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Private or custom tours vary in cost and are subject to availability.

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Jimmy Ogle Tours

 
 

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If you would care to make a donation to help offset the costs of the free tours, please use the PayPal button below.

Private or custom tours vary in cost and are subject to availability.

Thank you for helping to keep Memphis history alive.

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Welcome to the online home of
Jimmy Ogle Talks and Tours

Below you will be able to find information about the free weekly tours,
history lectures and public presentations that I offer.

Within the other pages, you will discover unique stories and information on
little known Memphis history and perhaps a little about why I love this town.

PLEASE read and check the information below
before
asking for additional information.

Jimmy Ogle Tours

 

    -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -      September News      -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -   

 

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Walking Tours Return In September

Now that the “dog days of August” are over, milder temperatures have returned and
we will be able to find a “shady side of the street” for TUESDAY TOURS at 11:45 a.m.

September
15 Great Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour (Front Street & Union Avenue)
22 Beale Street Landing (251 Riverside Drive)
29 Pinch District (Main Street & Jackson Avenue, Westy’s)

October
6 South Main Street (Main Street & MLK Avenue, Hotel Chisca)
13 Adams Avenue (Front & Adams)
20 Cobblestone Wharf & Sultana (Foot of Monroe Avenue & Riverside Drive)
27 Beale Street (Main Street & Beale Street, Orpheum)

November
3 Madison Avenue (Front Street & Madison Avenue)
10 Court Square & Surroundings (Court Square, Hebe Fountain)

The Riverfront Parks Series has two more Autumn tours at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays. The first tour is September 27 and we meet at the Mud Island Front Street Terminal, 125 North Front Street, for a walk across the Mud Island Walk Bridge and the architectural marvel, the River Walk Model. Then, on October 25, we meet at Beale Street landing, 251 Riverside Drive for a tour inside and out (including the helical ramp and dock), top and bottom (including the roof) of Beale Street Landing as well as a tour of Tom Lee Park, all the way to the James Hyter “Ol’ Man River” historical marker on the south end of the park.

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The First-Ever 10-Hour Tour
in Downtown Memphis & the Riverfront
Steps Off at 10:10 a.m. on Saturday, October 10 (10/10)
from Beale Street Landing; Ends at Westy’s!

Remember the “Saturday Super Tours” of about five years ago? Those “3-Hour Tours” that combined various TUESDAY TOUR segments that people could not make during the work week. Well, here is a chance to catch ten different walking tours of Downtown and the Memphis Riverfront –all in one day! So, that’s Saturday, October 10.

The first ever “10-Hour Tour” begins at 10 minutes after 10 o’clock in the morning on the 10th day of the 10th month this year – right in the middle of wonderful Autumn weather. The tour is FREE and will step off from Beale Street Landing, 251 Riverside Drive and end up at Westy’s (346 North Main) in the Pinch District. Parking is free on the cobblestone landing (enter at Monroe Avenue and Riverside Drive).

Participants do not have to walk the entire length of the tour, and may join in or drop out at any time along the way (without hurting my feelings!). Approximately times have been listed below and you may call (901-604-5002) for actual locations and progress:

The route is:

10:10 a.m. Step off from Beale Street Landing, 251 Riverside Drive
North on Riverside Drive to Union Avenue
11:00 a.m. East on Union Avenue to AutoZone Park (11:00 a.m.)
11:15 a.m. South on Fourth Street to Robert Church Park on Beale Street
12:00 p.m. West on Beale Street to South Main Street (Orpheum Theatre corner)
12:45 p.m. South on South Main Street to Butler Avenue
(Civil Rights Museum & Blues Hall of Fame)
1:30 p.m. West on Butler Avenue to Tennessee Street
(by Tennessee Brewery) to Butler Park
1:45 p.m. North from Butler Park along River Bluff Walk to Vance Park (2:15 p.m.)
2:15 p.m. East from Vance Park on Beale Street to Front Street
2:30 p.m. North on Front Street (along Cotton Row) to Mud Island River Park
Front Street Terminal (Adams Avenue)
3:30 p.m. Up to Mud Island Walk Bridge (half way out over Wolf River channel)
4:30 p.m. East on Adams Avenue to Magevney House
5:15 p.m. West on Washington Avenue to Civic Center Plaza
5:30 p.m. North from Civic Center Plaza to Market Park (towards Pinch District)
6:00 p.m. East on Market Street to Third Avenue
6:30 p.m. North on Third Street (by St. Jude) to Overton Avenue
7:00 p.m. West on Overton Avenue to The Pyramid
8:00 p.m. East on Jackson Avenue to Westy's (346 North Main Street)

Bring your walking shoes and listening ears!

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2015 Outdoor Walking Tours

 

Composite Calendar For FREE Public Tours - 2015

Thursday, January 15 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Thursday, February 19 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Sunday, March 15 - 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE WALK 1: Memphis & Arkansas Bridge
Meet at Crump Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Thursday, March 19 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Sunday, March 22 - 2:00 p.m.
RIVERFRONT PARK SERIES 1: Chickasaw Heritage Park to Crump Park
Meet at Chickasaw Heritage Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Tuesday, April 7 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour
Meet at Front Street & Union Avenue (Cotton Museum)

Sunday, April 12 - 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE WALK 2: Memphis & Arkansas Bridge
Meet at Crump Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Tuesday, April 14 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Cotton Row Tour
Meet at Front Street & Union Avenue (Cotton Museum)

Thursday, April 16 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Tuesday, April 21 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Mud Island Walk Bridge Tour
Meet at Mud Island Station, 125 North Front Street

Sunday, April 26 - 2:00 p.m.
RIVERFRONT PARK SERIES 2: Cobblestone Wharf & Sultana
Meet at Foot of Monroe Avenue & Riverside Drive

