Elvis Presley: Who Owned the Iconic Graceland Mansion Before the King?

Most people know that Graceland was the home of Elvis Presley. Following his death, his former residence was turned into a museum.

However, do you know who owned the Memphis mansion before the King of Rock and Roll purchased it in 1957? Let’s find out.

According to the Graceland website, the mansion and its accompanying property were once included in a large tract of land. That tract of land was 500 acres in size. The owners at this time were the family of S.E. Toof.

These 500 acres had been owned by this family for generations. And, it was the name of one of these relatives that inspired the property’s name. Unsurprisingly, her name was Grace.

Also, it was in 1939 that the mansion Elvis Presley would eventually call home was constructed. It was built by Ruth Brown Moore and her spouse, Dr. Thomas Moore. Fans should also know that Ruth was a niece of Grace’s. After the mansion was completed, it reportedly became popular with the people of Memphis.

Interestingly, the mansion at Graceland was a home to music long before Elvis Presley moved in – albeit a different genre. The daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Moore, Ruth Marie Moore, was a talented musician. She played the harp for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Also, Ruth Marie was known to put on recitals of classic music in the formal rooms of Graceland.

Elvis Presley Purchased His Graceland Home in 1957

Elvis Presley decided to purchase Graceland and make it his home during the spring of 1957. He was only 22 years old at the time. The King of Rock and Roll paid $100,000 for the famous residence. The first night he spent in the home was March 19, 1957.

The previous year was a very important and successful one for Elvis. He became a superstar that year than to his live shows, awards, and television appearances. When he purchased Graceland, the King of Rock and Roll was acting in “Loving You.” This was the second film of his career. His next film would be “Jailhouse Rock.”

Unsurprisingly like any new homeowner, Elvis Presley started to make Graceland his when he moved in. There were many things he changed to make the mansion his home. For instance, he added the famous marble lions out front.

Other noticeable changes the King of Rock and Roll had done to the home included several additions to the famous Jungle Room. These changes included the installation of green carpet, as well as a waterfall in the room. Elvis also had animal statues placed throughout.

While he made a lot of changes to Graceland, there was something Elvis Presley did not change. He chose to keep two golden Buddha statues in the dining room exactly as they were when he purchased the mansion. They were positioned in bookshelves in the dining room and were lit with red lights. They reportedly remain in Graceland where they were.

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