We're trying this year to attract a nesting pair of bluebirds to our backyard. I visited several retail outlets finding prices from $19.99 to $59.99. After an internet search I found free plans from the US Department of Agriculture and with scrap lumber made my own.
All painted and ready to mount to the post. Now all I have to do is dig and cement the 4x4 post into the garden with a post hole shovel!
The main building was constructed in 1881 as "The Phoenix Cotton Mill"
also known as the Nashville Cotton Mill. By 1910 the building was
Quietly brewing in Jackson Tennessee, was a
manufacturing company started in 1874 under the name of; Sherman
Manufacturing Company, later sold and renamed "Southern Engine and
Boiler Works" They incorporated in 1884, producing gasoline engines and
By 1904, they had become the largest manufacturer of
its kind, in the nation. Building on the success of their engines, and
prosperity of their company, in 1906 Southern started production of
their first automobile, designed by gifted engineer William H. Collier.
By 1910 some 600 automobiles were produced under the brand name of Southerns.
Southern Engine and Boiler Works success with automobiles caught the
attention of wealthy Nashville Businessman; Augustus H. Robinson, who
assembled a group of investors; that purchased the automobile division,
and relocated it to the vacant Phoenix Cotton Mill building.
was learned that another manufacturer was producing automobiles named
Southern, so William Collier renamed his cars "Marathon" in honor of the
When relocation was complete, Marathon expanded
its line from the original A9 Touring Car, and B9 Rumble seat Roadster.
By 1911 five models were offered, and by 1913 they had increased to 12
different models. The car was a complete success with the public, and
production could hardly keep up with demand. Marathon had Dealers in
every major city in America; by 1912 they had achieved production
capacities of 200 cars monthly, with plans of 10,000 yearly.
Although the future seemed bright for Nashville's Marathon Motor Works, what lurked behind the scenes was not quite as rosy.
1913 William Collier filed charges of management impropriety, and
suppliers were not being paid. The company had seen three presidents in
four years. Through bad investments and management decisions, the
company was in dire financial shape.
Production in Nashville had
ceased by 1914. All the machinery was eventually purchased by Indiana
Automakers; The Herf Brothers, who produced the car for another year in
Indianapolis, under the name of Herf-Brooks.
It is not known exactly how many Marathons were produced, although only eight samples are known to exist today.
. The Nashville Marathon building remained opened, with a skeleton crew
producing parts until 1918. The building sat vacant until 1922, when it
was purchased by Werthan Bag Company, and subsequently filled with
machinery for cotton bag manufacturing.
The original Southern
Engine and Boiler Works Company in Jackson had also endured its share of
financial woes. In 1917 the company was sold to an investor from
In 1918 the mill supply division was sold and
became known as Southern Supply Company. In 1922 the remaining parts of
the once great company, were purchased by none other than William H.
Collier; who operated Southern Engine and Boiler Works until its
complete demise in 1926.
Barry Walker; a Jackson native
purchased the Nashville Marathon buildings in 1990. He has also acquired
the Southern Engine and Boiler Works buildings in Jackson.
Tennessee Stayed out of the Automotive manufacturing business until the
arrival of Nissan Motors (Smyrna) in 1981 and later Saturn Corp.(Spring
Hill) in 1985. Today Auto manufacturing is the 10th largest industry in
Beth and I visited Nashville this weekend to celebrate her Aunt and Uncle's 50th wedding anniversary. While there we visited the American Pickers new retail store. We had a great time and bought two "T" shirts and a computer mouse!