DIG MEMPHIS MYSTERIES


DIG MEMPHIS MYSTERIES

Winter 2022

We need your help! Below are images from our digital archive that are missing important details. See if you can help us fill in some of the gaps.  


updated mysteries!

DIG MEMPHIS MYSTERIES will look a little different going forward. We’ll be posting mystery “seasons” – a multi-week series of mysteries, all centered around a common theme. If you suggest an answer, please share with us how you solved the mystery. Include your name, and we’ll give you credit on the record in the DIG archives.  To keep up to date with all DIG MEMPHIS MYSTERIES, follow us on Instagram at @digmemphishistory



3/14/2022:

“Urban Renewal on Beale”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG MEMPHIS (Digital ID: Street1048)

Today marks our final mystery in the Winter 2022 series. We’ll be taking a break to review submissions from all of our past mysteries, so if you have any info for us, please send it in!

The photograph above is titled, “Urban Renewal on Beale” and depicts buildings possibly in the initial stages of deconstruction. It appears that the photographer may have been looking at the backside of buildings that face Beale Street, but we do not have any geographic information, aside from ‘Beale’.

Can you help us determine what block of Beale Street is shown in this image? Do you know the address? Let us know in the comments box or click ‘Contact Us’ on DIG Memphis to provide any additional details you may know.


3/07/2022:

“North 2nd Lower Floors Flooded”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG MEMPHIS (Digital ID: Street0328)

This week’s photograph has been an ongoing challenge. Images with buildings are often easier to identify than some of our other mysteries, but the age of the photograph and the lack of notable details makes this one difficult. The description states, “furniture outside of homes on Second Street. Caption on bottom of photo reads, ‘4-3-12 North 2nd Lower floors flooded’.” ,

Can you help us locate where this building was on North 2nd St. in 1912? Let us know in the comments box or click ‘Contact Us’ on DIG Memphis to provide any additional details you may know.


2/28/2022:

“Construction on Southern Avenue”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG MEMPHIS (Digital ID: Street0353)

This week’s mystery photograph was taken in May of 1938. The only information we know is that it was taken somewhere along Southern Avenue, during a period of construction work. It’s possible the construction project was significant enough to be covered in the Commercial Appeal, but the possibility has not been researched.

Can you help us locate the area of Southern Avenue pictured here? Do you recognize any identifying details in the photograph? Let us know in the comments box or click ‘Contact Us’ on DIG Memphis to provide any additional details you may know.


2/21/2022:

“Watkins Street, 1936”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG MEMPHIS (Digital ID: Street0976)

This photograph contains a bit more descriptive detail than some of our other mystery images. Based on notes on the back of the photograph, we know this photo was taken on April 30, 1936. The writing on the back also indicates it is “Watkins before extension”, which usually hints that the photograph was taken as documentation prior to a construction project.

Using the clues provided by the photographer notes, can you help us determine which area of Watkins is pictured here? Let us know in the comments box or click ‘Contact Us’ on DIG Memphis to provide any additional details you may know.


2/14/2022:

“Memphis- Third Street”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG MEMPHIS (Digital ID: Street0359)

Today’s mystery photograph captures a stretch of S. Third Street, but it’s not clear where the photographer was standing or what direction the camera is facing. We can see what appears to be an overpass in the distance, but not much else in terms of notable identifying information. The description on the record states, “View of S. Third Street from Municipal Reference Library.”

Can you help us determine what area of S. Third Street is pictured here? Let us know in the comments box or click ‘Contact Us’ on DIG Memphis to provide any additional details you may know.


2/07/2022:

DIG MEMPHIS MYSTERIES is back! Today we’re kicking off our winter season of mysteries and diving back into the popular Memphis Streetscapes Collection. This collection was the inspiration for the initial DIG MEMPHIS MYSTERIES game back in 2020. At the time, the collection contained over one hundred photographs that were missing geographic data. Today, thanks to your help, there are not as many “mystery” images… but there are still few! Each week, we’ll be sharing one item from the collection to see if you can help us pinpoint where the photographer was standing when the photograph was snapped.

“Jackson Avenue Overpass in 1935”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG MEMPHIS (Digital ID: Street0537)

The description on the image above states, “Photo of the Jackson Avenue overpass in 1935.” There are multiple photos of Jackson Avenue in our collection, including several showing overpasses located in different spots along the avenue.

Can you help us locate which overpass is pictured here? Which direction is the photographer facing? Let us know in the comments box or click ‘Contact Us’ on DIG Memphis to provide any additional details you may know.


Explore more mysteries:


Resources:

Here are some resources that can help with your search.

City Directories 1849-1943 – Shelby County Registrar (link)

Commercial Appeal Archives 1894-Today – Newsbank (link)

Historic Shelby County – Aerial Maps (link)

Maps of Memphis (link)

Vehicle Registration Plates of TN – Wikipedia (link)