Memphis Flood Photos - Digital Library Collection

The Memphis Public Library is collecting and archiving Memphis flood photographs. The idea for the digital collection and much of the work has been spearheaded by St. Mary's student and amateur photographer Ellery Ammons. Click HERE to read about the project in the Commercial Appeal.

If you have photos of the flood that you'd like to share and have placed in the collection, please label them with as much information as possible (location, date, photographer) and either:
  1. take them on a disk to the library (History Department – 4th Floor, Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave., Memphis, Tennessee 38111)
  2. email the images to
To see the current online collection, click HERE.

Bearden Video Documents Importance of Cobblestone Landing

Memphis filmmaker Willy Bearden has documented many of Memphis's most cherished places. His new video, "The Memphis Cobblestone Landing - A Community Conversation," captures the significance of the landing - the role it has played in the development of our community and its place in the history of America.

Memphis historian Dr. Beverly Bond, Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and architectural historian Judith Johnson discuss the significance and future of the Memphis Cobblestone Landing.

Willy Bearden and his popular documentaries, books, full-length film "One Came Home," Legacy collection of Memphis photographs, and major role in The Delta-Everything Southern Conference have captured the hearts of Memphians. For a 2008 "Memphis Magazine" interview with Bearden, click HERE.


Memphis's Bluffwalk

Memphis's own highline, the Bluffwalk along the Mississippi River, started as an idea in the 1970s to help spur downtown's renaissance. Today it runs atop the bluff from Union Ave. to Martyr's Park with an additional short stretch in the core of downtown on the Public Promenade.

With its proven track record and popularity, it’s hard to imagine the controversy that almost blocked the public walkway in the 1990s.

The Bluffwalk had been a trail for decades and was part of the 1982 Center City and Riverfront Spaces Plan. By the 1990s, however, residential development of the South Bluffs on property previously owned by Burlington Northern Railroad was happening, and a public walkway became highly controversial.

The Chickasaw Bluff Conservancy was organized in 1990 to preserve public access and the public walkway along the blufftop. Two lawsuits later, the 1st section of the Bluffwalk officially opened in August 1999. Designed by Ritchie Smith and built for $2M, the walkway was extended south from Ashburn-Coppock to Martyr's Park in 2006. A disconnected stretch behind the law school and a pedestrian bridge to Confederate Park was added on a section of the Public Promenade in 2010. (Click on map to enlarge.)

Funding for a feasibility study of a pedestrian and bike pathway to extend further south and cross the Harahan Bridge will be considered by the Public Works, Transportation, & General Services Committee of the City Council today (7/19/11). For more info. on the Harahan Bridge Project, click HERE.

NY's Highline Doubles in Size

High so it gets the breeze, the linear connection is a great place for walkers. That could be a description of Memphis's River Bluffwalk. But in this case, it's what New Yorker's are saying about their Highline, the 2nd section of which recently opened.

New York's Highline is steeped in history yet designed for the present and future - wonderful plants, lighting, seating, and even a place for cooling off your toes. It's attracted 4-million visitors since opening two years ago and has just doubled in size.

WEVL's Blues on the Bluff

Bring your chairs and blankets down to the River bluff for a spectacular view, great music, and barbecue - all to support Memphis's 35 year-old listener-supported radio station, WEVL 89.9.

Started in 1976, the station's call letters stand for "We Volunteer," and the programing from acoustic, to blues, Celtic and Zydeco is done by volunteer djs. It's real Memphis - quirky and independent with lots of local music included.

July 23, 6 pm, on the grounds of the National Ornamental Metal Museum (374 Metal Museum Drive). Tickets: $15/in advance, $20/at the gate, $10/eleven and under. Music by Bo-Keys, Blind Mississippi Morris & the Pocket Rockets, and Lightnin' Malcolm with Cameron Kimbrough.

Click HERE for more info. or to listen to 89.9 online.

Memphis Cobblestone Landing Nominated for National Listing

The National Park Service is evaluating the Memphis Cobblestone Landing for individual listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Approval would be another plus for downtown Memphis, a point of pride for our community, and an economic boon for cultural tourism.

Unanimously recommended by the Memphis Landmarks Commission and the TN Historical Commission, the nomination was prepared by architectural historian Judith Johnson, a founding member of Friends for Our Riverfront, and underwritten by a grant from the Crawford-Howard Foundation. It focuses on the Landing’s role as a transportation hub for the trading of cotton and the economic, political, and social contribution of African Americans in the development of the U.S. as a global trading power.

As Mayor A C Wharton says the Landing is not just old; it tells a story of national importance that has not been told previously. The nomination has also been supported by the Shelby County State Legislative Delegation and by U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen. Rep. Barbara Cooper, in whose district the Landing is located, attended and spoke on behalf of the Landing's significance to the TN Historical Commission Review Board.

This place matters. As Dr. Beverly Bond says, “it gives the long historical perspective ... and explains to our children what Memphis was and how we got where we are today.”

For more than 100 years, cotton comprised over 50% of the GNP of the U. S. and fueled the Industrial Revolution worldwide. It was as important in terms of wealth, politics, and history in the 19th century as oil is today. Read more »


Help Tackle Trash @ McKellar Lake

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - Sat., July 16, 8 - 10 am

Memphians were shocked by the massive quantitites of trash in McKellar Lake this February when Living Lands & Waters brought volunteers to Memphis to help clean-up our industrial harbor. The photographs brought attention to a section of the waterfront citizens don't see regularly and are inspiring local anti-litter and clean-up efforts.

Memphis City Beautiful and students and faculty from University of Memphis are taking action. They'll provide the trucks, bags, and equipment. Valvoline Instant Oil Change is a sponsor and International Paper will recycle the trash.

What's needed? YOU.

So put on your old clothes, wear a hat to help beat the heat, and come help. This is not a one-shot clean-up but the 1st in a series to engage Memphians in cleaning up our City.

Click HERE for Fox news video on Feb. McKellar Clean-Up.

Philadelphia Tackling Run-off Problem

& making some infrastructure changes for tomorrow.

A similar small scale project in the Memphis area is helping deal with storm water run-off. Girl Scout Troop 10125 designed and installed two rain gardens at Lakeland City Hall, part of the town's storm water initiative. Check it out. Click HERE.

Memphis Landmark goes Green & is featured for 4th of July in People Magazine

Kudos to the Rendezvous! Long "the" place to eat ribs downtown and just a short walk from the River, Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous is now officially certified by Project Green Fork as environmentally sustainable.

But that's not the only good news for the 63-year-old family-owned restaurant. A favorite of Actress Ginnifer Goodwin, the Rendezvous' BBQ ribs were listed as a "Great Idea" in the 4th of July "People Magazine."

In 1948, Charlie Vergos cleaned out a basement below his diner, discovered a coal chute, and used his grilling skills to start a legend. Located in the alley behind 52 S. 2nd Street, the downtown institution has served Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Rolling Stones, and scores of regular Memphians and visitors. Now, they've abandoned Styrofoam and, among other things, switched to "green" cleaners, composting, and replaced plastic utensils with cutlery made from potatoes.

Click HERE for the story in the Daily News, and head down for some mouth watering barbecue.