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Considering how small the population of Memphis was in the 1860s, before the Civil War, there are a remarkable number of existing churches that date from the time. Memphis was not ravaged by the war, as were many other southern towns. So the charming St. Mary's, with its Gothic tower, survived to be completed shortly after the war. The interior of the church, built by German immigrants, features statues, stained glass, an elaborately carved altar and a lovely side chapel and garden. Weekday visitors should knock at the church office door for admittance.
This 1870s house is part of Victorian Village, where Memphis homes dating from the 1800s have been preserved and restored. In addition to the furniture and decorative arts displayed inside, the house also has an exhibit of clothing from the Victorian era. Look at the cinched waists and layers of velvet and wonder how the Victorian ladies survived the hot Memphis summers. Tours are held every half hour.
This lovely 80-acre (32-hectare) cemetery is a wonderful place to go on a warm afternoon. Huge, shady trees protect the most interesting collection of graves and gravestones in the city. Elaborate Victorian monuments mark the final resting places of city founders such as Robert Church, the first black millionaire in Memphis, as well as Mayor E.H. "Boss" Crump and 19 generals from the Confederate Army.
Once home to music legend Elvis Presley, Graceland epitomizes the flamboyant style that the unforgettable seventies packed in. Life came a full circle for the King of Rock 'n' Roll when he purchased this Colonial Revival house in Memphis from Stephen Toof, a way of honoring the city that fed his musical ambitions and set him on his way to becoming a rising star. Rumoured to be the second most-visited house in the United States, Graceland is preserved exactly as it was when Elvis lived here. Elvis Presley bought this 13.8 acre (5.6 hectares) estate in 1957 and spent a large part of his life expanding and improving the opulent property. On the boulevard named after the legend himself, a sleek entertainment complex and adjoining visitors centre feed Elvis' fans still-extant frenzy through a wealth of displays and exhibits that revolve around the musician's life. The Elvis Entertainer Career Museum highlights the main aspects of his singing career, and display his most iconic sartorial collections, while the Automobile Museum showcases the stunning fleet of cars that Elvis rode in, from the Cadillac Eldorado to the Stutz Blackhawk. On August 16, the anniversary of Elvis' death, a candlelight vigil draws worldwide fans to this exceptional monument.
Believed to have existed since the early 18th Century, Davies Manor is one of the oldest properties of Memphis. Surrounded by 30 acres (12 hectares) of luxuriant land that's home to beautiful gardens and archaic outbuildings, this log home served as a plantation centuries ago. It is also believed that the house was occupied by African-Americans slaves during the Civil War. Today, this iconic address is open to visitors who wish to learn about its history and appreciate manor's picturesque setting. Tours are organized throughout the property, and all of the contents of the house are neatly marked for your convenience. While touring the farms, be ready to catch glimpses of deer families.