Columbus Ohio real estate

Graceland - a colorful history in black and white

Graceland - a colorful history, of colorful Columbusites.   A colorful Columbus couple gave Graceland Shopping Center it's name.


In a  comment on a post, about Graceland Shopping Center  I wondered where the name "Graceland" came from:

"Maureen McCabe wonders what "Graceland" means.  Let me tell some history of this place.

Maurice Patrick (Pat) Murnan trained his thoroughbred horses at this farm where he lived with his wife "Grace."  Pat also ran a gaming house at Broad & High during the 1920's & 1930's.  Pat dies in 1937 at the age of 76. 

Grace Murnan (nee: Grace Backenstow) was the Madam owner of a brothel located at Front and Broad, in the 1920's.  Before he died, Pat named the farm on North High after Grace.  

Pat raised his horses some distance away at his 700 acre stock farm off West Broad Street at "Murnan Road" abour 10 miles West of Broad & High. 

Advise questions.

Mike Murnan"

Mike Murnan?  A descendent of Maurice Patrick Murnan?

The Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus Memory site has a series of 21 black and white photos of Graceland the horse farm and mentions the connection to the colorful Columbus characters, the bookie named Pat Murnan: 

Columbus Metropolitan Library - Columbus Memory - Graceland Stock Farm

You can see the chimney left standing in O'Brien's photo in the house photos.  

The photo above of the remains of the house on the horse farm is Don O'Brien's from the 1950s.  He took the photo for the Worthington News the year before Graceland was developed into a shopping center. 

Graceland - 1953   On Flickr Don O'Brien quoted George Campbell of Worthington about the colorful Columbus characters:

"Graceland was built on a former horse farm, named "Graceland", that was co-owned by a Columbus Bookmaker and his wife, a Madam. When the property came up for sale, the Casto and Gibson families purchased it for $100,000. The center opened in 1954, and had a good run through the 1980's.",

Don O'Brien's photo is licensed with a Creative Commons license.  He has great Columbus and Worthington photos from the 1930s on, on his Flickr photostream. / CC BY 2.0



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Information is deemed to be accurate but should be verified to your satisfaction.  Information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice.  Opinions expressed are solely those of Maureen McCabe.



Comment balloon 0 commentsMaureen McCabe • September 14 2011 06:14PM