When I am reading Jessie’s diaries, I love to try to find pictures or information about the parks and buildings she mentions, the books and magazines she reads, the musical or theatrical performances she sees, the clothes she wears, the songs she loves, the cars she rides in, and so on and so on. In the diary posts for May, 1909, Jessie talks about going to the Goodwyn Institute to see an elocution contest. Other times Jessie mentions going to the Randolph Building to practice for a program. She mentions going to the Women’s Building quite a bit, usually to see recitals or some other music or piano related activity. The only Women’s Building I can find is the one built at the Fair Grounds in 1908, and now known as the Creative Arts Center.
East End Park was another favorite place for entertainment. This was the city’s most elaborate entertainment complex with a lake and a music pavilion, a theater for vaudeville performances, carnival rides, and a roller skating rink. A beautiful carousel was purchased for the park in 1909. Fortunately the park was easy to get to with the streetcar stopping right at the entrance.
Overton Park is a large city park first established in 1906. Within its grounds are the zoo, a golf course, a band pavilion, hiking trails and forest land. It is as popular and important to Memphians today as it was in 1909.
**Picture credits to Historic-Memphis.com. The creators of this website have filled it with all kinds of information and historic photos of many old buildings, parks, and churches in Memphis. It’s a great website and a treasure for those interested in Memphis history.