Blast from the Past: Civil War show brings military history to Chattanooga
East Ridge got a taste of history Saturday and Sunday, as American Diggers magazine hosted its second Chattanooga Civil War Show and Sale.
Collectors from around the country came for the weekend, including Matt Miller of Chattanooga History. He runs a page featuring antique photos of the Scenic City with short stories and wants to share them with as many people as he can.
"I hope people get an understanding and an education,” Miller said. “Just a little bit of education about what our city used to look like and how far we've come as a city."
Miller has photos of hundreds of Chattanooga landmarks, transported back more than a century.
"You want to go down to Hi-Fi Clyde's or Feed?” he asked. “I can show you what that looked like 140 years ago."
Miller hosted one of 250 tables full of American military history. Organizer Mark Schuessler says many attendees are collectors and vendors, but anyone with an itch for the past is welcome to come learn.
"If they have an item hopefully they'll learn about it, the history about it,” he said. “I'm not so much concerned about the value, I enjoy the history of it."
He says for history buffs, finding relics like those at the show is all about the hunt.
“I've been using a metal detector for about 40 years,” he said. “We love it because we dig history."
Miller considers himself a digger too, finding new ways to bring the past into the present, through his photography page.
“I take a highly detailed, HD scans of one or two of these photographs, really zoom in on it, pull the information out,” he said. “And I'll do research on it. Research, research, research."
Miller says his ultimate goal is to see a local history museum open in Chattanooga, so people can learn about the city year-round. You can find his photos and stories on Facebook at Chattanooga History.
And if you missed this year's show, American Diggers plans to be back in Chattanooga next summer.