The march of the ducks to and from the lower lobby at 10 am and 5 pm daily could only indicate one place, The Peabody Hotel in Memphis. This team of ducks lives by day in the fountain and lobby of the hotel, and by night they enjoy a glass cased sky view of the city on the roof. Don’t fret, these ducks only live here in teams for three months at a time and then are retired to live out their days. Where can I apply for that job like this?
The duck march did not begin until the 1930’s and much history took place prior to this tradition. The original Peabody was built by Colonel Robert C. Brinkley and given to his daughter, Anne Snowden as a wedding gift in 1869. Her family maintained control over the hotel for ninety-six years and was frequented by socialites, celebrities, and millionaires alike. It was swanky, beautiful and oozed luxury.
In 1925 the hotel was moved to its current location and controlled by the great grandson of Colonel Robert C. Brinkley via the Memphis Hotel Company. As the downtown area of Memphis participated in waves of jazz and blues, rooms at the nearby Peabody Hotel were used to record some of the first records of Furry Lewis and Tommy Johnson. This age of music in Memphis was alive and fresh, but the area including Beale Street was abused, abandoned and needing much attention by the 1970’s. Thankfully, the city recognized the need to preserve this historical area of their city and encouraged development to maintain and protect. Since then, the Peabody and the surrounding Beale Street have once again become some of the most sought out places to visit in Memphis.
Believe me, you don’t want to miss the ducks.