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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

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    -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -      April News      -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -   

 

 

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TUESDAY TOURS ARE NOW THURSDAY TOURS - BEGIN APRIL 20!

Being Duckmaster at The Peabody Hotel on Fridays through Tuesdays has made the weekly FREE walking tours in Downtown shift to Thursday with the first tour of the 2017 Spring Season being Thursday, April 20. Being the third Thursday of the month, the traditional tour of the D'Army Bailey Courthouse will be this year's opener, assembling at 12:00 noon on the southwest Courthouse steps, Adams & Second. This Spring Season's NEW tour will be B.B. King Boulevard on Thursday, May 4, assembling at the Sterick Building (Madison Avenue & B.B. King Blvd) and heading south to the intersection of "King & King" just past FedExForum.

 

Below are the dates, times and assembly locations for THURSDAY TOURS:

April 20 (12:00 noon) - D'Army Bailey Courthouse
(Second & Adams)

April 27 (11:45 a.m.) - The Great Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour
(Cotton Museum, Union & Front)

May 4 (11:45 a.m.) - B.B. King Boulevard
(Sterick Building, Madison & B.B. King Blvd.)

May 11 (11:45 a.m.) - Pinch District
(Westy's, 346 North Main & Jackson)

May 18 (12:00 noon) - D'Army Bailey Courthouse
(Second & Adams)

May 25 (11:45 a.m.) - South Front Street
(Orpheum Theatre, South Main & Beale Street)

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Duckmaster
THE PEABODY MEMPHIS WELCOMES JIMMY OGLE AS NEW DUCKMASTER

 

  MEMPHIS, TN – September 22, 2016 – The Peabody Memphis’ world-famous mallard ducks are marching under new leadership today. Memphis historian and tour guide Jimmy Ogle has stepped into the coveted role of Peabody Duckmaster.

  Well-known as a historian, tour guide, public speaker, story teller and all-around Memphis ambassador, Ogle will bring his vast knowledge of the region’s history to the role of Duckmaster. In addition to caring for the hotel’s five North American mallards and leading their twice-daily marches, he will act as The Peabody’s in-house historian and work to expand upon the hotel’s History Tours and Memorabilia Collection. As Duckmaster, Ogle will also continue The Peabody’s Goodwill Ambassador Program of local community appearances and visits to area schools, retirement villages and hospitals.

  “Because the Duckmaster acts as a brand ambassador to The Peabody and to the destination by extension, it’s important that the person who fills that role be someone who is passionate about Memphis and embraces our unique Southern traditions, such as the Peabody Duck March. In that regard, we’ve hit the jackpot with Jimmy. He’s our dream Duckmaster,” said Doug Browne, President, Peabody Hotels & Resorts.

  During his lengthy career serving Memphis, Ogle has held positions at Beale Street Landing, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, Performa Entertainment (Beale Street), Memphis Queen Line, Mud Island River Park, Memphis Parks Commission, and most recently as Community Engagement Manager for Riverfront Development Corporation. He sits on numerous historical and heritage boards in the region and is the official Shelby County Historian, a position appointed by the Shelby County Commission that he will continue to hold.

  Ogle is only the 6th Duckmaster in the history of the “South’s Grand Hotel.” The role of Duckmaster originated at The Peabody Memphis more than 80 years ago. The Duckmaster is responsible for the care and well-being of the Peabody Ducks, including feeding and training the teams for their marches. When not tending to the five North American mallards, he acts as an ambassador for the hotel, greeting guests in the Grand Lobby, conducting Hotel History Tours, doing media interviews, making community outreach appearances, and occasionally traveling with the ducks to promote the hotel.

  The time-honored tradition of the March of the Peabody Ducks began in the 1933 when live ducks were placed in the hotel’s lobby fountain as a practical joke. At 11am each morning, the Peabody Ducks march from their rooftop Royal Duck Palace - along a red carpet to the tune of John Philip Sousa’s “King Cotton March” - to a marble fountain at the center of the Grand Lobby. There they splash and preen until 5pm, when the procession reverses and the ducks retire for the evening.

