Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo; a tiny home for the “King of Rock n Roll”

The two-room house where Elvis Presley was born January 8, 1935

The two-room house where Elvis Presley was born January 8, 1935

I can only imagine how bitter-sweet that winter day was in 1935.

As I stand in the tiny front room of the two-room house where Elvis Presley was born the reality of how poor his family was is palpable.

Elvis was born in the front room.  His identical twin Jessie Garon was still-born.

Elvis was born in the front room. His identical twin Jessie Garon was still-born.

Elvis Aron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. His identical twin, Jessie Garon, arrived first but was still-born.

As the tour guide puts it, “the doctor was ready to leave but the mid-wife convinced him to stay because she thought there was another baby coming.”

Today there is wall paper but according to the guide the Presley family covered the wall with newspaper as insulation.

Today there is wall paper but according to the guide the Presley family covered the wall with newspaper as insulation.

78 years later I can hardly wrap my head around the story. Today we know so much about babies before they’re born, it seems impossible a medical doctor wouldn’t have known Gladys Presley was having twins.

The Presley family portrait.

The Presley family portrait.

 

The Presley family lived in the tiny dwelling until Elvis was two and a half years old. They lost the house Vernon Presley purchased for $180 due to lack of payment.

He and Gladys took odd jobs and moved from place to place while living in Tupelo, but times were hard and the depression took its toll on the Presley family.

The "Memphis-Bound" car is on display outside the visitor center.

The “Memphis-Bound” car is on display outside the visitor center.

Eventually, in 1948 Vernon moved the family to Memphis in hopes of finding work and making a better life. But Elvis never forgot those early years in Tupelo and returned nine years later to perform a benefit concert for the city. He performed under the condition the proceeds would be used to purchase the old home and turn the land into a park.

The Visitor Center houses a gift shop and museum and there is a film detailing Elvis' early years in Tupelo.

The Visitor Center houses a gift shop and museum and there is a film detailing Elvis’ early years in Tupelo.

Today the Elvis Presley Birthplace welcomes visitors from around the world. There’s a museum, gift shop and film about the family’s time in Tupelo in addition to the home, chapel and a “Memphis-Bound” old-time car.

Elvis Presley's childhood church where he gained his love of Gospel Music is now located next to his birthplace.

Elvis Presley’s childhood church where he gained his love of Gospel Music is now located next to his birthplace.

Elvis Presley fans will find the birthplace a must-see location. However, even if you’re only slightly interested – the story of the King of Rock-n-Roll’s impoverished beginnings is compelling.

A statue of young Elvis stands in the park.

A statue of young Elvis stands in the park.

Elvis Presley Birthplace

306 Elvis Presley Drive

Tupelo, MS 38801

662-841-1245

Fountain of Life outlines significant dates in Elvis' life.

Fountain of Life outlines significant dates in Elvis’ life.

 

If you like this please share it with your friends.  And as always, Happy Travels!

 

Share this article

Comments

  • Latarsha Unland
    May 5, 2013

    Entering a new school, Milam, for sixth grade in September 1946, Presley was regarded as a loner. The following year, he began bringing his guitar in on a daily basis. He played and sang during lunchtime, and was often teased as a “trashy” kid who played hillbilly music. The family was by then living in a largely African-American neighborhood.“

    Our new blog
    <http://www.caramoantourpackage.com/

  • June 4, 2014

    great pictures, one question, after they moved out of this house in tupelo, did anyone
    else live there?? was it vacant.. how did they get it back… very interesting to know this. also are there people living nearby this house or was all the land purchased…

    • June 4, 2014

      I’m not sure if it remained vacant after they lost the house, but Elvis returned to perform a benefit concert in 1957 and the proceeds were used to purchase the home and land surrounding it to create a Youth Center and park. Glad you enjoyed the article and pictures!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: