Loose Lips Sink Ships Series LbNA # 15758
|Placed Date||Jun 4 2005|
|Location||Oak Ridge, TN|
Loose Lips Sink Ships
Difficulty: Clues and walk easy
Walk time: under 5 minutes
Ink pad: Bring your own
First Finder’s Certificate: Surely!
Oak Ridge was built under a cloak of great secrecy during World War II as part of the "Manhattan Project," a massive wartime effort which produced the world's first atomic weapons. Between 1942 and 1945, the city grew from approximately 3,000 area residents to over 75,000 (three times its current size). At the height of its growth and research activities, Oak Ridge consumed 1/7 of all the electrical power being produced in the United States. Houses were constructed every 30 minutes, and one early resident recalled getting lost on his way home because rapid construction had so altered his neighborhood.
The city, which is approximately 10 miles in length and two miles wide, is located in a valley known as Black Oak Ridge. Surrounded by mountains and ridges, the city’s topography lent itself to the extreme secrecy and security measures imposed on each resident and visitor to Oak Ridge. The entire city was surrounded by electrified fences, and armed guards were posted at the few checkpoints through which authorized traffic could enter. Every person who lived and worked in Oak Ridge had to wear an identification badge at all times. Because of the secrecy demands of the Manhattan Project, the Oak Ridge High School football team was only allowed to play away games and the opposing team was not given a roster of the players, who were known only by numbers. Despite the fact that it was the fifth largest city in Tennessee, Oak Ridge did not appear on a map until 1949, when the city and its armed gates were opened to the public for the first time. As late as the 1980s, there were billboards at the east and west city limits reminding workers at the nuclear plants to “Leave Your Work at Work,” and “Silence Means Security.”
Loose Lips No. 1
We begin on the west end of Oak Ridge (map: http://oakridgevisitor.com/directions.html). At the corner of Oak Ridge Turnpike (Rt. 95) and Westover, stands one of the city’s original guard shacks. Facing the historical marker “IF 37” – with it and the guard shack in front of you – turn at a right angle to the North (away from the Turnpike).
Walk 53 paces (I’m 5’6”) to the V tree (two trunks grown into one). At the base of the tree, about 4 ft. off the ground, the prize!
Loose Lips No. 2
Travel approximately 5 ½ miles East on Rt. 95, the Oak Ridge Turnpike, heading into town. Park at the Civic Center and find the pagoda with the International Friendship Bell (map: http://oakridgevisitor.com/secret/Drivingbrochure.pdf). Walk up the steps behind the bell to small shrubs on the RIGHT flange of the stone wall. At the end of the wall, beneath the yews, peek around the corner to the prize!
Loose Lips No. 3
Walk to the wooden bridge a stone’s throw from the pagoda. On the end with the “Maximum Load” sign, beneath the bridge on the east side and behind pieces of concealing slate, the prize!
Don't miss nearby: The Atomic City Series planted by Quilter and Traveler