Maywood Beach

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Maywood Beach opened in Olive Branch, MS in 1931. The icy cold lake featured sand from Destin, FL. The grounds had bbq and picnic areas, concerts, slides, and hat contests. Learn all about "the beach within reach" on Memphis Type History: The Podcast

In this episode of Memphis Type History: The Podcast, I tell Rebecca all about a magical place of summer fun in Memphis: Maywood Beach, aka the “beach within reach.”

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Maurice and Mae Woodson opened Maywood Beach (named after Mae, of course) on July, 4, 1931 at Lake Shahkoka in Olive Branch, MS. A team of mules dug out the lake bed, which was filled with water from an underground artesian water basin.

They trucked in tons and tons of white sand from Destin, FL. Finally, slides and other fun additions over time like picnic tables, barbecue pits, pavilions, a bowling alley, playgrounds, a snack bar, and a tearoom created a full-on beach and a waterpark on the Woodsons’ 400 acres.

Commercials for Coppertone, hat contests, and concerts by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash (to name a few) quickly ensued. Oh, and yes, there’s yet another Elvis connection in this episode!

But then I have to break the bad news to Rebecca… In 2003, the grounds closed in order to create a planned subdivision and gated retirement community. Then we call my mom on Skype to ask her why she never took me to Maywood when she had the chance.


Links Mentioned:

Friends of Maywood Facebook Page

Historic Memphis’ article about Maywood Beach

Memphis Trivia Tuesday: Thousands soak up the sun at ‘beach within reach’

Seventy Years Down the Drain

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