Great plans for Elvis’s once abandoned Circle G Ranch

In the spring of 2009, I went on a pretty epic road trip from LA where my friend was studying for a semester back to Boston. We stopped in Las Vegas, Amarillo TX, stopped to see a friend at NATO flight school in OK, went to Memphis to see Beale St and Graceland, and then a very unremarkable night in Roanoke VA.

I never considered myself to be a big Elvis fan, but my parents are, and going to Graceland, you just can’t help but feel connected to him and his story. He was so talented, so trusting and giving, lonely in his fame, depressed, practically bankrupt when he died. Graceland is actually very underwhelming by today’s standards for celebrity homes. The pool was almost small? One passion that I share with Elvis was his love for horses. There will always be horses at Graceland. I will write about them sometime, they are lovely. His birthday was January 8th, he would have been 81, what sort of man would he be now I wonder?

While many people know about Graceland, not many know about Circle G Ranch. Circle G Ranch is 231 acres in Horn Lake, MS. Elvis and  Priscilla spent part of their honeymoon there in 1967, and many close to Elvis say this was where he spent his happiest times. There is a home on the property, and their friends had trailers that they kept on the property. They went trail riding, swimming, and had great bbqs. The property has passed hands a couple times; the ranch house was actually a floral shop for a time. The buildings have fallen into disarray and last year it seems a group capable of really bringing the property back to life finally purchased it.

Anyone like that show about life after people? Here are some pics of the beautiful Circle G Ranch before the renovation.

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The modest ranch house that Elvis and Priscilla shared
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The bridge over the lake on the property built by Elvis
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BBQ Pit, one side has an E, the other a P in the bricks
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Old stables fallen into disrepair, broken down truck included
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View of the storage and 55 foot tall cross
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The swimming pool, probably my favorite photo subject
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The diving boards at the pool where I’m sure much fun was had
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Elvis at Circle G Ranch on his beloved Rising Sun

Walking through this property must be like walking back through time. Like Elvis and Priscilla were going to come into view any minute on their horses, ready for a dip in the pool and some burgers. I can’t wait to see how the renovations go. Here’s the proposed map of features.

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They plan to bring horses back to property for therapeutic riding for disabled children. There will be seating, a stage, and a water feature in the lake. They will hold shows for the community, focusing on veterans and their families. They want the land to be a tribute to what it used to be by renovating the bridge, the cross, and ranch house. At the same time, the new features will help populations that Elvis cared about: children, veterans, and the disabled. More information about the plans for Circle G Ranch can be found here.

Want more info on Circle G Ranch? This guy, Phil Arnold has three awesome posts about it, lots of photos and anecdotes. I loved reading them.

Elvis’s Circle G Ranch-Part 1

Elvis’s Circle G Ranch-Part 2

Elvis’s Circle G Ranch- Part 3

Whether you are an Elvis fan, a horse enthusiast, or an equestrian, it’s easy to relate to a man, no matter who he is, and his love for trail riding…setting out into the quiet on your trusted horse and experiencing nature as you only can from horseback. He was an American cowboy, a veteran, and a rock n roll icon. While many would remember Elvis in their favorite movie, or on stage performing, I will choose to remember him riding. His horses never asked him for more than attention, a patch of grass, and water….how many people in his life could say that?

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