Artefacts

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 Do you believe in fate?

I’ve got to admit that I always have; but now I’m  even more sure that sometimes, some things are truly meant to be and that things beyond our comprehension influence our lives.

So here’s the story…..

A while ago I received a telephone call from a friend (and fellow Elvis fan) who lives and works very local to me, to say that he had been talking to someone who had some memorabilia relating to the Circle G Ranch and would I be interested in taking a look?

Of course I said yes.

A couple of weeks passed and then called my friend for more details.

Imagine my amazement when he told me that a businessman in our local town owned the memorabilia – about 4 miles down the road from where we live.

When I was next in town I called in to see the owner of the memorabilia and explained all about The Circle G Foundation and what we are trying to achieve – he was very interested.

To cut a long story short, he told me that he had bought the items in the EPE auction (held in Las Vegas) in 1999 and we made arrangements to meet again for me to take a look.

Along came the fateful night…….

You cannot possibly imagine my delight when saw the items……

There, right before my eyes were

  • Elvis’ Personal cheque, signed by Elvis and made payable to Jack Adams for the $5000 deposit on the Circle G Ranch!
  • A typewritten inventory for horses, equipment, vet bills etc relating to the Circle G Ranch
  • An adding machine roll calculating spending at the ranch

And so, I am delighted to tell you that after a little negotiation I am the very proud owner of these amazing documents.

 

Elvis' person cheque as the deposit on the ranch in Feb 1967

Elvis’ person cheque as the deposit on the ranch in Feb 1967

I still can’t get my head around the fact that from all the thousands of Elvis fans all around the world, that these items that have so much meaning for me, have surfaced only four miles from where I live.

First page of the inventory

First page of the inventory

I truly believe that I was meant to have these items.

 Now all we need is someone to write the cheque for the deposit on the ranch in 2014

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An Artists Impression….

During extensive research into the history of the Circle G Ranch we have recently come across a series of drawings of the ranch, the house, BBQ, stables, lake and cross.

Drawing - house 2

There may be more pictures in this series, but these are what we’ve discovered so far.  They are all drawings of different aspects of the ranch.  The artists initials are “RS” and we  believe they were drawn and sold in the early 1980′s

BBQDrawing - CrossRanch drawing - houseCross bridge lakeCars

If you knwo of more examples or have information about the artist – please get in touch with us via our Contact Page – we’d love to hear from you.

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After buying the ranch in February 1967, Elvis and Priscilla had rings designed to express their love of the Circle G Ranch.  They loved the ranch so much, that they even wore them at their wedding as evidenced by the photo above.
These rings were special ordered from Harry Levitch Jewelers.  Priscilla’s ring was white gold and contained 10 diamonds weighing a total of 1.09 carats.  Elvis’ ring also was white gold, had 10 diamonds and weighed 2 carats.  How much did Elvis pay for these two rings on March 20, 1967?

The answer is:
On March 20, 1967 check #3032 from the Elvis Presley Payroll & Expense Fund was written to Harry Levitch Jewelers for the Circle G Rings in the amount of $1,659.

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Here’s a great article and a couple of pictures from a magazine published in 1983 – there are a few mistakes in there but it still makes interesting reading……

The mag is ‘Song Hits Magazine’ from Winter 1983

 

The article is on page 46 and is titled ‘Flashback 1978 – the Ranch That Elvis Owned.

 

‘On a grassy knoll at the foot of a huge white concrete cross, some of Elvis Presley’s close friends gathered to pay respects to the memory of the Mississippi boy who touched their lives.

It was just one year after the entertainer’s death.  Some women cried.  Others sat is solemn silence during the ceremony, which took place on a beautiful 166 acre ranch Presley once owned.  This is also where he spent his honeymoon with his teenage bride (???) Priscilla.

A few hours later, in the hot afternoon, Presley followers from all over the world arrived at the ranch.  They came by private car, chartered buses and even Memphis taxicabs.

“There are no fans of Elvis Presley with us here today” said George Klein, a close Presley associate “You are all friends of Elvis and that is why we are all together”.

Billy Smith, the singer’s best friend and first cousin told the crowd of about 400 “I loved him like every one of you did.  He was not a person who would want us to weep.  He is with us today because he is with us in spirit”.

