North Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee

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North Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee
GENERAL VIEW, FROM NORTHEAST - Handwerker Gingerbread Playhouse, 865 North Thomas Street, Memphis, Shelby County, TN HABS TENN,79-MEMPH,17-2.tif
Country  United States
State Tennessee
Counties Shelby County
Settled 1937
Incorporated 1942
 • Mayor Jim Strickland

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, Binghamton, Smokey City, Frayser, and Raleigh.


North Memphis flourished during the 19th and 20th centuries. Klondike and Smokey City are two of the oldest African American elite communities[2] in Memphis.[3] 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[4]

Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in New Chicago, Memphis made its first tire on January 19, 1937.[5] In 1942, in Frayser on 260 acres of land, International Harvester built the largest farm-equipment manufacturing plant in the South.[6]

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.[7]

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.”[8]

Secret Hinneh


North Memphis produced musicians like Laura Dukes, Gary Harrison, Greg Cartwright and rappers like Project Pat, Juicy J, Yo Gotti, Young Dolph, Snootie Wild, Frayser Boy, MC Mack 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.


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