(Editor’s note: I’m on a quest to catalog all of the places in the Memphis area with historical markers in an occasional feature called “On This Date, Something Happened".)
I'm beginning to notice a trend among Memphis' historical markers. Some of them – and never the ones that you'd want – have entirely too much information. Others – always the ones I want to know more about – leave a lot to the imagination.
For example, this one, parked at the site of Memphis' first tavern:
"In 1820 several log cabins were built here to provide for the land office opening. Samuel Brown, first sheriff, later kept a tavern on the same site. Adjacent on the south was the office of Frances Wright's Nashoba colony."
All of that info is great, but I have more questions – what did the tavern serve? Why was it next to the Nashoba colony and not in it? When did it close? What went on in there? Was Samuel driven to open the tavern after hard years of sheriffing? So many questions about this little bar, so few answers.
The site of Memphis' first tavern is now the site of an MLGW power station on N. Main Street downtown.