The ranch land is in DeSoto County, just over the Tennessee line.  It is close Walls and a few miles down the road from Bullfrog Corner.  The legendary rock’n’ roll singer bought the land at the southeast corner of Mississippi 301 and 302 in 1967 from Jack Adams, an aircraft salesman.

Presley had been riding his motorcycle (????) through the area one evening and saw a 50 foot white cross (??) illuminated by floodlights.  The cross and an arching footbridge over a man-made lake were built in memory of Adams’ late son who died in a plane crash (??).

“Elvis liked to get out at night and ride the roads”, recalled Smith, “One night we came down the highway here and he saw the large cross.  It was lighted and stood out in the darkness.  We stopped and looked at it for a while and then went back to Graceland (???).  Before the night was up, Elvis said ‘I’ve got to have it’.

Elvis bought the property and 150 head of cattle that were on it.  He moved his horses from Graceland, built roads and cattle barns and spent his honeymoon at a cottage there (?)

“He spent some of his happiest days here – away from the outside world,” Smith said.

After he returned from his Nevada wedding Elvis wore his wedding band on a handkerchief around his neck.  The band slipped from the bandanna and was lost while Elvis was riding horses.  It has never been found!  Yes, there’s gold somewhere in the hills of the Mississippi ranch.

Whether it be the search for the ring or fortune hunters out after striking a ‘mine’ with their Elvis schemes, it has all been abandoned at least for a while.  Plans for an Elvis museum, an Elvis motor home park and an Elvis memorial are now only memories.

The Circle G Ranch currently is owned by William McLemore who uses the Presley country place for its original purpose – breeding cattle.  “I didn’t buy it because Elvis had it” McLemore said, “I bought it because I wanted it.”

McLemore has been tempted by the thought of opening an Elvis-related venture, but so far has resisted “It would take a younger fellow than I am to get into that,” said the 70 year old founder of a Memphis convenience store chain.

“I sure would like to have it fixed up as a sort of travellers resort where you could pull a motor home in – a campground.  But I’ve just fooled with it so far.”

He steps over barbed wire that keeps the cattle away from an imposing pink building on his land and looks at the cold empty rooms inside.  There’s a kitchen downstairs near a ballroom; upstairs there’s a bar and office space.

“I’ve been thinking this could make a nice steak house” he said, “I don’t know anything about the restaurant business, but just think of it.  I think people would come to Elvis Presley T bones.” McLemore said with a grin.

His youngest son Dennis shakes his head.  “Somebody put a fortune into it and would take another fortune to get it back into shape’>

Elvis sold the land in 1969 to a group of investors who unsuccessfully tried to build a gun club.  The group managed to build a Spanish style pink building, a swimming pool complex and a miniature golf course before the venture – weighted down by financial problems – went under.

No guns were fired on the property because of zoning restrictions.

Presley bought the property back in 1972 (???) after the foreclosure and a few months later sold it Boyle Investment Co of Memphis.

Circle G Ranch Inc. bought the property and immediately began selling $10 souvenir documents to people who wanted to buy a square inch of land that was once owned by Elvis.

P L Montesi, a Shaw, Miss. Farmer who headed the corporation, announced plans to open an Elvis museum in the club house and cottage.  McLemore bought the property from Montesi after those plans failed to materialise.

McLemore’s cattle – at least for now – graze the ranch the way Adams’ livestock once did.  The cattle have to step around the remnants of a swimming pool complex, clubhouse and other Elvis inspired enterprises.

The search has long since been abandoned for the gold wedding band Elvis lost while galloping on horseback across the rolling pastures of his ranch.

Some say it’s like that famous expression “from dust thou art to dust returneth….’

Get rich quick dreams are gone – just as dead perhaps as the late great singer who spent his honeymoon on the ranch.  Someday, somewhere on that property, gold will be found.

When the hunters come upon the ring they should remember that Priscilla would like to give it to Lisa Marie to some day give her future husband on their wedding day.

 The ranch that Elvis owned holds many memories – but some say the dearest are those of that special memorial service on August 16th 1978.

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2 thoughts on “Artefacts

  1. It was nice to meet Lesley last week at the Elvis auction in Stockport, we wish you all the very best with this project, and will try to get to the benefit night in October. Good luck.

    Sue and Danny Daly

    • Hi Sue & Danny
      It was lovely to meet you too. Hope you’ll be able to make it to the benefit night in October.
      Let us know if you want tickets and we’ll arrange it for you.
      TCB
      Lesley

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