Masks are recommended for this outdoor event.

Yellow fever almost destroyed the city of Memphis in 1878.

Come meet the people who saved it.




The city of Memphis in 1878 was a dirty river town. Disease ran rampant, and the worst of them all was yellow fever. No one knew how it was transmitted or how to stop it.

Enter the angels who worked to save the people of Memphis. They were doctors, organizers, businessmen, madams, holy men and women, and everyday citizens who stepped up in the city's darkest hour.

They are buried in Elmwood Cemetery. And for two nights, they'll return to tell their stories.

Join us Friday, October 8th or Saturday, October 9th for a tour like none other. We’ll open the gates at 4:30 pm both nights, and you’ll be transported back in time shortly thereafter.

Admission is available only online at Eventbrite. Tickets are available for tours that run every hour.

What is the Soul of the City?

It's a tour of Elmwood Cemetery that's given by the residents. Tour takers will be greeted by costumed hosts as they walk over the bridge and into the cemetery grounds.

Guests will have the chance to peruse expanded retail options and refreshments, as well.


Here's how it works. Please read this carefully:

For safety, we have reduced the number of available tickets by several hundred. 

Admission is available for tours that will begin within hour-long blocks of time.

For example, if you purchase tickets in the 4:30 pm time block, you should be inside the cemetery by 4:30 pm, and your tour will begin soon after. If you need clarification, please call our office at 901-774-3212.

Parking takes place along South Dudley Street. Security guards will be present on the street.

Questions about the length of the route and accessibility? Elmwood recommends that you call the office and speak with a staff member about it before your purchase, if so. Please call 901-774-3212 and Bob Barnett will help.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What should I wear to this? A Costume?

A mask. Masks are recommended for this event.

We recommend comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing. Sneakers, jackets, and jeans work well, but if you'd like to wear a costume, then by all means, wear it...and be prepared to be in a lot of photos!

Why does Elmwood sell tickets to this event?

Elmwood is one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in the state of Tennessee. The staff and volunteers create tours like this one to help support the preservation of the historic cemetery grounds. The proceeds from this tour benefit the entire 80 acre cemetery.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

No. All are welcome to this family-friendly event.

What about parking?

Cars park along S. Dudley Street for this event. Security will be present on the street. Handicap parking and sponsor parking will be made available also on S. Dudley Street.

What can I bring into the event?

This is an all-walking event and tour-takers will be on their feet an average of two hours. If you or your loved ones require mobility assistance, we recommend that you bring a walker, wheelchair, or scooter. There are not many places to sit along the tour route.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please contact us at 901-774-3212 or by email at

What's the refund policy?

This is an outdoor event, and Memphis weather does not always cooperate. Elmwood Cemetery will cancel this event in the event of very inclement weather and refunds will be issued.

To be totally sure that an evening's event is still on, please check Elmwood's Facebook page. Calling the office the evening of the event will yield mixed results, and online is the best, most efficient way to check the status of these events.

Contact Kim Bearden at or call 901-774-3212 for sponsorship information. Sponsorship levels start at $250, include lovely benefits that your coworkers and friends will enjoy, and an incredible feeling of having donated to support historic Elmwood Cemetery.


The Soul of the City Tour and Film Event is being brought to you by the Crawford Howard Private Foundation, Arts Memphis, and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Please help us thank and celebrate our generous sponsors.

Granite Sponsor

Crone Monument Company 

Final Destination Sponsor

Carol and Will Leatherman 

Memphis Zoo 

Merchandise Tent Sponsor

Canale Funeral Directors


Ellen Stinson Rardin 

LaUna Brubaker 

Angel Sponsors

Gina Pickens 

Pugh's Earthworks 

Toof American Digital Printing 

Eclectic Eye

Michael and Carolyn Fisher 

Nora and Dan Conaway 

Lincoln's Costume Shoppe 

Boyle Insurance 

Column Sponsor

Kelly Drake 

Erin Hillis

Kat and Dave Schwartz


Sponsorship Info