were some truly magnificent pieces of art, china and furniture. Only a few have been returned to the House historical society that belonged to, or was made or painted by one of the Lotz family members.

You can see on the outside of the house the different cornice above the windows to showcase different styles of his work. Evident also in the very different mantlepieces, staircase and triple crown moulding he had carved and made using hand tools.

 

A humbling, interesting end to a long day.

Kat xo

 

Wartrace, Tennessee

What a neat range! Permanent facades for every stage, built on private property where it is purely for Cowboy Action Shooting.

The Regulators Reckoning, Tennessee State Match was held this past weekend and the weather was, if not, back to normal and a little on the hot side of the gauge.

We arrived into Tullahoma on the Wednesday afternoon and did a recon out to the range.

 

Thursday was some side matches and then we participated in a 4 stage Wild Bunch match. Hot, with tired legs and aching feet we didn't stay for the man on man event and headed back to the motel.

 

Friday we began with 5 stages of main match finishing just after 1pm. After lunch they had a team event. Names were draw from a hat to decide the make up of the three person teams. A clever concept! Jack and I were both lucky. It was Jackaroo, Prestidigitator, Marshall Rico. I was with Blackfish Kid and Ocoee Red.

It was an all knockdown timed stage, one would do pistol, one the rifle, one finish on the shotgun.

Anyway when it all boiled down to it, the team I was with won in 20.21sec!! I will add, if Jacks team hadn't had a slight fumble with the shotgun they would have beaten us!

After that it was all fun, making up your own teams and having fun trying to outdo each other as team on team events!

Dinner was at the range that night with side match awards held and with Whiskey Hayes working for Jack Daniels there was plenty of 'extra prizes' to go around!

 

Saturday was back into the final 5 stages with a turn in the weather (having become overcast and 25 degrees less than the previous 2 days!), the sun eventually appeared about the last 2 stages.

I'd like to thank our awesome Posse, Posse 3 a great bunch of people. Jackaroo and myself with C. W. Knight (our Posse leader), Fort Knox, Cody Kid, Boxom Boo, Tucker T Fudpucker, Buford Tanner, Marshal Rico, Sassy Teton Lady, Deadwood Woody, Wabash Valley Slim, Big Country, Christian Mortician and Smokin' Dave.

That evening was the banquet and awards, a good turn out of people with some fabulous costumes. I didn't even recognise Titus A. Gnatsass in his steampunk costume and mask! Pictured below with Dirty Nerdy.

 

A different twist on awards I thought, all the Tennessee State Champions were called up for their category and received their buckles first. Then all the categories were awarded according to placing.

Jack won 2nd place in Silver Senior – 1st place Knob Creek Drover, 3rd place and Tennessee State Champ Ocoee Red, 4th place Pig Iron Lane, 5th place C. W. Knight. Congratulations gents!

 

I was 2nd place in Lady Wrangler – 1st place and Tennessee State Champ Dew R Dye, 3rd place Cotton Tail and 4th place VIX-N With Vaqueros. Congratulations lovely ladies and a pleasure to duel again with Dew, 2.6sec's between us, 9 rank points!

 

This years overall winners were Lead Ringer and Slick's Sharpshooter. The overall Tennessee State Winners were Cumberland Drifter and Dew R Dye! Congratulations!

We had a great time, thanks to all the Wartrace Regulators for all your hard work!

Kat xo

P.S. Finished it off today with the Wild Bunch Range Officer course. Passed!

 

Tennessee

Moonshine, whiskey, cowboy boots and more.(cue singing)'…..rocky top, you'll always be, home sweet home to me….good Ol' rocky top, rocky top Tennessee….'

Through Sevierville we had to stop at Dolly Parton's statue, this was her home town and as we had decided to forego the Dollywood theme park, I just had to have a picture with Dolly! (Singing with Dolly).'..in my coat of many colours, my mama made for me…'

 

We got into Pigeon Forge yesterday, acquired some boots, went to the Christmas Place!…..wow, think this one beats the Leavenworth one, even the Denny's diner next door is Christmasfied! Yes I just made up that word, well it is!…(with eyes wide and sing)'….jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock….'

 

Found the same decorations as last year, now we can update one with Miss Chelsea on it and what the heck, got one done up with the grandkids names on it, in the order they came! Lol!

 

…..found a place to stay and headed down to 'The Island'.

(Singing again)'….wasting away again in Margaritaville, searching for my lost shaker of salt…..' oh yeah! Well actually before we got to Margaritaville we went to the Ole Smokey Moonshine distillery and marvelled at all the different flavours before doing some taste testing. Lucky they only give it to you in small thimble sized cups.

 

We were started off with the Blue Flame 128 proof! Woah, doesn't that catch in your throat! Wash it away with the Margarita moonshine and continue with all sorts of delectable flavours!

