Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum
The Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum is located along "Millionaires Row" near the outskirts of Memphis, TN. The house was built in 1871 by entrepreneur Amos Woodruff, who traveled from New Jersey to expand his carriage manufacturing operations. Woodruff purchased a plot of land for $12,000 dollars and began construction of the home shortly thereafter. By examining old tax records Historians have determined that the five-story structure cost approximately $40,000 to construct. Woodruff, his wife, and four children remained in the home until 1883 when the estate was purchased by Memphis businessman Noland Fontaine. Today, the home is a very popular venue for wedding ceremonies.
Backstory and Context
The French-Victorian structure was constructed with five stories, including a full, elevated basement and a large tower that defines the roof line of the home. The floor plan was designed following the traditional southern style with large, open hallways that extend from the front to the back of the home. The structure includes eighteen rooms, three great halls, and two tower lookouts. The design features sixteen-foot ceilings on the first floor, fourteen foot on the second, and thirteen on the third. The ceilings are adorned with hand-carved cypress trim and hammered copper.
Harper, Herbert. "The Lee and Fontaine Houses of the James Lee Memorial." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. February 11, 1971. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/d722d8f0-7d6b-494e-9bd7-97b5592f35a7.
"Historic Woodruff-Fontaine House... famous old Memphis Home." Historic Memphis. Accessed August 13, 2014. http://historic-memphis.com/memphis-historic/woodruff-fontaine/woodruff-fontaine.html