Tuesday, April 28 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Cobblestone Wharf & Sultana
Meet at Foot of Monroe Avenue & Riverside Drive

Tuesday, May 5 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Beale Street
Meet at the Orpheum Theatre, Main Street & Beale Street

Sunday, May 17 - 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE WALK 3: Memphis & Arkansas Bridge
Meet at Crump Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Tuesday, May 19 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: South Main Street
Meet at Hotel Chisca, South Main Street & Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue

Thursday, May 21 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Tuesday, May 26 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Pinch District
Meet at Westy's, 346 North Main Street (at Jackson Avenue)

Sunday, May 31 - 2:00 p.m.
RIVERFRONT PARK SERIES 3: Martyrs Park to Ashburn-Coppock Park
Meet at Martyrs Park, Channel 3 Drive

Tuesday, June 2 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Beale Street Landing
Meet at 251 Riverside Drive

Tuesday, June 9 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: River Bluff Walk (Butler Park to Vance Park)
Meet at Butler Park, 499 Tennessee Street

Tuesday, June 16 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Adams Avenue
Meet at Quiltsurround, Northeast Corner of Front Street & Adams Avenue

Thursday, June 18 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Sunday, June 21 - 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE WALK 4: Memphis & Arkansas Bridge
Meet at Crump Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Tuesday, June 23 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Madison Avenue
Meet at University Of Memphis Law School, Front Street & Madison Avenue

Sunday, June 28 - 2:00 p.m.
RIVERFRONT PARK SERIES 4: Greenbelt Park
Meet at Greenbelt Park South Parking Lot, 000 Island Drive North

Tuesday, June 30 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Court Square & Surroundings
Meet at the Hebe Fountain, Court Square

Thursday, July 16 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Sunday, July 19 - 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE WALK 5: Memphis & Arkansas Bridge
Meet at Crump Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Thursday, August 20 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Thursday, August 20 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Tuesday, September 15 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour
Meet at Front Street & Union Avenue (Cotton Museum)

Thursday, September 17 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Sunday, September 20 - 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE WALK 6: Memphis & Arkansas Bridge
Meet at Crump Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Tuesday, September 22 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Beale Street Landing
Meet at 251 Riverside Drive

Sunday, September 27 - 2:00 p.m.
RIVERFRONT PARK SERIES 5: Mud Island River Park & River Walk
Meet at Mud Island Station, 125 North Front Street

Tuesday, September 29 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Pinch District
Meet at Westy's, 346 North Main Street (at Jackson Avenue)

Tuesday, October 6 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: South Main Street
Meet at Hotel Chisca, South Main Street & Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue

*** Saturday, October 10 – 10:10 a.m. (to 8:00 p.m.) ***
BONUS! The 10-Hour Tour
Meet at Beale Street Landing, 251 Riverside Drive

Tuesday, October 13 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Adams Avenue
Meet at Quiltsurround, Northeast Corner of Front Street & Adams Avenue

Thursday, October 15 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Sunday, October 18 - 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE WALK 7: Memphis & Arkansas Bridge
Meet at Crump Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Tuesday, October 20 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Cobblestone Wharf & Sultana
Meet at Foot of Monroe Avenue & Riverside Drive

Sunday, October 25 - 2:00 p.m.
RIVERFRONT PARK SERIES 6: Beale Street Landing to Tom Lee Park
Meet at 251 Riverside Drive

Tuesday, October 27 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Beale Street
Meet at the Orpheum Theatre, Main Street & Beale Street

Tuesday, November 3 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Madison Avenue
Meet at University Of Memphis Law School, Front Street & Madison Avenue

Friday, November 6 - 11:45 a.m.
SPECIAL: November 6th, 1934 Street Tour
Meet at Elvis Presley Plaza, Beale Street between Main & Second Street

Tuesday, November 10 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Court Square & Surroundings
Meet at the Hebe Fountain, Court Square

Sunday, November 15 - 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE WALK 8: Memphis & Arkansas Bridge
Meet at Crump Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Thursday, November 19 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Thursday, December 17 - 12:00 noon
Shelby County Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

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Shelby County Courthouse Tours

 

  Now that Jimmy O is back in Downtown daily thanks to the new job as Community Engagement Manager with the Riverfront Development Corporation, he will be able to resume a tour of the Shelby County Courthouse on either the third or fourth Thursday of each month. Courthouse Tours are free, handicapped accessible, cameras are allowed for these tours (special exemption) and we assemble at 12:00 noon on the southwest steps of the Courthouse (Second/Adams).

  Highlights of the tour of Memphis & Shelby County's grandest public building (which opened in 1910) include (exterior) the six marble statues, web scenes in pediments depicting six aspects of law; (interior) the Grand South Hallway & Museum, six display cases of Courthouse, archives, seven different kinds of marble, Cuban mahogany wood, pedestal & bust of Andrew Jackson (dating back to 1835), historic cuspidor; visits to the Antique Courtroom and Shelby County Law Library; and numerous stories about the people, events and history of the courts of Shelby County, dating back almost 200 years.

September 17 - 12:00 noon

October 22 - 12:00 noon

November 19 - 12:00 noon

December 17 - 12:00 noon
 

Created by John Blount, this slideshow
will give you a glimpse inside the
Shelby County Courthouse tour.

 

Many thanks to the Memphis Bar Association for authorizing and approving these tours, plus enhancing the visitors experience;
to the Shelby County government administration for allowing the tours in such a significant building with important daily operations;
and to the judges, clerks and staff working in the Shelby County Courthouse on a daily basis for their tolerance and patience of this "invasion" of their working spaces.

