Another Estate Sale at a Historic Location — the Lakeland Bandstand

Don't worry; I don't intend to use my valuable blog space promoting estate sales every few weeks. But this weekend, there will be an estate sale at a rather unusual location — a sprawling Adirondack-style house built on the site of the old Lakeland Bandstand.

And, as you can see, they even have a historic marker to prove it.

The house, built on a half-acre site overlooking Garner Lake in 1996, is a definitely unusual design, with handmade tiles and rough beams and polished tree trunks inside. It has a Native American theme, with impressive mosaic-tile floors that depict ancient symbols and "native" designs.

But what puzzles me is the plaque. I've written about Lakeland quite a lot, on this blog and in the pages of Memphis magazine. Heavily promoted as "The Disneyland of the Mid-South," it was developed by a fellow named Louis Garner, who envisioned a full-scale amusement park wrapping around the shores of the lake he named for himself. In addition to major attractions like the steam-powered Huff 'n' Puff Railroad and the skyride salvaged from the Brussels World's Fair, Lakeland had a full-scale race course, drag strip, the largest swimming pool in Shelby County, and lots more. You can read more about it here.

And one of the attractions was an Art Deco-looking concrete bandshell, bandstand, pavilion, or whatever you want to call it, that did indeed feature many of the top acts of the day. But it — along with the rest of Lakeland — didn't open until June 1961, so I have to wonder where the folks who made this historic marker got their facts about the bandstand being "from the late 1950s." And if indeed Elvis Presley — among some of the other stars listed here — actually performed here. By 1961, Elvis was well on his way to superstardom. Did he really play at ... Lakeland?

The house, located at 4192 Loch Meade Point, is a bit of a mystery too. When his amusement park venture failed, Garner and his wife, Jan, built their own house — the first of many in the growing subdivision that would eventually turn into the city of Lakeland — on the site of the old bandstand. From what I can decipher from the tax assessor's page, that house must have been torn down and replaced with this one, which was constructed in 1996.  In case you are wondering (and I know you are), the property is now owned by First Bank in Lexington, Tennessee.

To see more pictures of the place, go to the Memphis Estate Sales website. The sale starts Friday and runs through Sunday afternoon.

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Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and Inside Memphis Business. Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

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