This concrete bow section stands in Centennial Park in Nashville Tennessee. The park is mostly known for the Parthenon this odd looking structure with its ornate bronze adornments stands in a corner of the park and seems to be forgotten. In 1909 the bronze figurehead was displayed at the Worlds Fair in Seattle. It was a replica of the one on the United States Navy Armored Cruiser USS Tennessee. The ship was built in Philadelphia and launched on 3 December 1904, sponsored by Ms. Annie K. Frazier the daughter of Tennessee Governor James B. Frazier
Naval officer Capt. Albert Gleaves saw the ornate figurehead in Seattle and contacted friends and official in Nashville to display it in the city after the World’s Fair ended. The concrete prow was constructed in 1910 and the ornate figurehead was attached to it to commemorate the ship named after the state.
The concrete was originally painted gold but has since faded. Like the pain the historic war ship is long gone. It was renamed the Memphis in 1916, to honor the city of Memphis, Tennessee. The name was changes so that the name “Tennessee” could be reassigned to the new battleship Tennessee (BB-43). The USS Memphis was destroyed by a massive wave in the harbor of Santo Domingo. A 100 foot tall unexpected tsunami wave that damaged the ship beyond repair and killed 43 crew members. In 1917 the ship was salvaged for scrap.
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