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Historical Markers To Be Dedicated This Summer

 

The Shelby County Historical Commission is staying busy this Summer with the dedication of three historical markers in August.

 

Tuesday, August 11 (10am) – Poplar Tunes, 308 Poplar Avenue
Tuesday, August 11 (11am) – Lauderdale Courts, 282 North Third Street
Sunday, August 16 (11am) Oakville MB Church & Cemetery, 3167 Knight Road

A feature of the August 11 dedications during Elvis Tribute Week will include a “Walk in the Footsteps of Elvis”
walking tours (procession) between the two locations, led by Mike Freeman, Sue Mack and Jimmy Ogle.

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Elmwood in the Autumn with Jimmy O

There is not a better time of the year to experience the history and the nature of Elmwood Cemetery than in the Autumn. Many programs such as the monthly Lunch & Lecture Series, Rest In Peace Book Club, to the annual Costume Twilight Tour and Spirits With The Spirits events. Jimmy O will be involved in three programs:
Wednesday, September 9 – 12:00 noon – Lunch & Lecture (Lord’s Chapel)

The topic will be the Historic Memphis Riverfront, which has about 400+ years of numerous items of interests and firsts for all of America! No city in America tells the story of American History better than Memphis, Tennessee and it all started centuries ago with the Mississippi River. Wandering animals, nomadic Native-American tribes, European explorers, early forts, American settlers and the co-founders of the City of Memphis will be highlighted, along with some 19th and 20th century “firsts” and/or one-of-a-kind. Advance registration to this event is required. Charge is $7 per person. Feel free to bring your lunch; cookies and drinks will be provided.
Saturday, September 19 – 10:30 a.m. – “Jimmy Ogle’s Elmwood”

Straight from the Elmwood Newsletter: “Jimmy Ogle is a Memphian with a mental bank filled with city ephemera. His stories about Elmwood and total recall will amaze you when you join him for Jimmy Ogle's Elmwood, a walking tour of the cemetery. Regarded as one of the most entertaining storytellers in the city, Jimmy weaves a delightful fabric of Memphis history that all will enjoy. Register online or call 901-774-3212. Admission is $15 per person.
Saturday, October 24 – 4:00 p.m. – 10th Annual Costume Twilight Tour


Lloyd Binford will return for another appearance is this popular event. If you have never visited Elmwood, this tour is the best way to get to know the cemetery and the individuals who rest here. Costumed characters portraying a dozen of Elmwood residents will introduce you to the history of Memphis' oldest active cemetery. This all-walking tour will begin at 4:00 p.m. Tour groups will depart from the Cottage every ten minutes and the last tour will begin at 5:30 p.m.
Special Note: The grounds of the cemetery will be CLOSED beginning at noon on Saturday, October 24th. The gates will re-open at 4PM for the Costume Twilight Tour. Tickets purchased in advance are $15.00. Tickets may only be purchased at the gate on the day of the tour and will be $20. Children under 12 will be admitted free. This event takes place rain or shine.
For all events, call Elmwood at 901-774-3212 for directions or go to elmwoodcemetery.org.

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Historical Display in Shelby County Administration Building Dedication on July 8

 

With the recent completion of renovations of the Vasco Smith Shelby County Administration Building (160 North Main Street) in Downtown, Mayor Mark Luttrell has asked the Shelby County Historical Commission to coordinate rotating historical displays of rural Shelby County and countryside in the enclosed cases located in the first floor Lobby. The Lobby also features the seals of the seven incorporated municipalities (Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland, Memphis, Millington) above the elevators, and portraits of the four Shelby County Mayors (Roy Nixon, Bill Morris, Jim Rout and A.C. Wharton).

Dedication is set for 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8 and the inaugural exhibit features H.A.R.E. (Historic Archives of Rosemark & Environs. This area in northeast Shelby County recently received listing on the National Register of Historic Places and has a very active historic preservation group of citizens. Penny Glover and Molly Hampton have spent quite a few hours loading the three display cases with all sorts of items that display life and times of the Rosemark and Barretville communities, along with three pop-up displays.

Two historical markers have been installed in the Rosemark and Barretville area this year (Bobby Blue Bland by the Tennessee Historical Commission, and Anthony Chapel School and Greenwood AME Church & Cemetery by the Shelby County Historical Commission).

*** UPDATE ***

H.A.R.E. Exhibit in County Lobby Receives Raves Reviews!

 

With the recent completion of renovations of the Vasco Smith Shelby County Administration Building (160 North Main Street) in Downtown, Mayor Mark Luttrell has asked the Shelby County Historical Commission to coordinate rotating historical displays of rural Shelby
County and countryside in the enclosed cases located in the first floor Lobby. The dedication on Wednesday, July 8 of the inaugural exhibit featuring H.A.R.E. (Historic Archives of Rosemark & Environs) received reviews from a reception of over 100 people.

The program was led by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, County Commissioner Terry Roland, Rosemark resident Judge Jon McCalla and Jimmy Ogle, Shelby County Historian. The three exhibit cases are filled with over one hundred items relating to the history of northeast Shelby County, more specifically Rosemark and Barretville. Three roll-up banner displays also tell of the importance of mules and the agriculture of the area. Many thanks go to Penny Glover and Molly Hampton for the installation of the exhibit which is scheduled to be on display through the Autumn.
This area in northeast Shelby County recently received a listing on the National Register of Historic Places and has a very active historic preservation group of citizens. Two historical markers have been installed in the Rosemark and Barretville area this year (Bobby Blue Bland by the Tennessee Historical Commission, and Anthony Chapel School and Greenwood AME Church & Cemetery by the Shelby County Historical Commission). On June 26, the Tennessee Civil War Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission unveiled another marker in its statewide program entitled “Hurst’s Raid at Barretville.”

