North Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee

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North Memphis historic architecture

North Memphis is one of the five defined districts of Memphis, Tennessee. It includes smaller neighborhoods such as Klondike, New Chicago, Douglass, Hyde Park, Hollywood, Nutbush, Smokey City and Frayser.

History[edit]

North Memphis flourished during the 19th and 20th centuries. Klondike and Smokey City are two of the oldest African American elite communities[1] in Memphis.[2] Historic neighborhoods like Speedway Terrace, Vollintine-Evergreen, and Shelby Forest were home to wealthy families and a vibrant manufacturing industry.

In 1887, Memphis Artesian Water Company in North Memphis began digging artesian wells to create a modern sewer system. The facility was eventually torn down to expand parking for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital[3]

Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Hyde Park made its first tire on January 19, 1937.[4] In 1942, in Frayser on 260 acres of land, International Harvester built the largest farm-equipment manufacturing plant in the South.[5]

By the end of the 20th century, the industrial hub in North Memphis steadily declined as manufacturing jobs disappeared due to deindustrialization. Companies that closed their operations include Firestone, International Harvester, Cleo, Schering-Plough, Maybelline, Velsicol Chemical Corporation, Kimberly-Clark and Chemtura. The companies still operating are chemical plants known for heavy pollution. The Douglass community, has eight polluting facilities.[6]

Over the years, the area declined due to urban sprawl and urban decay. More recently, the area has been troubled with a high violent crime rate with "young people killing other young people.”[7]

Music[edit]

North Memphis produced musicians like Laura Dukes, Gary Harrison, Greg Cartwright and rappers like Project Pat, Juicy J, Yo Gotti, Snootie Wild, Frayser Boy, and Lil Wyte. "Wrong Side of Memphis" is a number one record for Trisha Yearwood. It is an autobiographical song about leaving Frayser for Nashville.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 35°12′58″N 89°55′26″W / 35.216°N 89.924°W / 35.216; -89.924