  The title of Duckmaster was coined in 1940 when the hotel hired a former circus animal trainer named Edward Pembroke as a Bellman. Pembroke offered to help with delivering the ducks to the fountain each day and conceived of the now-famous Peabody Duck March. Mr. Pembroke served as Peabody Duckmaster for 50 years until retiring in 1991. The late Mr. Pembroke’s portrait hangs at the entrance to The Peabody and one of the hotel’s luxury suites is named in his honor.

 

Kelly B. Earnest
Director of Marketing - Communications
The Peabody Memphis
Phone: 901-529-4000 (O) 901-529-4179 (C) 901-482-7922
www.peabodymemphis.com

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     The Original Society Pages       December 2016


Photo by Steve Roberts

 

Jimmy Ogle

Duckmaster at the Peabody Hotel and Vice President of Shelby County West Tennessee Historical Society

Hometown: Memphis
My Best Quality: Memory
Favorite Place to Travel: Key West
My Most Annoying Habit: I am too literal
My Dream Dinner Guest: James Earl Jones
Who Would Play Me in a Movie: Robert Duvall
Favorite Southern Idiom: The plural of y’all is “all y’all”
One Goal I’d Still Like to Accomplish: Hit a hole-in-one
Place I Go to Think: Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Favorite Book: “Pictures Tell The Story” by Ernest Withers
My First Car: 1968 Cutlass Supreme (No AC, No FM radio)
Best Memphis Hangout: Westy’s, 346 North Main at Jackson
Favorite Song: “Jimmy Mack” by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
Favorite Restaurant in Memphis: (Old) Coletta’s on South Parkway
My Favorite Thing to Eat in Memphis: Filet at Mortimer’s Restaurant
Favorite Spot in Memphis: My green chair in my sitting room at home
The Highlight of My Day: Waking up and being able to start a new day fresh
The Best Part of My Job: Greeting people from all over the world in the Lobby of The Peabody Memphis
Proudest Moment of My Life: (Tie) – The day that my son got married, and the births of my two grandchildren
Advice I’d Give My 20-year-old Self: Buy as early as possible and stay in the same house as long as possible

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VASCO A SMITH ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
LOBBY DISPLAYS - 160 NORTH MAIN STREET

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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ORANGE MOUND TO DISPLAY 126 YEARS OF HERITAGE COUNTY LOBBY BEGINNING FEBRUARY 2


From Orange Mound Gallery and the Melrose Center for Cultural Enrichment, in 1890 the nation's first neighborhood planned to enable to purchase land and home, will display its illustrious heritage that has been second to no neighborhood or area of the Shelby County. In 2016, Orange designated a Preserve America Community by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

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In September, the Germantown Museum Association acknowledged the City of Germantown's 175th year of existence from 1841-2016 (donransbicentennial). The east Shelby County community lays claim to one of the first social living experiments in America (Nashoba in the 1820s; is a community built up along the first railroad line to connect the Atlantic Ocean wit the Mississippi River in 1857; and annually hosts one of the oldest and largest equestrian gatherings in America (69th Germantown Charity Horse Show in 2017). Andy Pouncey (Germantown City Historian) and Jacque Clift led the effort which even included a Germantown Speed Limit sign for "HORSES 10 MPH".

 

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In May, the City of Bartlett displayed its illustrious history during its Sesquicentennial Celebration (150 years), 1866-2016. The Bartlett Historical Society located in the Gotten House and the Bartlett Sesquicentennial Celebration put together a very nice display, from the town that was once known as Green Bottom and Union Depot. Many thanks to Sue and Jack Coleman from the Bartlett Historical Society, and Debbie Gelineau from the City of Bartlett for their work on the wonderful displays.

 

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  On December 21, the Morton Museum of Collierville and Main Street Collierville opened the second exhibit under the supervision of Ashley Carver and Laura Todd, and many thanks to Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner for his kind words at the Opening.

 

 

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Summer of 2016 Review

 

  As of Thursday, September 22, Fall has Fell! For some reason, I had a premonition that change was "in the air" this Summer. Becoming the 6th ever Duckmaster at The Peabody Hotel on September 21 (the last day of Summer), proved me right. The Summer of 2016 was indeed a Summer of Fun.


