On This Date, Something Happened: Memphis' First Waterfront

On This Date, Something Happened: Memphis' First Waterfront

(Editor’s note: I’m on a quest to catalog all of the places in the Memphis area with historical markers in a  feature called “On This Date, Something Happened".)

Here it is: proof that since the city's very beginnings, Memphis has been a great place for both distribution and live music. 

It's only fitting, then, that the city's very first stage performance was in a warehouse.

First Memphis Waterfront historical marker, Memphis, Tenn.

"From here north to Auction Avenue steamboats landed; flatboats used the mouth of Gayoso Bayou above. Paddy Meagher, associated with this bluff as early as 1783, built a warehouse here in 1832. In 1829 Emmanuel Young built the town's first brick structure, a warehouse with freight elevator next to Paddy's; that same year it housed the first stage performance in Memphis. Soon after 1830 this area began to silt up, and the town landing moved south to Market Avenue and below."

I-40 at Memphis' first waterfront.

While it's slightly strange to me that you can't really see the river from the site of the city's first waterfront, it is fitting that this marker noting Memphis' first waterfront is situated between a former music venue (the Pyramid) and the spaghetti-like swirls of I-40.

See it for yourself at the corner of Front St. and Jackson downtown. 

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