It's one of the most historic homes in the city of Memphis – and after a five-year closure, the public can once again tour the Magevney House.The historic Magevney House is now open for tours on a limited basis — Photo courtesy of Madeline Davies
Located next to the oldest Catholic church in west Tennessee - St. Peter's - the Magevney home is a tiny white cottage in the midst of downtown's skyscrapers, in the shadow of the city's criminal courts. Its location next to the church is appropriate, given the fact that the first Catholic Mass, first Catholic marriage and first Catholic baptism all took place at the home. The marriage was between the home's owner, Eugene Magevney, and his fiancee, whom he left behind in Ireland when he ventured out to the United States.
Besides being active in the establishment of the Catholic community in Memphis and the construction of St. Peter's, Magevney was instrumental in helping to launch the city's public education system. He died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1873.
Now owned by the city, the historic home is open on a limited basis for tours, from 1-4 pm on the first Saturday of the month. Tours are free, but it should be noted that it's not handicap accessible. A movie about the home is available at the Mallory-Neely house in nearby Victorian Village.