.

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.

Jimmy Ogle Tours

 

shopify stats

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.

top left corner

.

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

.

    -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -      February News      -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -   

 

top left corner top right corner

2016 Spring Calendar For FREE Public Tours
“ When I’m 64 . . .”

 

Sunday, January 17 – 2:00 p.m.
Fairgrounds Walking Tour
Meet at West Side of Mid-South Coliseum

Thursday, January 21 - 12:00 noon
D’Army Bailey Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Thursday, February 18 - 12:00 noon
D’Army Bailey Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Sunday, February 21 – 2:00 p.m.
Fairgrounds Walking Tour
Meet at West Side of Mid-South Coliseum

Sunday, March 13 - 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE WALK: Memphis & Arkansas Bridge
Meet at Crump Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Thursday, March 17 - 12:00 noon
D’Army Bailey Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Sunday, March 20 – 2:00 p.m.
Fairgrounds Walking Tour
Meet at West Side of Mid-South Coliseum

Sunday, April 3 – 12:00 noon-4:00 p.m.
Shelby County History Festival
Davies Manor Plantation & Hillwood Hall
Historical Displays + Walking Tours of Grounds

Tuesday, April 5 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour
Meet at Front Street & Union Avenue (Cotton Museum

Sunday, April 10 – 2:00 p.m.
RIVERFRONT PARK SERIES:  Chickasaw Heritage Park to Crump Park
Meet at Chickasaw Heritage Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Tuesday, April 12 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Cotton Row Tour
Meet at Front Street & Union Avenue (Cotton Museum)

Thursday, April 14 – 5:30 p.m.
Beale Street Caravan, Memphis Music Tour
Meet at Beale Street Caravan Office, 49 Union Avenue

Sunday, April 17 – 2:00 p.m.
Fairgrounds Walking Tour
Meet at West Side of Mid-South Coliseum

Tuesday, April 19 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Mud Island Walk Bridge Tour
Meet at Mud Island Station, 125 North Front Street

Thursday, April 21 - 12:00 noon
D’Army Bailey Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Saturday, April 23 - 2:00 p.m.
RIVERFRONT PARK SERIES:  Cobblestone Wharf & Sultana
Meet at Foot of Monroe Avenue & Riverside Drive

Sunday, April 24 – 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE WALK: Memphis & Arkansas Bridge
Meet at Crump Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Tuesday, April 26 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR:  Cobblestone Wharf & Sultana
Meet at Foot of Monroe Avenue & Riverside Drive

Tuesday, May 3 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Beale Street
Meet at the Orpheum Theatre, Main Street & Beale Street

Tuesday, May 10 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: South Main Street
Meet at the Orpheum Theatre, Main Street & Beale Street

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

Tuesday, May 17 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: South Front Street
Meet at Hotel Chisca, South Main Street & Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue

 Thursday, May 19 - 12:00 noon
D’Army Bailey Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Sunday, May 22 – 2:00 p.m.
Fairgrounds Walking Tour
Meet at West Side of Mid-South Coliseum

Tuesday, May 24 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Pinch District
Meet at Westy's, 346 North Main Street (at Jackson Avenue)

Tuesday, May 31 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Beale Street Landing
Meet at 251 Riverside Drive

Tuesday, June 7 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: River Bluff Walk (Butler Park to Vance Park)
Meet at Butler Park, 499 Tennessee Street

Sunday, June 12 – 2:00 p.m.
Fairgrounds Walking Tour
Meet at West Side of Mid-South Coliseum

Tuesday, June 14 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Adams Avenue
Meet at Quiltsurround, Northeast Corner of Front Street & Adams Avenue

Thursday, June 16 - 12:00 noon
D’Army Bailey Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed!)
Meet at the Southwest Steps, Adams Avenue & Second Street

Tuesday, June 21 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Madison Avenue
Meet at University Of Memphis Law School, Front Street & Madison Avenue

Sunday, June 26 - 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE WALK: Memphis & Arkansas Bridge
Meet at Crump Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive

Tuesday, June 28 - 11:45 a.m.
TUESDAY TOUR: Court Square & Surroundings
Meet at the Hebe Fountain, Court Square

bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 

top left corner top right corner

FAIRGROUNDS WALKING TOUR AS PRESENTED BY THE COLISEUM COALITION
Presented by Jimmy Ogle

 

  In Memphis, the "Fairgrounds" has been around for a long, long time. In fact there is no one alive that refers to it as its previous name - Montgomery Park. Even with the Mid-South Fair removed for several years now, the cumulative 160+ acre site (with no Fair) and other major tenants still very prominent (Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium & Tiger Lane, the Kroc Center, Children's Museum of Memphis) - is still called "The Fairgrounds" and there has got to be a reason why?!

  Obviously, for the past 100+ years, between the Mid-South Fair, Mid-South Coliseum, Libertyland, Tim McCarver Stadium, seven baseball & softball fields (including the "sunken diamond"), rental buildings such as the Shelby County, Youth, Merchants, Horticulture and Arena Building, National Guard Armory, Memphis Belle B-17, Swimming Pool, Children's Theatre (Quonset hut), Grand Carousel, Zippin Pippin, Tennessee Derby and on and on and on.