The Lobby also features the seals of the seven incorporated municipalities (Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland, Memphis, Millington) above the elevators, and portraits of the four Shelby County Mayors (Roy Nixon, Bill Morris, Jim Rout and A.C. Wharton).

 

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Memphis Map for Elvis Fans

  
 
 

  The Memphis Map For Elvis Fans is out on the streets of Memphis, after a successful launch party at A. Schwab's on Beale Street on Monday, August 12. Being introduced during this year's Elvis Tribute Week by our good friends Andrea Shaw and Alan Grossman (from New York City), the "MMFEF" covers past and present Elvis related sites in Memphis, and recognizes many of the sites that no longer exist (for the first time).

  I met Andrea and Alan about 18 months ago, while  they were in Memphis (once again, as it turned out) to continue their "love affair" with Memphis, Tennessee. Within a few months, Andrew and Alan were contributors to the Memphis historical scene in another unsung way, and now have launched a beautiful fold-out map (be careful) and web site (www.memphismapforelvisfans) - all which is self-descriptive. The (18" X 24" once unfolded out) "MMFEF" is the most appealing tourist map of Memphis that I have ever seen, and I have been around here a long, long time doing this! They dropped by my office at Beale Street Landing last weekend to give me a map in advance, and I had Andrea autograph my first copy. There ya go . . .

  I was able to spend some time off and on with Andrea and Alan over the last year, and they have been on several of my walking tours of the streets of Memphis. Jake Schorr of Westy's and The Carriage Company of Memphis was a contributor, but Sue Mack and Mike Freeman spent a lot of time authenticating the research of Andrea and Alan. The ultimate satisfaction of giving Talks & Tours in Memphis is to have out-of-towners like Andrea and Alan grasp what "Memphis" is, and then put their heart and souls into a project that benefits all. I am sure that we will be hearing and seeing more from them in the future.

!!! Now featured in the Wall Street Journal !!!


http://online.wsj.com/articles/in-era-of-google-maps-fans-of-paper-maps-refuse-to-fold-1415317412

 

A BIG MEMPHIS THANK YOU to Andrea and Alan!!

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"Inside Memphis" With Jimmy Ogle

From time to time, you have heard Jimmy being interviewed on the Earle Farrell 4 Memphis Show (Monday thru Friday, 3:00-6:00 p.m.) on KWAM AM990 - The New Talk Of Memphis, and Jimmy has even set in the studio in Earle's absence to host the show on occasion.

Now, please join Jimmy with Chris Wade on "Inside Memphis" every Monday-Wednesday-Friday at 6:40 a.m. on KWAM AM990. George Bryant of KWAM has asked Jimmy to talk about anything that he wants to talk about on Memphis, be it about history, upcoming events, "virtual" tours that he has in his head - just anything. So, tune in to KWAM AM990 - The New Talk Of Memphis!

*** UPDATE ***

Radio personality Doug Stephan refers to Jimmy Ogle during his Good Day broadcast.

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"History is Made" at Westy's -- May 27, 2015!


JMO1, JBS3, JBS5, JBS4, JMO2, JMO3 (in arms)
That's about 250 years of Jimmy Ogles and Jake Schorrs!

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HISTORIC WHBQ AT HOTEL CHISCA SANDWICH BOARD TO BE DISPLAYED AT SUN STUDIO

  Elvis Presley recorded "That's All Right" at Sun Studio on July 5, 1954 and Dewey Phillips spun it more than 15 times on his "Red, Hot & Blue" Show at WHBQ Radio Station from the Mezzanine Floor of Hotel Chisca on South Main on July 8, 1954. Those two historic moments in time will be celebrated 60 years later at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue! Parts of the WHBQ studio have been salvaged an placed in the second floor museum room of the Sun Studio tour. This sandwich board was salvaged from Hotel Chisca several years ago by Jimmy Ogle, and will be featured at Sun Studio beginning July 5 through the end of August, when the whole world will celebrate the "60 Years of Rock 'n' Roll".

  Memphians need to tour the most famous studio in the world - Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue (sunstudio.com, 901-521-0664, 800-441-6249) - and see where Sam Phillips created the Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll! Tours available seven days a week, along with a great retail store and one of the City's best milkshakes!

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Beale Street Landing Update

 

 
***UPDATED***

 

  *** Update 7/01/15 *** Everything is wide open now! Daily riverboat excursions and weekends of overnight cruise vessels landings; lunch and dinners at Riverfront Bar & Grill (closed Mondays) with special promotions as Daily Happy Hour, Wine Wednesdays, Thursday Night Trivia Challenge and Fridays “Live On The Riverfront” Memphis Music! The south lawn of the green roof top is the site of the “Twilight Tuesday” featuring favorite FREE movies on a 24-foot inflatable screen (8:00 p.m.) like Pirate of The Caribbean (July 7), Star Trek – The Future Begins (July 14), Frozen (July 21) and The Princess Bride (July 28). Island Play with its water features is keeping the kids of the riverfront cool and wet. And, above Island Play under the Magnolia tree is a sample display of the surface and railings of the future Big River Crossing which will open on the Harahan Bridge in late 2016. The Grizzles Riverfit stations and volleyball court have been re-installed in our neighbor to the south, Tom Lee Park. Riverside Drive is now back open to four lanes of vehicles with the bicycle test completed, and there is easy access to the Beale Street Landing parking lot.  ***

 

  March is the beginning of a new season for Beale Street Landing, the first full season!  Riverfront Bar & Grill will roll out a new menu in March and begin its "long" hours for lunch and dinner; call 901-524-0817 for information.  With Daylight Saving Time returning on March 8, sunsets will return as a feature to the dining experience, along with the Spring temperatures that are right around the corner.  Memphis Riverboats begins its 2015 season on March 1 with the daily 2:30 p.m. Public Sightseeing Cruise aboard the ISLAND QUEEN (memphisriverboats.net).  The AMERICAN QUEEN first visits Memphis on Saturday, March 21 (aqsc.com).  The Riverfront Development Corporation rolls out a new web site in March that will cover all activities of the Memphis riverfront (memphisriverfront.com).

