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The Godfather of Gibson’s Donuts

In East Memphis by Rebecca Phillips2 Comments

There are many facts and stories we could tell of Gibson’s Donuts, such as how the original owner, Lowell Gibson, hadn’t initially planned to run a donut shop and when he did own one he closed it only one day a year for Christmas. We aren’t going to speak of the bacon sprinkled donut or the magical ingredients the people …

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Memphis Street History: Sam Cooper Boulevard

In East Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson13 Comments

Like many Memphians, I log a lot of miles on Sam Cooper Boulevard, the stretch of I-40 between East Parkway and the junction with I-240. I’ve always wondered about the man behind the name. If you have, too, prepare to be impressed by his life and legacy. Sam Cooper grew up in the Pinch District of Memphis, the son of …

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Faux Retro: Park Cosmorama

In East Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson0 Comments

When you pull into the parking lot of the Park Cosmorama strip mall, you might assume the large sign greeting you is from the era of The Jetsons. But, surprisingly, the Park Cosmorama sign isn’t a relic – it was installed at the turn of this century. Built sometime in the 1950s, this strip mall on Park between Mendenhall and …

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The Remnants of an 80’s Kid’s Summer Avenue

In East Memphis by Samantha Hegenheiser-Finley12 Comments

I’m honored to write my first contributor’s post for Memphis Type History. I’m especially excited to delve into my own past and to, in a way, write this post from the perspective of an elementary school-aged version of myself. My memories of being out and about as a child almost solely consist of being on or around Summer Avenue – nearly always …

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Normal Station

In East Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson7 Comments

The East Memphis neighborhood known as Normal Station is bordered by Southern Avenue, Park Avenue, Highland, and Goodlett. It’s one of Memphis’s most historically aware communities, so proud of its heritage that it even has its own wiki! For the non-residents, here’s a little background about the origins of The University of Memphis’s backyard. Beginning in the late 1800s, teachers’ …

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Roller Skating Down Memory Lane

In East Memphis by Rebecca Phillips3 Comments

I had the privilege of meeting the family and staff who run Skateland Raleigh, East End, and Cordova Skating Centers. The goal was to discover if and how Skateland Raleigh was in connection to the Skateland on Old Summer road. In the end, I left with so much more. The family who runs the business are a pure delight, warm, …