|A LOOK AT '1266 DOLAN DRIVE'
By Lee Dawson
Once upon a time, Vernon Presley married Dee Stanley in 1960 and upon Elvis' return from the Army,
the music legend had the home on Dolan Drive built especially for them as a wedding present.
It is also said that Elvis himself would come to sleep in the house from time to time?
Actually what REALLY happened was this...
Vernon Presley married Dee Stanley on July 3, 1960, in Huntsville, Alabama, much to the disapproval
of Elvis, who refused to attend the wedding & was unhappy that his father married so soon after the
death of his mother in 1958 and for a while the couple lived at 'Graceland' but it did not take too long
for Elvis to demand that his father get Dee out of his mothers house. Fortunately the tricky situation
did not effect the relationship between Elvis & Vernon.
So, in 1961 Vernon & Dee along with her 3 Children moved into a new home at 3650 Hermitage Rd.
A 2 level, 3 bedroom home, which is not too far from 'Graceland'. But pretty soon Vernon grew tired of
the house and wanted to move. In 1964 a new home was built on Dolan Drive which ran up the side of
the 'Graceland' property.
And so Vernon, Dee & the kids (David, Ricky, Billy) moved into 1266 Dolan Drive in 1964, which was
perfect for Vernon and he had a special gate installed in the back fence which gave direct access to
the grounds of the Graceland mansion and his office which was located at the back of the mansion. Vernon had a new wall built and gates for the drive
installed to help with privacy and also over time the house was enlarged making it rather unique compared to the other ranch style homes in the street.
Vernon & Dee separated in 1974 (Divorcing in 77) and Vernon would go on to sell the home in 1978 to the then owners of the Hickory Log Restaurant
located across the street from Graceland.
The interior decor has changed over the years but the basic layout of the home has pretty much remained the same. You will notice that in the old photo
taken in the mid 70's (above), compared with this recent image, the window's have changed and a second window on roof has been added.
We visited the home in 2002 and back then it was in a sorry state, with part of the roof collapsing and the floor falling apart. There was also a car port on the
side of the house but that completely collapsed soon after we visited after years of neglect. The home was sold off and has now been saved from ruin after
being completely refurbished. When we visited, we were told the same old story that Elvis had the home built for Vernon & Dee as a wedding gift in 1960/61
and in a hut out by the pool there was a huge chair (now in the home. See below) that was, as we were told, Elvis' own chair taken from Graceland after his
death? Now, the story says it was the chair Elvis would use when he came to the Dolan home for a visit? Also in the hut were curtains that were also claimed
to have come out of Graceland? The chair had a rather ugly stain over the right arm, thus you see the Elvis stamp rug concealing the blot.
In the 3 photo's below, you can see Vernon's bedroom plus the 6 foot deep spa bath loctaed to the right of the bed and of course the huge Elvis chair?
In these 2 photo's below, we see an original intercom/radio system that is in the Dolan Drive home, these things really were state of the art in the 70's you
know. Also seen is the kitchen, complete with all the mod cons.
Here are 3 more photos from inside 1266 Dolan Drive the former home of Vernon Presley. First up is the dinning room and stairs up to the 2nd level, then a
look into the living room and on the end we see the enclosed patio, which was starting to collapse when we were there during our trip, now refurbished.
In the first photo you see an original phone with was a direct line to the Graceland mansion. The second photo is claimed to be the bedroom that Elvis would
use when he would come to stay? This story was never told to us during our visit and when E.E.R's Joe Krein stayed there for a week, this is one story that
was not told to him either. We wonder why Elvis would have ever stayed at 1266 Dolan Drive, when his own bedroom was just a few yards away? Also, would
Elvis really have hung out in the home that much, especially when Dee, the woman he always tried to avoid lived there? When Vernon & Dee parted, she got
the house and Vernon would eventually buy the home off her in order to keep her away from Graceland.
The 3rd photo is of the 2nd upstairs bedroom where the story claims the bed is the original one and that Priscilla would sleep in it when she would stay at the
home and also backing singer, Kathy Westmoreland would sleep in this bed/room.
And finally we see a couple of pics taken outside the home out back. The pool still needing some work done, and you can see the hut which contained the
big chair (now in the home) and the curtains, all allegedly from Graceland. And you can also see Elvis' barn (The House of Rising Sun), as taken from the
upstairs of 1266 Dolan Drive.
|A Look At 1266 Dolan Drive is copyright of Elvis Express Radio (www.elvis-express.com)
Latest photos of 1266 Dolan Drive used with permission from Tony Stuchbury - visit www.elvispresleyscrapbook.co.uk