Elvis Presley and Graceland go together about as well and peanut butter and bananas do on a sandwich. In the decades since his death, the singer’s Graceland home in Memphis has been a place where his fans can celebrate and remember Presley.
What you might not know is that Elvis Presley purchased the home when he was only 22 years old, according to a report by History.com. The year was 1957 and the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll paid $102,500 for the home.
At the time the house, which was built in 1939, sat on 14 acres. It was Dr. Thomas Moore and his spouse, Ruth. The land where Graceland sits had at one time been included on a 500-acre farm. That farm was known as Graceland as a tribute to the first property owner’s daughter. According to History.com, that daughter was the great aunt of Ruth Moore.
When Elvis Presley purchased the property, he kept the name Graceland.
After purchasing the home, the singer quickly brought animals onto the property. This shouldn’t be a surprise because Elvis Presley was an animal lover.
In fact, he once drove a pink Cadillac to pick up a bunch of geese. He reportedly wanted to have geese on the property in order to “keep the lawn trim.”
Elvis also purchased some donkey to have a Graceland before a fence had been built to keep them contained. So, he decided to keep them in an empty swimming pool until a fence could be constructed.
Priscilla Presley, the singer’s ex-wife, made the home available to public tours in 1982, according to the article. On average, around 600,000 visitors go to Graceland annually. In 1993, Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis Presley’s daughter, inherited the property.
Elvis Presley’s Karate Moves Left Permanent Damage at Graceland That Fans Can Still Today
When he wasn’t on the road thrilling fans with his performances, Elvis Presley enjoyed practicing karate at his Graceland home. During one of his practice sessions he caused damage to the home that can still be seen to this very day.
Elvis learned about karate during the 1950s during his time in the U.S. Army, Express reports. In the years that followed, he continued to learn more and more about the discipline. The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll eventually became an eighth-degree Black Belt.
Elvis Presley reportedly also put his karate abilities on display when guests came to visit his Graceland home in Memphis. He often liked to practice near the front door, according to Angie Marchese. She is an expert on the King, according to Express.
“If Elvis was here he’d probably welcome you by doing a karate demonstration here in the hallway,” Marchese said during a recent virtual tour of Graceland.
Marchese directed viewers’ attention to a chandelier that still hangs from the ceiling near the front door of the famous Memphis home.
“As a matter of fact, you might take a look at the chandelier and notice that it is missing one of its links,” Marchese said. “And that was because Elvis accidentally caught it with a karate demonstration one day, accidentally hitting the link here. Boys will be boys sometimes!”