It's only about an hour and a half from Hartselle. Go straight up I-65 north, then head west at Exit 27. After passing about 9 miles of picturesque farms and hilly terrain, you'll roll right into Lynnville, Tennessee, population 327, where the whole downtown is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Let me highlight 4 spots Steve and I found particularly interesting.
SODA POP JUNCTION
We purposefully arrived in time for a late breakfast at Soda Pop Junction, but I'd like to go back for lunch before long. It is reputed to have the #1 hamburger and the #2 milkshake in the whole state of Tennessee. I can say for sure that the country ham rates an A+.
This place is the Granddaddy of Cracker Barrel. From 1928-1976 it was a pharmacy with a soda fountain. Then, Big Johnny Phelps took it over and started serving his famous burgers. Little Johnny owns it now, and his son is expected to take over when Little Johnny gets ready to hang up his apron.
If only the weathered wood floors, paneling, and brick walls could talk! Memorabilia is everywhere, and the top of the walls are lined with vintage 45 rpm vinyl records. The whole place screams "Tennessee!"
I hear the most popular meal of the week is the Sunday buffet when cars are parked on both sides of the street as far as you can see. Serving begins at 11:00 a.m.
LYNNVILLE RAILROAD MUSEUM
Across the street from Soda Pop Junction and appropriately beside the railroad tracks, you'll find the Lynnville Railroad Museum. If you are a train enthusiast, you're sure to be entertained by the displays. It is open seven days a week from 9:00 to 4:00. There is no admission charge, but donations are gratefully accepted.
**Just a note -- you'll find public restrooms inside the building marked City Hall and Courtyard. Walk through the doors and go to the right to an unexpected, peaceful spot.
COLONEL LITTLETON PRIVATE STOCK STORE
Much of the main block is taken up by storefronts with the Col. Littleton name. Most are actually storage places for the inventory of products, but one is a beautiful shop where amazing leather goods are displayed. By all means, go inside. The building was once a hardware store and then a bank. Be sure to notice the bank vault along the back wall.
Col. Littleton started making his leather goods in 1987 and still creates the designs, which are now shipped to 182 countries! His works are truly remarkable. A quote in his catalog undoubtedly sums up his philosophy: "It never occurred to me that I should go into business to make ordinary products. As we all know, that market is already very well represented. People come to Col. Littleton in search of the extraordinary. In the final analysis, once the vision is established, value almost always equates to time and materials . . . the time it takes to make something and the materials from which it's made." He claims to be "partial to things with staying power." His leather comes from Tennessee Tanning in Tullahoma, Tennessee, and the products are crafted four miles down the road -- "All goods made in Lynnville, Tennessee."
Check out the website -- www.ColonelLittleton.com. And make a note that they will ship free to Alabama.
LYNNVILLE FRIED PIE COMPANY "Home of the Tennessee Turnover"
There are plenty of tables, in case you want to eat a fried pie while it's still warm. Steve and I chose 2 each to take home for later. It was very difficult to limit our choices to only 2. The day we visited they had chocolate, peach, apricot, apple, blackberry, and coconut fried pies, along with a selection of tartlets and truffles. They will also take special orders for whole pies, such as chess.
I noticed a card on the counter with the name Sandra White, so I asked the lady behind the counter if that was her name. She replied, "Yes, but I'm not the owner. I'm the baker." One day I want to return to watch the process from beginning to end. What fun work!
Make a note that their current hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 to 3:00.
Have I stirred your curiosity about Lynnville? Go. See for yourself and have a nice day.