The Children’s Museum of Memphis Founders

Mars Child (Widdicombe)
Polly Glotzbach
Harriet McFadden
Jack Jones (Museum Incorporation)
Harry J. Phillips, Sr.

Thanks to the vision and support of The City of Memphis – Richard C. Hackett, Mayor


  • 1985 Children’s Museum Planning Group formed
  • 1987 The Children’s Museum of Memphis incorporated as a private, nonprofit, 501(c)3 educational corporation
  • 1988 The museum signs a $1 lease with the City of Memphis for the National Guard Armory complex
  • 1990 After raising $3 million for construction, opened to the public on June 16
  • 2001 Finished a $6 million capital campaign (raised $7.2 million) to expand the museum by 16,000 square feet. Groundbreaking ceremony and construction began on March 23.
  • 2002 Museum expansion completed and opened on August 3
  • 2013 “H2Oh! Splash” park opened
  • 2014 “Outdoor PlaySpace” opened
  • 2015 Museum agrees to restore the 1909 Dentzel Grand Carousel
  • 2017 The Carousel Pavilion at The Children’s Museum of Memphis opens its doors

History buffs, read the story of how the Children’s Museum of Memphis got its start in the National Guard Armory. Then, dig deeper into the story and timeline of the Grand Carousel.