 

 Riverfront Bar & Grill is now open Tuesdays-Fridays, 11am-9pm with Appetizers, Salads, Sandwiches, Desserts and with the best covered patio in Memphis and most fabulous sunset views. The best views of the July 4th Fireworks were on the terraces and slopes of Beale Street Landing. Island Play with various play and water features has delighted the kids all Summer long. Free Friday Flicks are shown on a 24-foot inflatable screen at the south slope beginning at dusk on Fridays. A recent visit of the NINA and PINTA replicas brought thousands to the docks to view the floating museums. Our neighbors to the east and to the south have been busy this Summer with the additional of the Cycle Track on the southbound lanes of Riverside Drive, slowly down the vehicular speeds along the riverfront, and the Grizzlies RiverFIT Course in Tom Lee Park adding a small soccer field, two sand volleyball courts and six exercise station along the west bank of the park.

 

 Plans to open Riverfront Bar & Grill in the fourth week of June, have been announced with Beth Bomarito (Napa Cafe, Pete & Sam's) being the restaurant's General Manager. Come visit the 30-foot-long catfish on the Play Area Island with the water features being turned on in June. Expect a big Independence day celebration and fireworks blow-out on Friday, July 4. May highlights included a double rainbow, three boats docked at one time for the first time and parent paparazzi involving the playground catfish! In another development that impacts Beale Street Landing will be the introduction in June of a dedicated Bike Lane on southbound Riverside Drive - stay tuned!

 

  Phase 4B is Open! Beale Street Landing now connects Tom Lee Park to the famous intersection of the Riverside Drive & Beale Street with some very nice walkways, viewing areas, terraces and a children's play area (come climb the 8-foot-tall and 30-foot-long Catfish). In fact now, one may walk, jog, stroll or bike from Martyrs Park near the lower bridges all the way to The Pyramid along the river's edge, about a four-mile trek. Plans will be announced soon for a June opening of an eatery at BSL and a grand Independence Day Celebration & Riverfront Fireworks Show.

 

  Memphis Riverboats opens the 2014 "Riverboating Season" in Memphis on Saturday, March 1 with a 2:30 p.m. Public Sightseeing Cruise and a 7:30 p.m. Dinner Cruise. Sightseeing Cruises run daily at 2:30 p.m. on the ISLAND QUEEN until October 31, with an additional 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays & Sunday, May 3 thru August 31. There is a Dinner Cruise each Saturday night in March (thru October 25) with additional Friday Dinner Cruises (May 2 to August 29). Go to www.memphisriverboats.net or call 901-527-BOAT (2628) for schedule, tickets, charter information and reservations. Also, the AMERICAN QUEEN returns on Saturday, March 22 and the QUEEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI returns on Friday, March 28. Both vessels, along with the GRANDE MARINER will make 25 visits to Memphis in 2014. Also, "Save The Date" for a grand celebration of the completion of the final phase of Beale Street Landing - Saturday, April 12.

 

  The January 2014 update shows a new year, the river rising and all riverboats "laid up" for the Winter months. The final touches are being put on Phase 4B, which are the northern terraces and islands (including a fabulous Play Area for children), and front door to the intersection of Beale Street and Riverside Drive. Two UrbanArt Commission projects on the premises will be competed this Spring - the Art Walk (600-foot, multi-colored paver walkway almost complete) by Gary Moore and the Evan Lewis "Beale Street Landing" structure (which I can not adequately describe this 54-foot tall work of art, so see the attached photo for the scale model). Memphis Riverboats opens its 2014 season on Saturday, March 1 and the AMERICAN QUEEN will return on March 22.

 

  The construction fencing finally came down on Tuesday, September 24 with the Service Drive gates being added on Wednesday, September 25. The grounds and grass roof will be open from sunrise to sunset during the Autumn months, with visitors being able to walk right up from Tom Lee Park onto the roof deck until dark. Overnight security (Black Lion) has been added the grounds and soon the parking lot will add gates, landscaping and a parking fee machine. Playground infrastructure is being installed in Phase 4B. The AMERICAN QUEEN returns on Monday, October 28.

 

  Making it through the first Spring and Summer here has been unusual to say the least! Opening on March 1st with snow flurries is not exactly the friendliest way to greet a new riverboat landing. Having a restaurant operator come and go, without actually opening was a major surprise and disappointment. Learning how to work around and with Memphis In May in Tom Lee Park and its domination of the intersection of Beale Street and Riverside Drive was eye-opening, for sure. What a job some of those Memphis In May volunteers and staff do to coordinate all that has to happen in those six weeks, from start to finish. The Summer weather has been mild and there is a new RFP on the streets for a restaurant operator. Phase 4B (terraces, walkways, and play area) is rolling along. The Mississippi River has been behaving for the most part (like the weather), but the driftwood continues to be a nuisance.

 

  For the Autumn months, look for quite a few rental events at Beale Street Landing, including the Cochon Heritage BBQ on August 30. The QUEEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI returns on September 6-7 and the AMERICAN QUEEN returns on September 13, after both spending the past two months on the Upper Mississippi River and Ohio River; and then several more times later in the year before laying up in January for Winter maintenance. Look for a Grand Opening of all Beale Street Landing facilities in the Spring of 2014!!

