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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

North Memphis Driving Park

 
 
North Memphis Driving Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, August 30, 2015
1. North Memphis Driving Park Marker
Inscription. The southwest corner of this mile harness track was here; its long axis ran northeastward. It was developed mainly by C.K.G. Billings. Here Ed Geers brought out many famous horses. Here also, Dan Patch made his record of 1:55, and here occurred the races for the Memphis Gold Cup. The most famous were between Lou Dillon and Major Delmar in 1903 and 1904.
 
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number 4E 54.)
 
Location. 35° 10.497′ N, 90° 2.056′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is at the intersection of Firestone Avenue and Tulley Street, on the right when traveling west on Firestone Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Memphis TN 38107, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Manassas High School / The Cora P. Taylor Auditorium (approx. 0.3 miles away); Isaac Hayes (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Memphis 13/Gordon Elementary School (approx. 1.1 miles away); Fort Adams/Fort Pike (approx. 1 miles away); Winchester Cemetery (approx. 1.6 miles away); Lauderdale Courts / Presley Family at Lauderdale Courts
North Memphis Driving Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, August 30, 2015
2. North Memphis Driving Park Marker
(approx. 1.7 miles away); St. Mary's Catholic Church (approx. 1.8 miles away); Congregation B'Nai Israel (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .
1. Dan Patch SMASHES 2 World records in 45 minutes Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 28, 1903. Dan Patch DID set a world record at this track but not the record mentioned in the marker. Dan Patch and Lou Dillon, both mentioned in the marker ran for records on Oct. 27, 1903 at this track. Both broke records but Dan Patch carried the final. In 1906 at Hamline, Minnesota Dan Patch set a world record time that beat his Memphis run. (Submitted on August 30, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.) 

2. Dan Patch Loving Cup from Memphis. The trophy for the world record run by Dan Patch in Memphis is in the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. (Submitted on August 30, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.) 

3. Article in the Deseret News February 24, 1906 "The Lou Dillon-Major Delmar Scandal". (Submitted on August 30, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Setting for this marker
North Memphis Driving Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, August 30, 2015
3. North Memphis Driving Park Marker

This marker is in what is now a bleak part of Memphis near and abandoned Firestone Tire plant and several other abandoned factories and business.
    — Submitted August 30, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.

2. Scandal in the 1904 race between Lou Dillon and Major Delmar
The marker mentions famous races for the Memphis Gold Cup between the trotters Major Delmar and Lou Dillon. The marker does not mention the racing scandal caused by the race of 1904. Lou Dillon was owned by C.K.G. Billings, one of the principles of the track, mentioned in the marker. In 1904 the rivalry between the two horses and owners came to a head as the horses raced, driven by their owners. Major Delmar won the races and the owner, Elmer E. Smathers took home the Memphis Gold Cup. In January, the cup was forcibly taken from Smathers when the track veterinarian came forward with news that the horses were drugged.
    — Submitted August 30, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.

 
Categories. AnimalsSports
 
North Memphis Driving Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, August 30, 2015
4. North Memphis Driving Park Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 30, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 171 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 30, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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