On This Date, Something Happened: Fort Assumption

Posted by Holly Whitfield | August 28th 2012 1750 0

(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".)

Of all of the historical markers I've documented over the past year, this one, for Fort Assumption in Tom Lee Park is one of my favorites.

Fort Assumption, Memphis, Tenn.

It reads:

"South of here, at the highest part of the bluff, on Assumption Day, August 15, 1739, Fort Assumption was erected by Sieur de Bienville, French governor of Louisiana. This was the first structure built by the Europeans in Shelby County and the third such in Tennessee."

First of all, how great is that name? I know that it's named after Assumption Day (a Catholic holiday), but I like the idea that it could be named after the other kind of assumption. As in, "I assume this would be an excellent location for our fortress" or "I assume that they'll attack us here, thus, let us fort up, gentlemen."

Secondly, I love that the marker, which sits in Tom Lee Park, is not at the site of the original structure. The original Fort Assumption was located vaguely "south of here".



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