Our Panel Boot Victoria

I wrote this post for the Pink Palace’s blog as an excuse to get one of my favorite old photographs of the museum released onto the internet.

The Pink Palace

Pink Palace carriage 1970 (3)In 1967, Patterson Transfer Co. donated the panel boot Victoria carriage displayed at the exit of the Memphis history gallery. The Brewster Carriage Company built the vehicle in 1902, and sold it new for $1,300 ( roughly $30,000 in today’s currency). Our panel boot Victoria was owned by Robert E. Galloway, the president of Patterson Transfer.

Don Berkebile from the Smithsonian Institution came to Memphis in November 1967 to examine the Victoria and the wagonette and stagecoach that Patterson Transfer Co. also donated. He noted that the panel boot Victoria was “an excellent example of its type in sound condition and certainly worth of restoration.” Gordon Elston, the museum preparator, directed the restoration, which included stripping the paint, applying original type finish, reupholstering the broadcloth, replacing the leather convertible top, replacing the patent leather dash, seat railing and trim, and constructing new fenders. In total, it took over two…

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The Golf Courses of Clarence Saunders

A new post for the museum’s blog based on some research I’ve been doing for a historical marker.

The Pink Palace

lnc golfClarence Saunders was a golf enthusiast. When he made his first fortune by founding the Piggly Wiggly self-service grocery store, Saunders joined the Memphis Country Club. He would bet on games and tip his caddies well. Part of the plans for his palatial Cla-Le-Clare (Pink Palace) estate included an eighteen-hole golf course with a curving lake. One of the holes was to be on an island that required players to take a boat across the water. Of course, Saunders lost the property in his battle with Wall Street speculators which left him bankrupt. His golf course eventually became Chickasaw Gardens subdivision with the lake as a public park.

Never one to be out for long, Saunders made a second fortune with his “Clarence Saunders, Sole Owner of My Name” grocery stores. With his new money in hand, he set out to build a second millionaire’s playground. He purchased three hundred…

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Decade

It doesn’t feel like ten years. But how else could we have fit in a first dance under the stars, a first kiss in a dorm room, a first trip to Nashville to meet your parents, a first hike in Gatlinburg where we were going to walk until the end before we realized we were on the Appalacian Trail, a first Broadway play that left us singing Abba years later, a first Mardi Gras in NOLA where you caught me a little green frog, a first graduation together, a first intimidating vegetable (artichokes) cooked, a first time making pickles, a first time saying vows in front of a crowd, a first time leaving the country together, a first dog, a first garden, a first house, a first kid to whom I gave that little green frog? Or how could we have had a second trip to Nashville, a second hike through the Arkansas wilderness where we at least realized we were on a super long trail, a second garden, a second kid? How else can you account for the wonderful parameters that mark our life together? 

A decade just doesn’t seem long enough.