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 previous posts that have been solved, visit our SOLVED MYSTERIES PAGE.
Include your name, and we’ll give you credit on the item record.
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?
This mystery has been solved by Sunny Franklin over on our Instagram page! She pointed out that the city directory places Marchesini & Co bakers at 297 E H Crump Blvd E. and found records of the bakery as early as 1914 at 297 E Iowa Avenue (which was Crump Blvd.’s previous name). The last entry found for the bakery is in 1958 being run by the Zavell family. Also in the directory, is the name Latham Sandwich Shop, at 295 E Iowa, and in fact, if we zoom in on the photograph above, the word ‘sandwich’ is partially visible, followed by the word ‘shop’, just below the Marchesini sign! This puts our photographer looking east along Crump Blvd., standing between Third Street and Latham St.: approximately 35.124551, -90.053837.
Visit the SOLVED MYSTERIES PAGE to see more solved mysteries.
Click here to share additional details!
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?
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?
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?
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!
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?
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?
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!
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?
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?
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?
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?