  It is another chapter in The Book of Jimmy Ogle, as the phase 1 portion of Beale Street Landing opens on March 1. A new title - General Manager - replaces the old title of Community Engagement Manager, but it is all still Riverfront Development Corporation. The Phase 1 portion includes the grounds, parking lot, grass roof, plazas, dock, helical ramp and the south side of the main building - all open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. The building will house the offices, ticket counter and gift shop of Memphis Riverboats, the local passenger vessel excursion operator in Memphis since 1955. So, March 1 will be a historic, not only for the facility opening, but also for the first time in 58 years, local excursions will not originate from the historic cobblestone wharf.

 

  In March, Memphis Riverboats will have a daily 90-minute Sightseeing Cruise at 2:30 p.m. and a 2-hour BBQ Dinner Cruise each Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. (www.memphisriverboats.nets), as well as a few charters during the month. The AMERICAN QUEEN will dock on March 9 and March 24, and the QUEEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI will dock on March 30. Riverboating is back, and Spring Break will be here before you know it!

  Phase 2 will be the opening of the restaurant in the north side of the main building (name to be announced) and will feature a "Memphis Food" menu of BBQ, catfish, shrimp, burgers and more - very popular with locals and tourists alike. Catering functions will also begin in April (Athens Distributing and AutoZone are two booked all ready) in some of the areas of the facility. Then comes Memphis In May, the largest festival of its king in America, in neighboring Tom Lee Park. Ticketed admission will still be continued for Memphis In May events, but Beale Street Landing will continue to be open and free during the month.



  The third phase of 2013 will be considered the Grand Opening once the additional four acres of slopes, terraces, islands and playground on the north side of the building are completed later this year. Safe access to the river's edge will be available in the side of the project. Getting to opening(s) in 2013 has not been easy, and I would like to thank Geoff Wyonzek (Hnedak Bobo Group) for his role as project manager is coordinating all the numerous aspects of construction. Geoff is much appreciated in "Ogle Nation"!

 

  02/01/13: Phase 4B of Beale Street Landing (BSL) is in the "punch list phase", which means that opening is just around the corner. The Riverfront Development Corporation anticipates that Memphis Riverboats will open its 58th season of sightseeing cruises on the Mississippi River on Friday, March 1 - marking the first time since 1955, the local excursion company will not be boarding from the Historic Cobblestone Wharf. Memphis Riverboats will continue to "fleet" and service its operation at the cobblestone address, but boarding for all cruises (sightseeing, dinner, charters and school groups) will be from Beale Street Landing. The first docking of an out-of-town vessel will be on Saturday, March 9 when the AMERICAN QUEEN will make its first 2013 appearance in Memphis.

 

  And then, by the middle of April, Riverside Grille and Dockside Bar will open daily restaurant service, lunch and dinner, special events and catered functions - an opportunity for the first time in Memphis history on the banks of the Mississippi River and Memphis riverfront. The grass roof slope and deck will be an instant hit for Memphians and tourists to gather to enjoy the views and vistas of the Delta, sunsets, river traffic, Bridge of Lights and city skyline. Then its April and Spring weather, Memphis In May, the July 4th Celebration and eventually the AutoZone Powerboat Racing Championships in October, and more . . . stay tuned!



  Fast forward to December, 2012 . . . and what a difference a year makes! In a span of 18 months from May, 2011 (+48 feet) to August, 2012 (-9.8 feet), the Memphis riverfront experience nearly a 58-foot fluctuation in level. Construction of the main building in Phase 4A reached about 98% completion by year's end (2012) and the RDC already hosted two AMERICAN QUEEN landings (and a christening ceremony in April), the AutoZone Powerboat Racing Championship in October, two big public parties (Monogram Foods Loves Kids and ArtAFactor in November) and four functions during the holiday season in December. In between there was almost one hundred Hard Hat Tours given of the facility. With the extended record low water this Summer and Autumn, Phase 4B (the additional four acres of land on the north side of the project to Beale Street) was able to give off to a fast start with the lower portion of the terraces and walkway receiving most of the attention.

 

  As we look to the Spring of 2013, we anticipate the daily dockings for Memphis Riverboats at Beale Street Landing, a milestone marking the first time in 58 years that the local passenger vessel excursions will not embark at the Cobblestone Wharf (which will be receiving a long-needed restoration in 2013) and ushering in a new era of "Riverboating" in Memphis; and we look forward to the opening of the daily restaurant on the river - Riverside Grille & Dockside Bar; and the unparalleled views and vistas from the deck of the grass slope and roof. Hello 2013 . . .

 

  With Phase 4A construction winding up and over 50 Hard Hat Tours given, with the AutoZone Powerboat Racing Championship run in October, with two successful parties (Monogram Foods Loves Kids "Meat Me In Memphis" and ArtsMemphis "ArtAFactor" on the first weekend in November, with the Corps Dredge Weeks Venture completing its annual low water dredging in the Wolf Harbor - it all adds up to 2013 being an exciting "opening year" for Beale Street Landing. New Year hopes are that the water will return to the Mississippi River and the four overnight vessels - AMERICAN QUEEN, QUEEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI, YORKTOWN & GRAND CARIBE - will enjoy their landings on the new dock at the Foot of Beale & Riverside. Memphis In May (honoring Sweden) will be here before you know it . . .

  New in 2013 and for the first time in its 58-year history of providing local cruises of all kinds, MEMPHIS RIVERBOATS (formerly known as MEMPHIS QUEEN LINE) will begin boarding passengers at Beale Street Landing, rather the historic cobblestone wharf. By the way, a large restoration and interpretive project will begin in 2013 on the Cobblestones, only one year after it received its own recognition on the National Register of Historic Places (thank you Judith Johnson). Riverside Grille & Dockside Bar will open in the Spring, 2013 in the north section and breezeway of Beale Street Landing (BBQ & Catfish and more, casual & comfortable for both tourists & locals). We look forward to greeting many visitors on the Green Grass Roof in 2013 . . .

