Looking At Landcare (12/1/2023) – Graceland History

Hi Landcarers

I hope that you managed to fit in a break over the Christmas/New Year period.

It all seems like a blur after a massive few days for the Parkes Elvis Festival last week!

I would like to be able to draw some connection with Elvis and the environment, but he was known for his performance, not being an environmental warrior. I did, however, find some interesting information about his famous property Gracelands.

Because the building is so iconic and a place that he obviously loved deeply, I was surprised to learn that Graceland Farms was originally owned by the founder of the oldest commercial printing firm in Memphis, SC Toof & Co.

The property was named after Stephen C Toof’s daughter, Grace, who later inherited the farm in 1894. It was passed down to a niece Ruth Moore, a Memphis socialite and with her husband Thomas, they commissioned the construction of the Colonial Revival style mansion in 1939, designed by architectural firm, Furbringer and Erhmanus.

The 953.7m2 building was purchased by Elvis Presley in 1957, when his fame was significantly on the rise and it was obvious that he was going to require somewhere with a bit more space.

Elvis gave his parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley instructions to find a ‘farmhouse’-like property, with buffer space around it. They found Graceland, which at the time was still several kilometres from the urban part of Memphis. At that time the property cost $102,500. It is reported that Elvis spent in excess of $500,000 on modifications. This included a Meditation Garden that was used when he required time to reflect on a problem or situation.

The Meditation Garden is actually open each morning between 7.30am and 8.30am for free. His grave site and his family grave sites are now located there.

Yours and my idea of a place to meditate might be slightly different to this space, but nevertheless, it shows his appreciation of being in an outdoor space to find some peace. Something that most of us can relate to.

If you are suffering from some new years lack of motivation or are in need of some peace and solitude, make an early start to the day (before the real heat of the day sets in) and get outside and enjoy the space. I’m looking forward to sharing information on our visit from Costa Georgiadis next week. So keep a look out!

For further information on this article, please go to www.centralwestlachlanlandcare.org, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @cwllandcare