  It's big chunk of property in the geographic center of Memphis and carries millions of memories and an infinite load of hope for the future development and use. So, for FREE on one Sunday afternoon per month at 2:00 p.m., beginning on Sunday, January 17, we will assemble at the parking lot of the Mid-South Coliseum and "step off" heading northward up Early Maxwell Boulevard to walk and talk about the former sites and sounds of "The Fairgrounds" and then also begin looking into the future as a community. Come enjoy and share . . .

  Mark your calendar for Sundays - January 17, February 21, March 20, April 17 and May 22 to join a group of Memphians that want to see the best for the Fairgrounds. These Fairgrounds walks are inspired by the Coliseum Coalition, Livable Memphis, Orange Mound Parade and Action Committee, and Friends For The Fairgrounds.

 


Memphis Fairgrounds circa 1960


Municipal Swimming Pool

bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 

top left corner top right corner

bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 

top left corner top right corner

  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.
bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 

top left corner top right corner

WHBQ Sandwich Board & Carl Perkins Sign Now on Display at


Memphis Music Hall of Fame

  Operated by the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame has opened at 126 Beale Street, on the second floor above Hard Rock Cafe and the new Lansky Brothers store. With three classes on inductees on display, the 2015 class was announced this Summer, which included Scotty Moore, Alberta Hunter, Sam & Dave, Justin Timberlake, Memphis Slim, Charlie Rich and Al Jackson, Jr. The Class of 2015 Induction ceremony is 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 17 at the Cannon Center, with three inductees scheduled to perform - Justin Timberlake, Sam Moore (Sam & Dave) and Scotty Moore.

  The WHBQ Sidewalk Sandwich Board, which has been on display for a year at Sun Studios has been moved to the MMHoF and another sign from the "JO Collections" has been added - a sign for Carl Perkins reserved parking spot at Three Alarm Studio (1986-87) in the former Firehouse # 3 at the northwest corner of Third & Linden (now King & King for Dr. Martin Luther King and B.B. King). The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is open seven days a week, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. memphismusichalloffame.com, 901-205-2532.

bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 

top left corner top right corner

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.

January 21 - 12:00 noon

February 18 - 12:00 noon

March 17 - 12:00 noon

April 21 - 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.

bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 

top left corner top right corner

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).

 

bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 
top left corner top right corner

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!!

bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 

top left corner top right corner

"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.

bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 

top left corner top right corner

"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!

bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 

top left corner top right corner

Beale Street Landing Update

 

 
***UPDATED***

 

  *** Update 1/1/16 ***  The recently completed overnight passenger vessel season in 2015 was the biggest and best in BSL history, as almost 14,000 visitors "ported" through the Memphis riverfront this year. The economic impact to the community was nearly $40 million! To coordinate the "land side" of the visits is quite a challenge with motor coaches, taxis, delivery trucks and vans of all kinds entering the service drive and needing immediate attention from sunrise to sunset. Of course, the best cart drivers in Memphis are provided by A & W Maintenance throughout the course of each visit as they some times move over 800 passengers, 1,200 pieces of luggage and up to 2,000 boxes of food & beverage products and dry good supplies (in rain or shine). 2016 is already on line now as being even bigger and better than 2015! The first visit if from the AMERICAN QUEEN on Monday, March 7.  ***

  The Summer of 2015 was the first full Summer for all facets of Beale Street Landing to be totally in operation. The hit of the Summer had to be the Movies on the Lawn every Tuesday night which weekly drew over 500+ visitors. I have turned my attention to something that overlooks Beale Street Landing and began taking care of the Historic Day Board (U.S. army Corps of Engineers) that has proudly stood on the top of the Memphis bluffs for almost 80 years (since 1929, now in Vance Park) informing river pilots and landlubbers alike of the river gage in Memphis. Now, it is not the depth of the river that is displayed, but simply the relation to river to 184' sea level (a standard determined in 1872). The "R" and the "F" by the number indicates whether the river is Rising or Falling, and the number is changed (on a daily basis) every time the reading changes. Sadly, with all of the modern GPS and computer systems in today's pilot houses, the Day Board is now seldom depended upon. However, other Day Boards still exist and are still in operation along the Mississippi River (Cairo, Illinois, Caruthersville, Missouri and Helena, Arkansas).

  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

bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 

top left corner top right corner

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  –  January 9, February 13, March 12, April 9

Sunday  –  January 31, February 28, March 27, April 24

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.

bottom left corner bottom right corner

 

minifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprintsminifootprints

 

For Your Future Calendar

 

More information is available on the TOURS page.

 

 

 

top right corner
 

Legal ©2010-2016 All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, original graphics are by Lizi Beard-Ward. Content and design are the property of JimmyOgle.com and may not be reproduced without expressed permission.
This website uses tables and JavaScript and has been designed for an 1024 X 768 resolution.