Tag Archives: fairgrounds

From Jerry Lawler to the Beatles – The Mid-South Coliseum

[Note:In light of recent news about the Mid-South Coliseum, I am re-posting this entry from November 26, 2009]

If you have lived in Memphis for a while you have some special memories of things that happened inside the Mid-South Coliseum.  I always thought the building looked more like a spacecraft than a multi-purpose arena – and it still does look it could launch at any moment.

Mid-South Coliseum

The building opened in 1963.  The first concert I remember seeing there was the Animals. They were the opening act.  I didn’t really care much about the headliner, Herman’s Hermits.  The last time I was in the building was for my son George’s graduation from Overton High School in 2005.  And many legendary things happened (not necessarily with me in attendance)  in between:  The Beatles, Elvis, the Who, Alice Cooper,  Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd…. and on and on.  I remember some great performances and have forgotten others.  I also remember some great and scary times times back stage. Continue reading

Fairgrounds update

The track hoes,  bulldozers, and dump trucks have been quietly and efficiently doing their work in leveling demolishing destroying developing the Fairgrounds property.

Memphis Fairgrounds

This shot is from what used to be the north parking lot of the Mid-South Coliseum, looking north.  Missing (with the exception of 2 of the old buildings) are all the buildings, livestock barns, Fair Offices, roads, parking lots, and the arena building where I saw Roy Rogers when I was a child; everything but the Kroc Center property is just a big field of dust.  I guess one day we will look up and the Coliseum will be gone too.  Ah, progress!

Midsouth Coliseum

Coliseum's fenced lots now house city vehicles amidst the fairgrounds "construction"

On a more positive note, the old President’s Island one room school house has been preserved and moved to what seems to be a safe place at the edge of the construction area.

Presidents Island school house may be spared

I posted last month about the continuing demolition at the Fairgrounds and wondered about the fate of the one-room school house from Presidents Island.  Once a part of Mid-South Fair exhibits, the structure now sits boarded up in the shadow of the Arena Building.  I had a comment on that post today with a link to a new blog: Presidents Island One Room Schoolhouse.  It seems that East High School has acquired the building and will convert it to a museum to:

“……… to turn this one room school house into a walk through museum on the grounds of East High School. The museum will serve as a commemoration to Sharecropper Schools, Plessy V. Ferguson, Freedmen’s Burreau School, and Brown V. Board of Education.

Wishing  teacher Mark Scott and the students of East High School good luck and much success with this project.  Maybe they can built it on stilts as it was originally.

Presidents Island School House at the Fairgrounds

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