Tag Archives: south memphis

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Memphis ghost schools (a photo essay)

You can tell it’s Sweeps Weeks when the local TV stations run stories with titles like School Sex Dens.  But Channel 5’s story does bring to light the dozens of abandoned Memphis City Schools around the city.  The next day after seeing the story, I happened to be on St. Paul Street, near Downtown, where I ran across Locke Elementary.

Locke Elementary, St. Paul St., Memphis, TN

Last year, while on a photo tour in South Memphis, I found this school at 1560 Florida Street.

School – 1560 Florida Street, Memphis, TN

Since then the sheet metal has been removed and a high chain link fence with NO TRESPASSING signs has been installed.

School - Florida Street

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The former Marchetti’s Weona -Lauderdale & Dempster, Memphis

Marchetti’s Weona , originally uploaded by joespake.

Neighborhood groceries ruled with I was young. My family got most groceries from Marchetti’s, which occupied this building at Lauderdale and Dempster in South Memphis. We knew the proprietors and their extended family. Most of the family lived upstairs. Neighborhood stores were franchised under the Weona brand. [note:  I couldn’t readily find any info about the Weona brand.  Maybe my friend Vance Lauderdale could fill us in with a link to one of his pieces]
What a great concept. Your business downstairs, your home above. Institutions like the neighborhood groceries were part of the cement that bound our neighborhoods together. Until the 1960s they provided the staples for families.
Today the neighborhood stores mostly sell chips, smokes and 40 ouncers. I didn’t go into this store, but there was not much activity for a Saturday midday.

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