We said “goodbye” to Georgia and headed north to Nashville. Bart insisted our first stop in Tennessee had to be Lynchburg (pop approx. 6,362). Although it’s an historical town, history wasn’t what was on Bart’s mind. He was anxious to meet his old friend Jack – as in Jack Daniel’s.
We meandered along various back roads, including Highway 41A, on our way to Lynchburg.
As we got close to the gorgeous grounds of the Jack Daniel’s distillery, we could smell the sweet fragrance of yeast and mash permeating the air.
Bart was named a Tennessee Squire in 2006, having been recommended for the honor by his friend, the late Mark Dreyer, whose wife Debbie is our dear friend and neighbor. The Tennessee Squire Association is a private membership program by nomination only. It was created more than 60 years ago to recognize loyal friends of Jack Daniel’s. JD asks nothing in return for this title other than goodwill and friendship. Squires get access to this wonderful “club” when in Lynchburg.
We found out from Goose and Judy (pictured below) that the Jack Daniel’s Distillery is celebrating it’s 150th anniversary this year and is the oldest registered distillery in the U.S. Every ounce of it’s Tennessee Whiskey is produced there. When Rorie asked Goose how the distillery could sell alcohol in a dry county, he replied, “We don’t. We sell bottles that just happen to have whiskey in them”. Judy and Goose were true ambassadors filled with knowledge and pride for not only their employer, but also for the town of Lynchburg.
Judy gave us a tour of the 1870s-era Motlow House (aka “Squire’s Club”) which was the home of Lem Motlow, proprietor of Jack Daniel’s and the nephew of Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel, the brand’s namesake. Wherever possible, elements of the original structure were utilized, such as window and door frames and other woodwork. In keeping with the original layout, the house includes four rooms with adjoining common areas, surrounding a central atrium.
We wandered over to the beautifully landscaped Jack Daniel’s Visitors Center and museum to take in some of the history on display.
This is what we’d call “aged whisky” – circa 1914. The square-shaped bottle, first used in 1897, was intended to convey a sense of fairness and integrity.
After leaving our friend Jack, the Tour-mobile headed into historic downtown Lynchburg.
Our drive to – and through – Lynchburg was relaxing and interesting. Now it was time to motor north to Nashville. We knew we must be on the right route to Music City, when we came across this bus carrying Jason Wade and his roadies. We don’t follow country music closely but found out Jason is the real deal. Wade is an American country music singer-songwriter originally from Pooler, Georgia, a small town 10 miles outside of historic Savannah.
According to his website, “Within just two years of performing for his first live audience, Jared found himself in front of thousands of fans while opening the famed Luke Bryan Farm Tour both in 2010 and 2011, as well as opening for artists such as Wade Bowen, Confederate Railroad and Blackhawk and in the studio at the iconic Otis Redding estate, working with Otis Redding III. It wasn’t until 2013 that Jared Wade’s career exploded after moving to Nashville, Tennessee to record his debut EP Drunk on Sunshine. The project was recorded at Nashville’s legendary Sound Emporium Studios which has graced world-class artists such as Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Kenny Chesney, Don McClean, John Denver, Taylor Swift, REM and Alan Jackson. Jared’s performance on the EP lead to him winning the Georgia Music Awards “2013 Country Male Vocalist of the Year” as well putting him on the road with country music legend Tracy Lawrence on the 120-stop Headlights, Taillights and Radios tour.”