From the founder of Picnooga, David Moon, Chattanooga Then elevates and shares Chattanooga’s history through photographs, postcards, and other historical artifacts.

David Moon at Chattanooga Then on Nine Years of Crowdfunding and Collecting Chattanooga’s History

In 2014, David Moon had an idea to bring more Chattanooga history online by crowdfunding to acquire photographs from Chattanooga’s past and share them through social media. Images could be purchased for just as little as a few dollars on auction websites like eBay, which helped build a sizable archive of images and artifacts that would have otherwise been inaccessible in a private collection, storage locker, or crawlspace. A large glass plate negative collection from the turn of the twentieth century was acquired in 2015 through crowdfunding, and that collection has grown since, with related pieces showing up through local donations and auctions. David Moon suspects he’s handled transactions of over seven thousand photographs over the past nine years, often one photo at a time.

My Tennessee Family

“It’s always been about the pursuit and the thrill of what’s next around the corner,” says Moon, which satisfies him the most. “Also, the public reaction when images are shared.” Public accessibility has always been paramount in his mission and activities.

Mr. Moon left the popular local history nonprofit he founded in 2022 but has not stopped hunting down Chattanooga’s history. “It was time to reboot and get back to the grassroots effort and core purpose of what I started,” said Moon. Moon continued, “ moves a little slower and has a much smaller budget, but it’s closer to my original vision that made the original project successful.”

Currently, David Moon is crowdfunding his efforts. Historic photography is shared on his website,, and he posts regularly on his social media accounts and

The project’s crowdfunding page can be found at

“There’s so much more out there to be discovered,” said Moon. Moon concluded, “When being watched carefully, a little intervention can go a long way to promote local history while sharing deeper stories about the Scenic City’s past.”


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