DIG MEMPHIS MYSTERIES


DIG MEMPHIS MYSTERIES

LOOKING FOR A FUN ACTIVITY TO ENGAGE IN FROM HOME? WANT TO EXPLORE MEMPHIS and still practice social distancing?  WE NEED YOUR HELP! EACH WEEK WE’LL BE POSTING IMAGES FROM DIG MEMPHIS THAT ARE MISSING CRUCIAL DETAILS.  SEE IF YOU CAN HELP US FILL IN SOME OF THE GAPS!

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)


If you suggest an answer, please share with us how you solved the mystery! To see our solved mysteries, click HERE.

Include your name, and we’ll give you credit on the item record.

12/14/2020:

“Crump Boulevard at night”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0144)

As you may have noticed, we’re taking a brief hiatus in posting new DIG MEMPHIS MYSTERIES. We’ll return in the new year. In the meantime, we plan to catch up on all the intriguing answers to past mysteries. Please keep those submissions coming!

As a final mystery for 2020, this photograph (our cover image) has yet to be solved. It shows an empty Crump Boulevard at night. Marchesini & Co. Bakery is visible on the right. Can you determine where and when this photograph was taken?


11/23/2020:

“Poplar Avenue”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0811)

Here’s a photograph from an unusual perspective. The caption on top of photograph appears to say, “Poplar St From Roof.” The caption on bottom reads, “R111-2-2.” So, we’re looking at Poplar Avenue from the roof of structure, but where. Where would this photographer be standing today?


11/16/2020:

“Colonial Road”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0030)

The data accompanying this image indicates that the photograph was taken in 1962. Beyond that, we don’t really know much about where this photo was taken. The description on the digital record simply states, “A photo of Colonial Road.” Do you know where this photo was taken on Colonial Road?


11/09/2020:

“S. Third Street, 1938”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0361)

Many of our unmapped images are from the Municipal Reference Library and depict scenes of construction during the 1930s. This picture of South Third Street was taken in May of 1938. The pavement in the street appears to be damaged. Trees and a hedge line the street, with business signs partially visible on the right. Can you locate this spot on South Third Street?


10/19/2020:

“Hollywood Avenue”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0524)

This photograph is a challenge to locate due to the lack of notable structures or signs. The description on the digital records simply reads, “Traffic on Hollywood Avenue and fields surrounding.” The date is also unknown. If you are able to locate this spot along Hollywood Avenue and/or the time period in which the photograph was taken, please let us know below!


9/28/2020:

“Madison Avenue”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0496)

This image shows Northcross Machine Mfg. Co. on Madison Avenue, and the record indicates that the photograph was taken in 1950. Where along Madison Avenue was Northcross Machine Mfg. Co. located?


8/24/2020:

” Suffrage parade “. Pink Palace Photograph Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID PP1038)

100 years ago today, on August 24, 1920, Tennessee Governor Albert H. Roberts certified the state’s ratification of the 19th Amendment, sending it on to Washington, D.C. to be officially enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. So, for today’s mystery we’re highlighting one of the images from our Votes for Women online exhibit.

The description on the photograph states, “Women on a float bearing sign, ‘Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association, Inc.’ in front of Memphis Photo Supply on S. Main Street.”  What building is this?  Where was Memphis Photo Supply Company? 


8/3/2020:


“Idlewild Avenue”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0527)

The above image is another photograph that is part of the series showing old homes from around the turn of the 20th century. This on depicts a scene on an unpaved Idlewild Avenue. Are you able to recognize any of the old homes seen here?

“Hernando Street”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0519)

This 1895 photograph shows homes along Hernando Street. The age of the image and the placement of the camera make this mystery especially difficult to solve. We do not see many details of the homes; however, it is possible other photographs exist showing this area of Hernando Street. If you recognize where these homes would be located today, let us know!


7/27/2020:

“Houses on Washington Avenue “. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0395)

This picture, c.1900, shows Victorian-era houses lining a stretch of Washington Avenue. Nearly all of the grand homes along Washington have been lost over time, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly where this photograph was taken. Are you able to recognize any of the old homes seen here?


7/13/2020:

“Scene on Speedway (2)”. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0354)

This photo shows the Speedway with trees and gardens along both sides. Can you help us pinpoint what spot along the Speedway is shown in this image?


7/6/2020:

“Madison Avenue” . Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0511)

This photograph of Madison Avenue was taken in 1953. The description in our archive states, “Business signs on Madison Avenue, including: Toof Printers and Ace Wallpaper and Paint Stores”; however, the exact location has not been added to our records. Can you help determine the coordinates and/or street address of the buildings seen here?

“Madison Avenue” . Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0495)

This 1950 photograph shows another area of Madison Avenue, lined with automobiles and businesses. Our records do not currently include geographic information for this image. Can you determine where the photographer was standing when this picture was taken?


6/29/2020:

“Scene On Poplar” . Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0829)

This black and white postcard shows homes along Poplar Avenue at the turn of the twentieth century. The caption on bottom of postcard reads, “Scene on Poplar. 1900.” Poplar Avenue has changed dramatically over the course of the previous century. Can you determine what block of Poplar Avenue is shown here?

Residences on Union Avenue, 1900. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0377)

These two photographs (each measuring 7.25 x 4.25 inches) labeled “Scenes on Union Avenue” show Victorian-era houses on Union Avenue. The notation “1900” is written in the lower right corner. Can you help us determine the coordinates or street addresses for each of these locations?


6/08/2020:

Main Street. Memphis Streetscapes Collection, DIG Memphis. (Digital ID Street0575)

This old photograph shows a horse-drawn carriage pulling a boat. A crowd of onlookers can be see lining the cobblestone street, watching what was a likely a parade. The description on the digital item identifies this as Main Street, although it’s not clear if the physical photograph was labeled that way. Can you confirm this is Main Street and pinpoint the exact location?