 

  Along the riverfront neighborhood in the five-mile stretch between Wolf River and the lower three bridges, Phase 4B construction in Beale Street Landing continues on the additional four acres of park land added into the Foot of Beale/Riverside with sloped terraces and two large island pods for activities and (safe) access to the river's edge for the first time in the City's history. Bass Pro will be completing its retrofit of The Pyramid, and the softening of the city side shore line of the Wolf Harbor from Jefferson Davis Park to the north cove of Island Drive, known as Uptown West, will add greenways, landscaping and better access on former industrial areas. Engineering studies continue in preparation for the opening of the Harahan Greenline over the Mississippi River, connecting West Memphis & Arkansas with Memphis and South Main Street, thus creating a long network of pedestrian and bicycle pathways from the west to the east side of Shelby County (from South Main to Overton Park via Madison or North Parkway, Broad Street, the Greenline, Shelby Farms, Wolf River Greenway through Germantown & Collierville) - what a connection!! The 700+ people participating in the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge Walks of 2012, 100-feet high over the river channel experienced the great views of the river, delta, barge traffic and city skyline - all came away fired up about the opportunity and uniqueness of the future Harahan Greenline. So, stay tuned for 2013 on the Memphis riverfront . . .

 

  Construction is closing in on Beale Street Landing with the dock anticipated to arrive from Presidents Island in the second week of April. The Steamer AMERICAN QUEEN of the Memphis-based The American Queen Steamboat Company will arrive on April 26 in her inaugural voyage upriver for the Spring, 2012 season. Jimmy O will be aboard the AMERICAN QUEEN, on April 25-26 giving lectures about his favorite topic - Memphis! A series of celebrations, including the christening by Godmother Priscilla Presley, will be scheduled on April 26-27 prior to her departure for Louisville and the Kentucky Derby. Three other overnight passenger vessel excursion operators have scheduled for Beale Street Landing this year - the QUEEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI, GRAND CARIBE and the YORKTOWN. "Riverboating" is alive and well on the Mississippi River again after a four year hiatus.

  The restaurant at Beale Street Landing has been selected - Riverside Grille & Dockside Bar - and it is scheduled to open during the first week of July. The other major daily tenant, local excursion operator of 57 years, Memphis Riverboats (www.memphisriverboats.net), will begin daily docking for all passengers in the month of July, as well. Phase IV-B of the project (the terraces and islands of the northern shore line, from the main building to Beale Street & Riverside Drive, will be bid this Spring with hope of completion in the Autumn, 2013 after two low water seasons on the Mississippi River.

 

  Over twenty Hard Hat Tours for local community focus groups were conducted in April. Then the annual occupation of Tom Lee Park for the Memphis In May International Festival (www.memphisinmay.org) began with the Beale Street Music Festival (May 4-6), International Barbecue Cooking Contest (May 17-19) and the Sunset Symphony (May 26). Seven days of music, food, sun and tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world - all enjoying the fabulous backdrop of the Mississippi River, river traffic and barge tows, Arkansas Delta and world class sunsets.

 

  Phase 4-A construction is almost complete. The shell of the building will be completed by October 31, and two large parties will be held on the first weekend of November (Monogram Loves Kids Foundation & the ArtsMemphis "ArtAFACTOR"). Under the green grass roof portion, The restaurant portion will be completed during the Winter months in time for a March 1, 2013 opening of the Riverside Grille & Dockside Bar, and the terminal portion will welcome the 2013 season of the locally owned and operation excursion company - MEMPHIS RIVERBOATS.



  The AutoZone Powerboat Racing Championship will return to the riverfront, after a one-year hiatus, on October 13-14 with viewing areas in Tom Lee Park as well as Beale Street landing (Noon to 5:00 p.m., both days) - with the best views from the green grass roof on top! All activities of the Powerboat Races are FREE.



  During this historic low water phase (second all-time low in recorded history at -9.8 feet) that the Memphis riverfront has experienced in the Summer of 2012, the overnight passenger vessels will continue to dock at the Greenbelt Park Ramp, 1555 Island Drive, until further notice.

Special thanks to Aerial Innovations of Tennessee

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Old Forest Trail Hike in Overton Park

Believe it or not, one of the best times to visit the Old Forest is in the Winter, when all the leaves have fallen and one can actually see "through" the upper canopy for several hundred yards.  At this time, one can really see how tall some of the trees tower.  The forest floor become somewhat barren and a Winter stage of life takes place.  Even the poison ivy takes a nap (not really, it just discolors!).

10:00 a.m. Every Second Saturday & Last Sunday of Each Month

Saturday  –  September 12, October 10, November 14, December 12

Sunday  –  September 27, October 25, November 29, December 27

Assemble at the Lick Creek Bridge, just south of the Rainbow Lake parking lot
or just east of the # 2 tee of the historic Overton Park Golf Course, on Old Forest Lane, of course!
This 90-minute hike is different every time it is taken, as the Old Forest has a new story to unveil every day . . .

 

!!!  T-SHIRTS AVAILABLE  !!!

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe
U.S. Supreme Court decision, we've reproduced a vintage CPOP shirt from the 1970s.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

Thanks to the great people at Bluff City Sports
for spiffing up the original design for us!

We will mail you this fabulous shirt as a thank-you gift when you donate $15 or more to Citizens to Preserve Overton Park.
You can fill out the
handy form on our website to donate securely online with your credit card or Paypal account.

