Because of the city's explosive growth eastward, it's sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly where "East Memphis" is. But generally, East Memphis is considered to be the area east of Midtown, just inside the I-240 loop to the north and south, and just west of Germantown to the east.
Some of the city's most convenient residential neighborhoods are located on the long winding lanes just off Poplar Avenue. Large colonial and ranch-style homes tend to be the norm, many on beautifully landscaped lots. You won’t find many large parcels of land in this area of town, so most new development focuses on upscale zero-lots and condominiums.
Founding of Memphis
Memphis was founded in 1819, by John Overton, Andrew Jackson, and James Winchester after the Chickasaw Nation people that had been living in the area ceded the land to the local settlers. When it was founded, Memphis consisted of 4 blocks and 50 residents. As Irish and German immigrants realized the potential Memphis had as a trade port thanks to its place on the Mississippi, the town expanded quickly into a southern center of commerce. However, the rapid expansion relied on slave labor, and this would ultimately divide the city and caused turmoil in the city for the next 150 years.
After the War
During the Civil War, Memphis factories supplied cotton to the confederate and later the Union Army, and since it was such an important strategic and manufacturing city, it was spared much of the destruction that plagued the South. Unfortunately, Memphis’s proximity to the Mississippi River led to a yellow fever epidemic spread by mosquitoes that shrunk the city by more than between deaths and evacuation. However, the remaining citizens diligently rebuilt and strengthened the city. During the early decades of the 20th century, black cultural leaders such as Robert Church Sr. and Jr. and the many blues musicians in the area made Beale Street the cultural center of the city.
The Rise of Industry and the Spread to East Memphis
Memphis struggled through the Great Depression but the country’s entry into World War II provided the city with a much-needed influx of commerce and industry thanks to a strong cotton market and the city’s numerous defense-related industries. Memphis provided WWII with one of its most enduring symbols – the Memphis Belle, the first B-17 bomber to successfully complete 25 missions over Europe.
After the war, the industry continued and attached people to the city. Naturally, the city started to expand eastward. In 1949, the Poplar Plaza shopping center opened on Highland and marked the beginning of East Memphis’s status as a popular region bridging the suburbs and downtown. In the next decades, Memphians flocked to East Memphis, seeing an opportunity to build new larger homes in a truly residential haven away from the noise and commotion of manufacturing and entertainment. East Memphis may be in the center of the action now, but when it was growing, it was considered suburban. Now East Memphis is one of the most desirable housing markets in the Memphis Metro area, thanks to its architectural diversity and charm.
As a bonus, East Memphis has year-round easy living, with a moderate climate and lots of sunshine that allow for golf and other outdoor activities to be played in every season. Almost all precipitation is rain, with a very few snowflakes in the winter months. The East Memphis geography is ideal for trees, shrubs, and plants, as the rich soil holds on to enough moisture to nurture the most majestic of trees. Visitors are often quick to point out the way the city is blanketed with trees, making the spring and fall seasons especially breathtaking.
The JudyMac Team: Your East Memphis Expert Realtors
Judy has dominated the Memphis real estate market for more than 30 years. As a realtor with Crye-Leike, the Mid-South’s #1 Real Estate Company, Judy has cemented her role as their #1 Real Estate Agent, having first achieved the designation in 1997 and holding the position until 2016, when she was declared the Crye-Leike’s “Lifetime #1 Agent” and retired from sales competition. Whether you’re looking for a new home downtown, Midtown, or in East Memphis, or hoping to sell a home in Germantown or Collierville, put The JudyMac Team to work for you. We are ready to give you exactly what you’re looking for in real estate. Contact us today!