 

Now to Margaritaville for dinner and beer, talked with some people from here and Memphis. One on a work trip to Sydney later this year.

 

From there we headed to the Smoky Mountain Wheel and took a ride to see the light show from above.

 

Today we headed down to Gatlinburg, walked around the street and little shops, took the Sky Lift up the hill to check out the view.

 

Into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, winding our way through 17 miles of gorgeous trees and running streams. Didn't get to see any bears though.

 

Soon Mother Nature will wave her wand and all of this will be a spectacular winter wonderland.

Kicking back West towards Tullahoma.

Kat xo

Annnnd I've still got Rocky Top stuck in my head!

 

My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight!

Still in Bardstown, we went to the 'My Old Kentucky Home' , preserved in time and history as a State Park since 1923.

 

The Federal-style mansion was originally named 'Federal Hill' but was later renamed after the song 'My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight!'

Stephen Foster (who wrote the song) was a cousin of John Rowan's (owner of said property). There are many famous songs we know by Stephen Foster, he wrote 200 during his short life, passing away at age 37. He composed two that became state songs, this and one for Florida.

We had a beautiful rendition of 'My Old Kentucky Home' by our first tour guide Miss Kelby. Miss Jillian took us around the upstairs portion of the house.

 

No photos were allowed inside the mansion unfortunately. The home is decorated to what would have been 'pleasing to the eye' in the early 1800's. Gorgeous rich in colour and pattern carpets, wallpapers, drapes and furnishings. All reproduced and updated every 30 years, the carpet that is, and possibly the wallpaper, didn't quite catch whether they re-did that as well but assume they may so it matches in.

They had rooms done as winter rooms and summer rooms, difference being curtains and bedding, on your four poster!

Seventy five percent of the furniture and items in the house are original to the house. They are currently restoring other furniture to have placed in the home as well. Notable pieces – the sugar cutting implement and sugar cabinet, the cigar storage box, the decanter box, the side table with hidden door for the bourbon – it was not cool to have your liquor on display then – the chamber pot chair, sewing box, the twins crib and so much more!

The mansion and its surrounding acreage was owned by Judge and US Congressman John Rowan and subsequent family members thereafter.

He was known to like whiskey, gambling and a good argument. One 'out of court' argument over a card game with the towns doctor almost ended his life. The doctor had challenged John to a duel. They took it out to the city limits and actually had a duel, the first shots missed each other, the second round the doctors missed Rowan but Rowans hit the doctor in the chest and two hours later the doctor was dead.

The property behind the mansion once had around 39 other cabins and homes on it, for hired help and slaves etc. John Jr. was later part of the abolishment of slavery and disengaged them from Federal Hill.

 

Onward South to Hodgenville to check out more Lincoln Heritage. A quick stop to look at Lincolnshire boyhood home at Knob Creek.

 

In downtown Hodgenville is the Lincoln Heritage Museum. A really good setup with all the history and their much claim to fame in the town plaza is THE first memorial statue of Lincoln before anything in the east.

 

It was about now that we are realising we don't have time to see any more of Lincoln – it just dawned on us it's Thursday! We need to be in Arlington, TN – TOnight!

On the road again quick!

Kat xo

P.S. We made it! 😉

 

Lynchburg, TN

We arrived in Lynchburg at lunchtime, we are in Jack Daniels country. Moore County …….a dry county! No drinking where Jack lives!

We went to the Visitors Centre and grabbed some info and headed on up to the Jack Daniels Distillery and booked in for a “Tasting Tour”. This place is gorgeous in itself, sitting amongst trees and creeks.

A short walk back to the town square so we could grab lunch at The BBQ Caboose Cafe before walking back and viewing museum type displays before getting on the tour.

Whilst in the square we checked out the old Moore County Jail. Probably the last and most infamous dealings in the jail was the last Sheriff, Ronald Cunningam had to leave as attempts on his life were carried out as he was hot on the trail of runners of drugs and smuggled guns.

The men's jail cells are upstairs and later cells were added downstairs for women. In 1856 The Pauly Jail Building Co commenced and made jail cells and thought to get patents out on their designs. They still make components for detention centres now.

On to THE Tour. So much history and interesting facts about the Jack Daniels distillery and I hope I was listening attentatively.

We started with the learning of how they get the coal for the mellowing process. Enter the Rickyard, using Sugar Maple trees, they create these stacks and put them under the hoods. Spraying them down with Jack Daniels – because you don't want to use anything else that can distort the flavour or adds petroleum products etc. – the rick's are then burnt for 1 – 11/2 hrs to create charcoal.

Charcoal is used in the mellowing process and takes out acids and fusel oils allowing the whiskey to mellow and make it smooth. It even smells good in the charcoal bay! To get it even and ensure a precise filtration the charcoal goes through a grinder to get consistent 'pea gravel' size charcoal.

The building on the hill? 7 stories high and is one of 80 barrel houses. This building alone houses $13.5mil of whiskey. Local, state and federal taxes equate to approx $13 per gallon to get it out of the barrel. Australia ranks 5th biggest consumer of JD.

They have their own fire brigade in case of fire and have not lost any whiskey to fire yet!

Iron free, cold water from the spring to make whiskey. When Jack was 6 he move out of home and moved in with a neighbour who was a minister, preached on Sunday made whiskey through the week. Jack found Cave Springs running and all whiskey made from this water since 1866.

This is what ya call, Jack On The Rocks! Haa haa haa not my line but Josh the tour guide! And that IS the name of the statue.

The marble statue in the Visitor centre is correct in height but his shoes aren't correct he wore a size 4 men's shoe and it would have toppled over so they carved it with size 12's. The bronze statue foot is correct but height is 5'7″ 5″ taller than Jacks actual size but the sculptor liking Jack Daniel honoured him by making him taller.

The mash – A mixture of corn barley rye is brought in as whole grains, it's ground down on site and then mixed with cave water and yeast, set down for 5 days and then is run through the still to get the whiskey out.

Stills run constant and run 35-40gal of whiskey a minute. There are 64 mash tanks 40,000 gal mash per tank. that produce 8000gal of whiskey from one tank every 5 days. Takes 5gal of mash to produce 1gal of whiskey!

Spent mash is around 28% protein and is sold off as by product for cattle growers in the region.

Charcoal mellowing, 75 vats of 10ft of charcoal makes JD Tennessee sipping whiskey. The smell is sensational!! All JD starts the same, it is the ageing in the barrels that changes it.

(Side note here only some areas can you take photos, and could only type this stuff out when not in those buildings, any spark from phones camera flashes etc because of fumes could ignite!)

Barrels are made from white oak. A good/experienced cooper can raise 250 barrels a day. Then they are toasted to caramelise the flavours that come out of the wood. Vanilla, caramel, oak all comes from the toasted charred insides of the barrels. Hence giving those oak and vanilla tones to the whiskey.

53 gallons of whiskey in each barrel and are stored in barrel houses. None are climate controlled it's controlled by Mother Nature, hot, the oak expands and soaks up the whiskey as the weather turns cold it releases the whiskey again. The expanding and contracting allows the scents from the barrels to infuse into the whiskey.

Barrels are used once and then tested to see if they still have traces of liquor in them if they do, they will be sold off to other whiskey makers for their ageing process. If they don't make the cut, they are sold down town in the square for use as furniture, pot plants etc. and they do have some sensational items made from the barrels!

The traditional black label is done with around 170-200 barrels of whiskey mixed in together.

Single Select however will be one barrel, and bottled purely from the 1 barrel approx 240 bottles!! Each barrel can taste different as well. There is a single barrel society and for around $9000 you can buy your own barrel, the gold barrel tack means they have bought more than one, when they have bought 7 they change the badge to a gold barrel with a red 7 on it.

The revenue office (opposite the bottling plant) housed 2 officers up until 1986, when the liquor industry was deregulated they were removed from site and it was made into a nurses station, since 1988 it is now the sampling room and the black JAck Daniels flag flies on the day someone is tasting their own purchased barrel.

It was bottled in a square bottle “a square deal” as it became known – getting a square deal on his whiskey as they were used to clear moonshine or whiskey. The 7 still unknown, lucky number, his height 5'2″, 7 lovely ladies he supposedly had.

Select barrels are used for single barrel select and are stored in the very top floor of the barrel house. 90% are rejected even after being selected to be a “select”. There are of course 7 taste selectors in the distillery.

Sensational!!

All bottling is done in Lynchburg, no bottling is done anywhere else. All here and then exported all over the country and indeed all over the world.

During prohibition time Lem Motlow and his wife owned and ran the hardware store on the square. When prohibition ended Tennessee remained a dry state. Lem, not happy with this ran for election in legislature and was elected to office and managed to get prohibition raised for the state and could therefore start producing Whiskey again.

Aren't we lucky Jack Daniels nephew continued the tradition and pushed for this? We would be without some sensational whiskey that's for sure!

This was an awesome experience, thoroughly enjoyed visiting Lynchburg.

Cheers and here's to Jack! Bottoms Up!

Kat xo

PS more pics will be posted on Facebook, but you get the drift if you are a Jack Daniels fan or just want to see how things were back in the day and how some places, company's and people refuse to give up traditions!!

http://www.jackdaniels.com

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynchburg,_Tennessee