Archive | Memphis

Libertyland Grand Carousel to Reopen at Children’s Museum of Memphis in 2017

It’s the news many Libertyland and Memphis history fans have been waiting nearly a decade to hear: the former amusement park’s historic Grand Carousel will be rebuilt at the Children’s Museum of Memphis by 2017.

cmom

The Children’s Museum of Memphis has reportedly raised the funds needed for the refurbishment as well as the construction of a glass building on the museum’s front lawn which will house the carousel.

carousel-2

The restoration work will be completed over the next two years by Carousels and Carvings of Marion, Ohio.

News of the tentative deal broke on multiple local news outlets today, including the Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Daily News and Fox 13 Memphis.

carousel

From the Daily News:

No one involved was talking on the record Monday, Feb. 2, about the announcement, but the carousel has long been a part of the administration’s tentative plans for the Children’s Museum, which is on the southwest corner of the fairgrounds property – at Central Avenue and Hollywood Street.

The Grand Carousel was dismantled in 2009, approximately 100 years after it was created. Its first stop in Memphis in the 1920s was the old East End Amusement Park in Midtown.

libertyland-carousel

After its move from the East End, it became part of a set of rides at the fairgrounds long before Libertyland opened in 1976.

The carousel’s hand-carved and painted wooden creatures and bright and elaborate foundation were crated as Libertyland, which had closed four years earlier, was demolished in the development of Tiger Lane from the East Parkway entrance of the fairgrounds to the western side of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

The carousel has been stored at an undisclosed location since it was dismantled in 2009.

Stay tuned to Remember Libertyland for the latest information on the rebuilding of the historic Grand Carousel!

Continue Reading

Happy 80th Elvis Presley!

Elvis Presley, the King of Rock ‘n Roll, was born 80 years ago today in Tupelo, Miss.

elvis

We’d like to thank him for making the Zippin Pippin (then known as the “Pippin”) famous!

The information side in front of the Zippin Pippin shed some light on its ties to Elvis:

sign1

The Zippin Pippin was Elvis Presley’s favorite ride. The “King” rented Libertyland August 8, 1977 from 1:15 a.m. until 7 a.m. to entertain a group of about 10 guests. Decked in a blue jumpsuite with black leather belt, huge belt buckle with turquoise studs and gold chains, the “king” rode the Zippin Pippin repeatedly during a two-hour period. He lost his belt buckle on the ride that morning, and it was found and returned the next day. Elvis’s Libertyland rental became his last public appearance. He died August 16.

Continue Reading

Zippin Pippin construction and fairgrounds update

Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I last posted but I do have some updates for you today!

Below the panoramic of the new Zippin Pippin you’ll find even more construction photos. The coaster is progressing very nicely!

Click here for more photos.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton recently revealed plansfor a $185 redevelopment of the Mid-South Fairgrounds. I was surprised to read that the plans left the area formerly occupied by Libertyland untouched. The area would be simply known as “Liberty Park.” While I would rather the amusement park itself still be standing, I think the area could serve as a memorial to the fairgrounds’ past. It certainly beats tennis courts. I wish they would name the area “Libertyland Park” but I assume that would be somewhat confusing to some.

I’ll keep you updated!

Continue Reading

Libertyland and Zippin Pippin Historical Markers

Jimmy Ogle, the mind behind the upcoming plaque unveiling at the former site of Libertyland has generously sent us photos of the double-sided marker.

He explained more details about the marker: “With the advent of Tiger Lane, we decided to locate the historic marker at the new (limited access) entry into the property on the east side of East Parkway and Young Avenue (northeast corner).  At this location, the marker will be “distanced” from the Tiger Lane activities and have a stand alone presence right at the traffic light, bus stop  and new entry.   It will be due west of the actual location of the Zippin Pippin and right at the old Fairgrounds Amusement Park entrance.”

One side will commemorate the Zippin Pippin,

while the other side will honor Libertyland.

This will be a great reminder to all who visit the fairgrounds of the pieces of history which used to stand there.

The official unveiling will take place on Monday, November 1st, 2010, at 12:00 p.m.

Continue Reading

Libertyland items reused in new LeBonheur hospital

I recently came across this interesting photo from a Memphis Flyer article. It seems that some materials from Libertyland were reused to create wooden conversation bubbles in one of the waiting rooms at the new LeBonheur hospital.

“This is right outside that playroom, in the waiting room itself … I love these wooden conversation bubbles. What’s even better, they were constructed from recycled Libertyland material.”

There’s no telling where exactly within the park these materials came from. Perhaps the Zippin Pippin?

Continue Reading