Landmarks of Historic-Memphis
... searching for more information


We collect vintage photos  and facts of early Memphis.  When we have sufficient information and photos about a particular subject we develop a new major page for the Historic-Memphis website.  But sometimes those facts and photos remain unseen in folders for several years - just not enough information for a new full page.  That's the case with all the Landmarks and  subjects on this page. 


1907 "Deepwater" Convention


For each subject (below) we've posted all the information and photos that we currently have on file.  Do you have additional  information and/or vintage photos that you can contribute?  And we hope volunteers who would be willing to complete the research and to write the text for these new pages will come forward?   Contact:  Gene Gill <>






Click on any title and go directly to that section ...

Alice + Freda Artesian Works Beulah Poynter
Blue-Gray Reunion Deepwater Convention Hunter Dry Goods
Mississippi Floods Gray's Studio Greenway+Greenline
Hart's Bread Hemphill Diesel School Hodges Field
Hubbard Co Immortal 600 "Little Peabody"
Macon-Andrews School Mai Festival Martin Field
Miller Hatters Seessels Market So Confection Co
Stockyards   Vocational School



Click on small photos to see large photos




Alice + Freda 

In 1892, Alice Mitchell, 19,  and Freda Ward, 17, were close friends at the Memphis Higbee School for Girls.  They had declared their love for each other and planned to elope to St. Louis to live as husband and wife. Freda’s family found out and forbid Freda from seeing Alice.   On the afternoon of January 25, 1892, Alice Mitchell met Freda Ward on Front Street and cut her throat with a straight razor.   This resulted in a major trial and eventually a best-selling book.  Was Alice's motive jealousy or love?  Complete trial evidence is available, but info and photos and drawings are lacking  as well as memorabilia dedicated to each girl's personal background.


Alice + Freda





Court Testimony

NY Times



Alice Grave




Artesian Water Supply

Almost a decade after the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic, an artesian aquifer was discovered under Memphis, which would provide the city with an abundant supply of clean and safe water.  This became one of the best water sources in the country.  The Artesian Water Works were built by a private company.  There were over 80 artesian wells pumping at one time.  The page will cover the development of the artesian water source and cover Memphis, "the dirtiest, most foul-smelling city" in the world, to the cleanest city in the nation.

  1906 Artesian Station

Artesian Station Artesian Station 1910 Artesian Station Artesian Station Artesian Station




Beulah Poynter and the Lyric Theatre sign...

The famous photo of the Lyric Theatre Sign on the corner of Main and Madison became a "monument" to actress Beular Poynter.  We had to "Google" her to find out more.  She was an American author, playwright, and actor.  Her career touched on Broadway and Hollywood, but she was best known fro her starring roles with touring companies, and as a prolific author of mystery and romance novels.  Poynter wrote two plays that appeared on Broadway and she also appeared in over 10 motion pictures. 


Lyric Theatre Sign

 *  Beulah Poynter now has her own comprehensive page on this website >  Click here


Beulah Poynter Beulah Poynter Beulah Poynter 1915 Ad 1910 St. Louis

Lyric Theatre




Blue and Gray Reunion ... 1911

A great idea that never seemed to work.  The "National" Blue and Gray Reunion held in Memphis in 1911 was a complete "Fizzle".  Yet there was no animosity.  Poorly attended and reviewed.  It set the pace for future joint reunions ... few and far between.  Those that did occur were on a small scale like "local reunions" or held at famous battlefields.  Very few seem to know that the 1911 Reunion in Memphis was a "Joint Reunion".  There's almost no information or photos available for the 1911 reunion.  There must have been a lot of  memorabilia for sale during the event?

  The Blue + Gray

Blue + Gray Announcement Memphis Parade Article Article Article Article

Envelope Music Banner Train Fares Reunions



Deepwater Convention, Memphis 1907

Theodore Roosevelt addressed the Deep Water Convention at Memphis.  It was one of his stops on a memorable three-week journey through a large part of the middle West and South.  His purpose was to address the need for adequate improvement to the inland waterways from Chicago to the Gulf of Mexico.    He noted, “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all the others.”  There's probably enough info and photos available for a page.  We're looking for a volunteer guest-writer to write the text to cover the President's visit and the convention at Memphis?


