It is the original house on the original site. It's just 2 small rooms, a bedroom and a kitchen, and the furniture is not the original stuff owned by the Presleys. It was built by Vernon himself. It's just a little shack, really. But what a feeling I got when I entered the front room! I didn't feel Elvis' presence here, but I did feel Gladys. This little house was a home and the credit goes to her. I feel something very special here.
This tribute to Elvis was built because of the effort of his fans. It's really very peaceful and calm. Quite lovely.
I've seen a lot of pictures of Elvis. But there are some here that I've never seen anywhere else. (And since you must check your camera at the door, you probably won't see them anywhere else, either). Much of what's here was donated by Janelle McComb, but there's lots more now. Some of the items (pictures and other things) have been donated by childhood friends of Elvis' only in the last few years, so even if you've been here before, it's worth coming again. Here are 2 pictures on the outside: a lovely fountain and one of the story quotes on the wall.
The Hardware Store
This is a fun place. Really just a basic hardware store that happens to have sold Gladys a guitar for Elvis. It still sells guitars, along with Elvis gear of all sorts. But what happened here is one of those little turns in a life that you don't see coming and you don't understand the importance of until much later, if ever. Dare I say Gladys' buying the guitar for Elvis (instead of a gun) was one of Elvis' "defining moments" as Dr. Phil likes to call them.
We should have had lunch here, but they're closed on Sundays, no matter what's going on - even Elvis week! ;-}. That's ok. Here's a picture that's on the wall inside the place. It was taken in 1956 by someone (not a fan!!) who was told Elvis was in the diner. He went in to investigate, took the picture and never thought of it again for years. Later in life he found it, recognized the value, and returned to Tupelo to give a copy to the diner. Thanks to Mike Freeman for the history.
Sort of. The actual fairgrounds where Elvis performed 3 times (once when he was 10 years old, twice as a returning home-town hero) is long gone. It's now called "Fairpark" and the only thing left is a reference to Elvis' performances in '56 and '57. Time marches on. This picture was taken from a moving van, so I missed the flags at the top. :)