If you would rather pick up your shirt in person and/or pay by check,
please email us at
overtonparkforever@gmail.com to make arrangements.

Many thanks to citizens George Cates and Gary Shorb, Senator Beverly Marrero, Representative Jeanne Richardson, Councilperson Jim Strickland and Governor Bill Haslam for The Old Forest of Overton Park the 82nd State Natural Area in the State of Tennessee this Summer. Also, stay tuned for updates about the formation of the Overton Park Conservancy to protect and upgrade Memphis' greatest park.

Speak Up for Overton Park, visit www.overtonparkforever.org.

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There were many highlights in the Year 2014.
Below is a list of Events and Talks & Tours, as well as some photos depicting the activities.

 







 

EVENTS

American Studios Historical Marker Dedication
Andrew Jackson 247th Birthday Party, Shelby County Courthouse
Astor Park & Memphis Boat Supply Historical Marker Dedication
Beale Street Landing Grand Opening
Blues Ball 2014
Delta Everything Southern Conference
Elmwood Cemetery Costume Twilight Tour (Peter Lunati)
Frances Wright Historical Marker Dedication
George Kessler Society Birthday Party, Overton Park
“Jimmy Ogle’s Elmwood” Cemetery Walking Tour
NINA & PINTA Replicas, Beale Street Landing
Normal Station Neighborhood Historical Marker Dedication
Peabody Hotel Historic Dinner Series, Chez Philippe “Star Spangled Banner 200th Anniversary”
“Proud Memphis” Exhibit, Mississippi River Museum
R.S. Lewis & Sons Historical Marker Dedication
Shelby County History Awards Dinner
Shelby County History Festival
Trail Of Tears Association, National Park Service Historical Marker Dedication

 

TALKS & TOURS

American Institute of Architects, Memphis Chapter WalkAbout
AMERICAN QUEEN Lecture
Brainerd Compressor Conference & DriveAround (2)
Building Owners & Managers Association of Memphis
Christ United Methodist Church Day School & WalkAbout (2)
Christian Brothers University Urban Studies WalkAbout
Citizens University, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell (2)
Colonial Dames
Coventry School WalkAbout
Daughters of the American Revolution, Watauga Chapter
Davies Manor Teachers Conference
Dixon Gallery & Gardens Munch & Learn
Elmwood Cemetery Lunch & Lecture
Exchange Building (Lee Harris for State Senate Group)
Evangelical Christian School WalkAbout
Food For Thought
Germantown Kiwanis Club
Germantown Presbyterian Church Women’s Club
Germantown United Methodist Church Brown Bag Series
Germantown United Methodist Church XYZ Club DriveAround
Girl Scouts Troop WalkAbout
Grace-St. Luke’s Middle School
Grizzlies Preparatory Academy (5)
Heritage at Irene Woods
ISLAND QUEEN Riverboat Public Commentary (6)
Junior League of Memphis
Karen Hoffman Group WalkAbout
Kathy Thurmond Group DriveAround
Lausanne Collegiate School
Le Bonheur Garden Club
Lee-Jackson-Chalmers Annual Banquet
Linda Roach Group, Bellevue Baptist Church
Lisa Hume Family Tour
Little Garden Club
Madonna Circle
Marine Hospital Open House
Marion Intermediate School
McWherter Senior Citizens Center
Meeman Center For Lifelong Learning, Rhodes College “Memphis History Course”
Memphis & Arkansas Bridge Walks (8)
Memphis Area Geographical Information Council (2)
Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau FAM Tour – Qantas Mega
Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau Staff WalkAbout
Memphis Museum Day (2)
“Memphis The Musical” Cast (London)
Meritan Home & Life Services
Merry Makers, Our Lady of Pertetual; Help Catholic Church
Mid-South Business Travel Association
Mississippi River Commission
Mountain Home Church DriveAround
M.R. Dye Public Library, Horn Lake – 150th Civil War Series
National Association of Catering Executives, Memphis Chapter
National Ornamental Metal Museum Brunch & Learn
New Neighbors Luncheon
Opera Memphis Dinner & A Dialogue
Orgill Brothers Sales Luncheon
Paige Robbins Adult Day Care
Pleasant View School
Plough Employees Retirement Klub (PERK)
Professional Administrative Co-Employers
Raleigh-Egypt Middle School WalkAbout
Ridgeway Baptist Church Golden Agers & DriveAround (2)
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference, District 6800
Second Presbyterian Church Fellows DriveAround
Shelby County Courthouse Monthly Public Tour (12)
Shelby County Schools History teachers In-Service
South Central Historical Archaeological Conference
Southaven Civil War & Military Show
Southern College of Optometry, First-Year Student Orientation
St. Francis Hospital Volunteers
St. George’s Independent School History Day Judging
St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral WalkAbout
Streetwise Marketing Group WalkAbout
Tennessee Education Accreditation Council
Tennessee History Day, West Tennessee Regional Judging, University of Memphis
Trail of Tears Association Cruise
TUESDAY TOURS – Spring & Autumn (21)
Tunica Rotary Club
United Daughters of the Confederacy, Forrest Chapter # 1194 WalkAbout
United States Daughters of 1812, Piomingo Chapter
University of Memphis Early Childhood Education Program
University of Memphis Kemmons Wilson School Tourism Class (2)
University of Memphis Mehta University
University of Memphis Study Abroad Program
University of Tennessee Faculty Wives
University of West Florida Downtown WalkAbout
West Tennessee Historical Society “Baseball Memphis” Presentation
Withers Gallery, Museum Talk Series
Woodland Presbyterian School, Pre-School Class
Woody Ray Group WalkAbout & Dinner
Young Professionals Organization (FedEx)








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For Your Future Calendar

 

More information is available on the TOURS page.

 

 

 

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