Roosevelt at Convention


1907 ships arriving President's Fleet Roosevelt Menu Roosevelt ships

The Chester Approaching city Arrival Arrival Arrival

Memphis Decorations

Lowenstein's Roosevelt in Memphis Souvenir Souvenir Postcard




  Edw Hunter and Hunter Bros Dry Goods

Edw Hunter came to Memphis in 1878 and was a clerk in various retail houses.  In 1885 he went into the Dry Goods Business and quickly became one of the best-known department stores in Western Tennessee.  His large six-story building at the corner of Main and Court handled everything in the way of wearing apparel and house-furnishing goods.  He employed over 200 people and his annual business was $1,000,000.  In 1904, he sold "everything" to Lowenstein's.  Better quality photos (and more) are needed as well as additional information for a major page on the H-M website..

Hunter Building  

Edw Hunter Hunter Ad 1st Floor Glass - China Carpet -Upholstery

Ladies, 2nd Floor Furniture, 5th Floor 1888 Ad 1881 Ad Edw weds 1884

1889 Ad Fire 1888 Profile 1905 Sold 1904 Sold 1904




  The Mississippi Floods and Memphis



The location of Memphis on the high bluff above the Mississippi has generally kept the floods away and made the city the major evacuation center of the mid-south.  The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States.  Other major floors occurred in 1912, 1913 and 1937.  There are enough vintage photos of the various floods available at the library or on the internet to have a major page on flooding.  A volunteer  guest-writer is needed to write the text and coordinate it with the photos.


1937 flood 1937 Flood 1913 Flood 1937 Refugee Camp Flood




  Gray's Studio ... and Walter Gray

Photographer Walter Gray settled in Memphis and built a prominent studio in a residential section of the city at 395 Poplar at Manassas, rather than the traditional "downtown" location.  He also planned an elaborate announcement of the studio's opening and mailed them to a select clientele.   We know his work from vintage postcards of the old Memphis High School and the Exchange BuildingWe know he was in business for at least 23 years but other than that, we've uncovered very little about this photographer.

1901 Gray's Studio

1923 Ad Gray's Studio 1905 Article 1903 Article 1901 Article

Gray Photos

Gray Photo 1900 Article 1902 Artoc;e Gray Photo

Mother-Son Baby Baby 2 Young Boy 1903 Article

Gov. McMillan





  Greenway-Greenline and Berry Brooks

The Wolf River Greenway runs over 5 miles along the south side of the Wolf River through the Wolf River Nature Area in the City of Germantown.  The trail provides access to picnic facilities, restrooms, and wildflower meadows.  . You'll also find interpretive stops, aquatic plant displays, tree identification, rest areas with benches, butterfly gardens, bat houses and more. The Shelby Farms Greenline Trail runs nearly 7 miles between Tillman Street in Binghampton and Farm Road in Shelby Farms.  It's built upon the bed of a former CSX Railroad line, abandoned in 2001.


Among the most prominent owners of 200 acres of the Greenway was Berry Brooks, who purchased  the land in 1948.    At Epping Way, Brooks and his wife Virginia raised cattle and kept peacocks on their land.   Brooks was a big-game hunter who brought back trophies from Africa and donated several to the Memphis Pink Palace Museum, which exhibited them in their "African Hall.  In 1947, Life magazine featured a photo spread showing his 14-year-old daughter posing with animals she killed in Africa.


Route sign

Epping Way ... African Hall Virginia Brooks Life Article 1947

There's quite a bit of historical information available on the Greenway-Greenline routes and on the Brooks family.  We're looking for a volunteer guest-photographer who'll walk the Greenway-Greenline routes taking and identifying photos along the way.  Their photos will be credited and included in this page of the website.





  Hart's Bread

One remembers the wonderful aromas around the Hart's Bakery.   And one might remember the little window out front, where you could give the baker a quarter, and he’d reach over to one of the ovens and hand you a fresh-baked loaf of bread, wrapped in aluminum foil to keep it warm while you took it home.  But mainly, one remembers the Massive Hart's sign, which must rank as one of the best in Memphis.  That huge loaf of bread rotated with bright red flashing lights in sequence on the heart, which made the heart seem to beat.  The bakery closed in the 1980s.  Surprisingly, very little history information about  Hart's Bread is available on the internet and photos are extremely scarce.  Anyone?

