In honor of The Peabody's 150th Anniversary, we're celebrating in big ways! From special events and rooms packages to food & beverage and merchandise items, we're offering many ways for you to celebrate with us. We hope you join us in observing this milestone anniversary of the "South's Grand Hotel."
History of The Peabody:
The original Peabody Hotel was built by Colonel Robert C. Brinkley in 1869. Just prior to its opening, Brinkley received news of the death of his good friend, philanthropist George Peabody. As a sign of respect for Peabody, who contributed much to the disadvantaged South, the new hotel was named The Peabody.
The original hotel was built at the corner of Main and Monroe in downtown Memphis and was considered one of the finest in the South. It had 75 rooms with private baths, a ballroom, saloon and lobby.
In 1925, a $5 million Peabody, designed by noted Chicago architect Walter Ahlschlager, opened at its present downtown Memphis location on Union Avenue.
In 1933, General Manager Frank Schutt began a Peabody tradition that continues today. Returning from a weekend hunting trip in Arkansas, Schutt and his friends thought it would be humorous to leave some of their live duck decoys, which were legal at the time, in the beautiful Peabody fountain. Three small English call ducks were placed in the fountain, to the delight of hotel guests. Since then, ducks have been in the fountain every day. In 1940, Bellman Edward Pembroke, formerly a circus animal trainer, volunteered to care for the ducks and taught them to march into the Lobby – initiating the famous Peabody Duck March. The late Mr. Pembroke was named Duckmaster and served in that position until 1991.
Today, The Peabody remains the hub for downtown activity, both business and social. It retains its status as the most popular place in Memphis for weddings, debutante balls, proms, bar mitzvahs, charitable events and annual celebrations. Even celebrities continue to seek The Peabody as their place to stay during a Memphis visit.
Still called the “South’s Grand Hotel,” The Peabody is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was cited by the U.S. Department of the Interior as one of the country’s most outstanding preservation case studies.