  The third weekend of July was spent in Shreveport, Louisiana being the Cruise Director on the MEMPHIS QUEEN III for ten cruises in two days as a celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the Morris-Dixon Pharmaceutical Company. Learning the history of the Red River and enjoying the spirit and food of the people of the Shreveport - Bossier City area was indeed a thrill. It reminded me of the "good ol' days" of the 1990s when we took the Memphis Queen Line boats to New Madrid and Helena for weekends of fun.


  In August, I was presented the 2016 Leadership In Historic Preservation Award from Historic Archives of Rosemark and Environs (H.A.R.E.) at the 6th Annual Shelby County History Awards Dinner at Davies Manor.
What an honor from this distinguished group!


  Labor Day weekend was spent at King Jerry Lawler's Club on Beale Street with its Grand Opening. A wrestling ring out on Beale Street for the first time in history; Starship inside playing "We Built This City On Rock 'n' Roll; Flick and Scott Farkus from the movie "The Christmas Story" signing autographs (on a triple-dog-dare!); Bill Dundee, Koko B Ware, Jerry Calhoun, Dave Brown and Lawler won his match after he pulled his strap!


  The first TUESDAY TOUR of September was Jefferson Avenue and highlighting that "Memphis changed the way the world shopped for groceries with the opening of the first self-service grocery store at 79 Jefferson Avenue - Piggly Wiggly by Clarence Saunders. The tour was on the 100th anniversary of September 6, 1916 - which was also noted by a story in the Wall Street Journal and did receive front page coverage ABOVE THE FOLD in The Commercial Appeal on September 7.


  On Tuesday, September 13, the Friends of Levitt Pavilion Memphis Inc and the Shelby County Historical Commission gathered at the Levitt Shell to unveil a historical marker on the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Overton Park Shell in 1936. Levitt Shell now offers fifty free concerts a year and has become one of the leading cultural centers in Memphis. Congratulations!


 
On Friday, September 16, I was once again afforded the opportunity to speak to the Friday Assembly in the Hyde Chapel at Memphis University School (M.U.S.), my alma mater (Class of '70). While there, I was able to view the Class of 1970 framed picture on one of the hallway walls, and I was able to view the Buzzard Patch that was on my letter jacket, still hanging in the former office of Coach Jerry Peters!


  On Tuesday, September 20, the Great Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour began with two more inductees into the Pink Slat Awards Hall of Fame. Alisa Bradley and Trey Giuntini of Mud Island River Park were bestowed the honor for their 20+ years each of dedication to the Mississippi River Museum, Mississippi River Walk and all things Mud Island. Of course, the several changing exhibits that I was able to curate in the Museum Changing Exhibit Gallery would not have happened without their support and guidance.



  On Sunday, September 25, the fourth season (and last season) of BRIDGE WALKS on the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge (southernmost) was concluded. During these four years, over 2,000 participants have enjoyed these "preview tours" for the future Big River Crossing on the Harahan Bridge (northernmost). Big River Crossing and Big River Trail (Arkansas) open on Saturday, October 22. With the advent of the millions of dollars spent on this new dedicated pedestrian and bicycle only pathway over the Mississippi River (100 feet high) and a host of publicity and civic efforts, I feel my "Mission Accomplished" and others will provide interpretive services on the new project. Go to bigrivercrossing.com for all of the wonderful things that are planned . . .



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The Art of Manhole Covers Getting Big City Acclaim!

 

  As you may recall, last May I had a visit in Downtown from Russell Muits of Philadelphia, as he was traveling through the South making rubbings of Manhole Covers from various cities (Charlotte. Atlanta, Birmingham, Jackson, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, etc.). Low and behold, two stories appeared recently in major northeastern cities (New York City and Philadelphia). A special shout out and thank you to our friend in NYC, Alan Grossman of MEMPHIS MAP FOR ELVIS FANS, for forwarded articles.

  Russell enjoyed rubbing one of the Steamboat covers on Main Street in front of the Kress Building and 110-year-old Memphis Telephone Company cover in the alley intersection of Park Lane and Center Lane (next to the Falls Building). Don't miss the Great Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20 (we assemble at the Cotton Museum (Front & Union). See you there . . .

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D'Army Bailey 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 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.

March 16 - 12:00 noon

April 20 - 12:00 noon

May 18 - 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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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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"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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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  –  April 8, May 13, June 10, July 8

Sunday  – April 30, May 28, June 25, July 30

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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TOURS

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