Hart's Sign

Hart's Bakery Hart's Hart's Hart's Hart's Clicker






  Hemphill Diesel School

The Hemphill Diesel Schools were located In New York, Memphis, and Los Angeles.  They were considered the best diesel training available in the US.  The Memphis location was 311 S. Main, and they were in operation from around 1936 into the 1950s.  While more school photos are available at the Memphis Library, almost no historical information is currently available.

  Hemphill School

1950s Classroom Radio-TV Classroom Diesel Room School Office

1941 Letter School Bulletin Wash Room 1936 Ad School





  Hodges Field



Hodges Field is on its way to become one of the completely "Forgotten Memphis" landmarks.  The field saw lots of football action in the early 1900s.  Both Teacher's College and Southwestern played there.  And Clarence Saunders (Piggly Wiggly) formed his own professional football team in the late 1920s and they played at Hodges Field. Later it was used for high school football - especially the teams from Humes and Tech.  Eventually the growing medical center needed the space, so the old field was demolished.  Currently historical information about Hodges Field is available on the internet, but photos are extremely rare.  Anyone have photos to share?


Hodges Field


Hodges Field   Aerial:  Hodges Field   Hodges





Hubbard Co


We have not been able to locate any information about this Memphis Company.  We only know that it was located at 382 S. Main Street, Circa 1900, and that they bottled or manufactured liquor.  We have located over 12 "high quality" labels in pristine condition. 
If these labels  have survived, there has to be some information "somewhere" about the Hubbard Co and possibly some photos.  Anyone?




Gin Whiskey Bourbon Whiskey Whiskey Whiskey




  Immortal 600

During the Summer of 1864 both Federal and Confederate heavy artillery mortar shells flew back and forth over Charleston Harbor en route to their targets.  In the midst of this barrage, a group of Confederate prisoners were held in a stockade built in the path of those bombs - their Morris Island prison pen had been deliberately placed in harm's way.  In essence, these confederate prisoners were being used as human shields.  They became known as the "Immortal 600".  On June 8, 1909 the Society of The Immortal 600 met at the Fransiola Hotel in Memphis during the 19th  UCV Reunion.  The photo on the right shows those members in attendance. The names correspond with numbers.  


Immortal 600 . 1909


Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5



Group 6 Group 7 Immortal 600 Fort Pulansky 1862 Fort Pulansky



Burial Fort Pulansky

Book Aerial Fort Pulansky Memorial Fort Pulansky Bunk room

The full story is well documented and available on the internet.  With a little research, it's possible to locate portraits of individual soldiers.  We're looking for a volunteer guest-writer to write the text to cover the story of the Immortal 600 and their 1909 reunion at Memphis?


Henry Cook

David Bullard






  "Little Peabody"



The Little Peabody was a gambling joint on Highway 51 N, about 20 miles from Memphis.  It was oprated by Byron Hughes and Frank Lowe and open circa 1939-40 and was frequently raided by law enforcement.  Illegal poker chips continue to show up for sale on Ebay.  Almost no information and no photos are currently available.

Little Peabody Chips  









Macon-Andrews Business Colleges


Macon-Andrews was considered one of the finest business colleges in the south.  The school occupied a choice Main Street location for many years.  While photos do occasionally turn up on the internet, we have not been able to locate  much historical information.  Anyone?


Macon-Andrews - Main St.

Macon Andrews



1910 Macon-Andress



1919 Mason-Andrews tokens 1913 Student 1920 Envelope




  Mai Festival . The Germans, Memphis in May, Beale St.Music Festival, October Fest

A really BIG page is planned showing how German immigrants brought the Mai Festival with them, along with Classical Music.  And they were the master music teachers.  This influx of Germans led to " Memphis in May,  Memphis Symphony, The Beale Street Musical Festival, October Fest and the Barbecue Cook off".  A great deal of information is currently available.  It's just a matter of  additional research and organizing the photos with information and dates +  the TIME to work on it.  Anyone willing to volunteer?












  Martin Field

Martin Stadium was one of only a few baseball stadiums that exclusively hosted a team from the Negro Major Leagues.  It was home to the Memphis Red Sox.   It was built around 1932 by the Martin brothers.  The Red Sox came to an end in 1960 and Martin Stadium was demolished in 1961.

There's enough info available to put a page together, but historic photos and memorabilia are needed and many photos may be restricted due to copyrights.   Anyone?









  Miller Hatters

There's virtually no information available about Miller Hatters.  We do know they were located in the new Peabody Hotel when it opened on Union in 1925 and they issued a commemorative coin for the opening.

Anyone have additional information or photos???





  Seessels Market



Henry Sessell opened a butcher shop on Main Street in 1858 ... and the rest is rather well documented.

There's probably enough info and photos available for a page.  We're looking for a volunteer guest-writer who would do the research and write the text to go with the photos.









  So. Confection Co.

Based on the Memphis Directories this company was in business from 1921 to 1933 - 12 years.  They were originally located at 261 Rayburn and in 1926 moved to 290-94 S. Washington.  Thomas Hanson was President of the company.  Practically nothing more is known about this company, yet their tokens show up regularly on EBAY.  The building on Washington still stands.

Anybody know more about this company?  Any photos?







1916:  "The most modern and up-to-date stockyard in the world.  The buildings and pens and barns are the most modern, being constructed especially for the housing of horses and mules.  The entire plant covers an area of 11 1/2 acres.  During the summer months about 5,000 head of cattle are handled from Florida and other Southern States and sold to Western dealers.  The yards were organized in 1911 and immediately leased to Hazel-Darnell Mule Co."

For "the most modern in the world" the five photos are all we have located about the Stockyards.  Any additional information and especially photos would be appreciated???








  Vocational School for National Defense

"In 1967 a 1.5 million dollar vocational school will be constructed on a site now occupied by the Merrill Elementary School at 303 Jones Avenue.  It will be operated by the Memphis Board of Education with state financing and will replace the Memphis Area Vocational Technical School at 591 Washington.  Schools of this type are also being established in several locations in rural West Tennessee and should improve the capability of the man-power resources from the surrounding area."

  Additional research is needed on this Vocational School ...  Anyone?








The Historic-Memphis website does not intentionally post copyrighted photos and material without permission or credit.  On occasion a "non-credited" photo might possibly be posted because we were unable to find a name to give credit.  Because of the nature of our non-commercial, non-profit, educational website, we strongly believe that these photos would be considered "Fair Use.  We have certainly made no monetary gain, although those using this website for historic or Genealogy research have certainly profited.  If by chance, we have posted your copyrighted photo, please contact us, and we'll remove it immediately, or we'll add your credit if that's your choice.  In the past, we have found that many photographers volunteer to have their works included on these pages and we'll  also do that if you contact us with a photo that fits a particular page. 


The "Historic-Memphis" website would like to acknowledge and thank the following for their contributions which helped make this website possible:  Memphis Public Library, Memphis University Library, Memphis Law Library, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Memphis Press Scimitar, Shelby County Register of Deeds, Memphis City Schools, Memphis Business Men's Club, Memphis Chamber of Commerce, Memphis City Park Commission, Memphis Film Commision, Carnival Memphis, Memphis Historical Railroad Page, Memphis Heritage Inc, Beale Street Historic District, Cobblestone Historic District, Memphis Historic Districts, Vance Lauderdale Family Archives, Tennessee State Archives, Library of Congress, Kemmons Wilson Family, Richard S. Brashier, Lee Askew, George Whitworth, Woody Savage and many individuals whose assistance is acknowledged on the pages of their contributions.  Special thanks to Memphis Realtor, Joe Spake, for giving us carte blanche access to his outstanding collection of contemporary Memphis photos.

We do not have high definition  copies of the photos on these pages.  If anyone wishes to secure high definition photos,  you'll have to contact the photographer  or the collector.  (To avoid any possibility of contributing to SPAM, we do not maintain a file of email addresses for anyone who contacts us).




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