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Friday, February 11, 2011

The Epping Way Mystery

Posted By on Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Ah, Memphis is just full of mysterious places.

A friend of mine was driving along James Road in Raleigh and happened to turn south on a little road called Epping Way. The road ends after just a few blocks, and he came to a rather fancy gate, with stone pillars on either side. This gate is padlocked (I believe he told me that), and there is a rather prominent sign on one of those posts, proclaiming "NO TRESPASSING - PROPERTY OF MEMPHIS CITY SCHOOLS."

Now this, in itself, is intriguing because I never knew that Memphis had a school in that area. But it's only when you turn to Google or Bing for a good aerial view of the property that the mystery deepens. As you can see from these two images, taken from different angles, beyond that gate is a double driveway that curves back to some type of school-looking building, which seems to be rather unkempt and abandoned.

And then look to the side of it: not just one, but SIX overgrown tennis courts, side by side. There's even a nice little gazebo, if you look closely, all by the shore of a very nice lake.

I'll go ahead and tell you that if you go to Bing and rotate their birds-eye view option, looking at this site from various angles, at one point the building completely disappears, leaving only some kind of concrete foundation. So it's safe to say that this structure has been torn down, though various aerial views — apparently taken weeks or months apart — don't consistently show it.

But what was this place? Why all the tennis courts? And what does the Memphis City School system have to do with it?

Does it surprise you to learn that I sent these images to the good folks at the school system and asked them this very question, and they didn't even bother to respond? No, it didn't surprise me either. Either they don't know, or they don't want to say. And after my family gave them that fine Lauderdale School, too. So disrespectful!

If anybody know what this curious property is — or was — please tell me.


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