Elvis Presley Museum in Tupelo, Mississippi

Not so many tourists come to Mississippi state in the US, and the state’s tourist industry largerly relies on one particular object – the birthplace of Elvis Presley in Tupelo. The museum complex dedicated to his memory was erected here. Even though most of the photos we made in this place mystically disappeared, we will try to revive our memories about the place where thousands of pilgrims-fans of rock-n-roll come.

Not so many people know that Elvis had a brother – a stillborn twin, who died soon after birth. The family of Elvis was quite poor, and became even poorer when his father was imprisoned for 2 years accused of producing fake checks. The house of Presleys built by his father for 180 dollars loaned from his boss was tiny. It is available for visiting with the furniture of that time and other objects reconstructed.

Elvis was connected to music from his early childhood: visiting the church he was singing in a choir. It was here that Elvis was first exposed to the rich, Southern gospel that became a staple of his musical repertoire. According to Assembly of God minister, Brother Frank Smith, Elvis was fascinated with music and the prospect of learning to play the guitar. The actual building where the Presley family attended church services has been moved to the Elvis Presley Birthplace Complex for visitors to see and enjoy.
Photo: http://www.wikimedia.org/

The plain, humble, wood-framed structure will greatly contrast with the lively and intense nature of the sermons and the music. Guests will experience the preacher walking about, the choir filled with the spirit, and the congregation swaying to the rhythm of inspiring praises. Elvis never realized his dream of becoming a member of the Statesmen or the Blackwood Brothers gospel quartets, yet throughout the rest of his life, Elvis recorded many of the beloved songs of his youth, the emotional and uplifting music of the church.
Not far from the church there is Elvis memorial chapel. Elvis dreamed of having a “place of meditation” at the Elvis Presley Birthplace Park. Before his death, he shared that dream with friend Janelle McComb who envisioned adding a chapel to the Park. The fans made that dream a reality with their generous donations.
Another sight is a personal vehicle of Presley:

The territory of the museum complex also accommodates the fountain of his memory, called “Fountain of life”.
Photo from http://www.aarondmitchell.com

Not far from the fountain there is an ensemble called “The walk of memory”, dedicated to the most important events in Presley’s life – from the birth and getting his first guitar till the last successes and death.
It is also possible to visit the museum of Elvis Presley here – originally opened in 1992 and consisted mainly of the personal collection of Janelle McComb (the one who learned about the meditation wish), a Tupelo resident and long-time family friend of Elvis and the Presleys. Completely renovated in 2006, the state-of-the-art museum still pays tribute to that friendship and displays new exhibits containing Tupelo artifacts, large photo-murals and graphics and audiovisual presentations that focus on Elvis, his childhood and his first music.
One more important sight is a toilet. Unfortunately, it never belonged to Elvis, and is just a replica of the toilet typical for the south of the US in 1940s.

Finally, there is a statue of 13-year-old Elvis.

And a piece of memory about his first performance:

This is a good museum, and even though it is considered to be situated in the middle of nowhere, there is a lot to see around. Once we will also tell about neighboring sights, e.g. Natchez parkway and other Mississippi beauties.

Elvis Presley Birthplace
306 Elvis Presley
Drive Tupelo, MS 38801,
GPS: 34.259896, -88.680194
tel. 662-841-1245.
Mon-Sat 9:00 – 5:30
Sun 1:00 to 5:00
Full tour adults $15.00, kids 7-12 $6.00, till 7 years – free. Seniors (after 60) $12.00. Students 13-18 $12.00.
House only tour: adults, seniors, students $6.00, kids 7 – 12: $3.00.
The information from official museum website was used for this publication.

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