Woodruff-Fontaine House

Stately Mansion - French Victorian - Elegant Clothing

The Woodruff-Fontaine House is located on Adams Street in the area known as Victorian VillageBuilt in 1870, it is a lovely example of French Victorian architecture

While the furnishings are not original to the house, the building retains the elegance of the Victorian era and has been restored to its classic beauty

The period clothing and interior decorations are consistent with what would have been in the house in the 1870's

Woodruff-Fontaine House front

The Interior

Woodruff-Fontaine House painting

The elegant rooms are decorated for each season. 

The house is filled with gorgeous wood work, furniture of the day, and art work, including paintings of some of the former residents

Two prominent Memphis families owned the mansion, the Woodruff and Fontaine families.  The tour guides provide information about the history of the mansion, including the owners and the restoration

There are three floors with the first two open to visitors. When Woodruff-Fontaine was built you could see the Mississippi River from the house.  As downtown Memphis grew and taller buildings went up, the view to the river was obscured. 

Period Clothing

Woodruff-Fontaine House dresses

The outfits that grace the mannequins have been donated to the Woodruff-Fontaine House. 

The clothing and accessories collection numbers over 1000 pieces.  Most of the collection is in storage and the dresses and accessories are rotated for the changing seasons and special occasions. 

For instance, during December they are dressed in clothing that might have been worn for events or celebrations during the holidays. 

The Woodruff-Fontaine House web site has an Exhibition Schedule that lists the dates of seasonal changes of decorations and clothing.  To access the schedule, go to woodruff-fontaine.com, Exhibitions and Collections, then click on See our exhibit schedule.

- Need to Know -

  • The Woodruff-Fontaine House is located at 680 Adams Avenue about a mile and a quarter from Beale Street. 
  • The mansion is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12:00 noon until 4:00 p.m.  The last tour begins at 3:30.  
  • The clothing and decorations change so you may not see the same garments as pictured on this web site. 
  • Access to the second floor is by stairway only; there is no elevator.
  • All tours are lead by a volunteer guide.  
  • Limited free parking is available behind the mansion.
  • woodruff-fontaine.com

Best Photo Ops - The Woodruff-Fontaine House provides many opportunities for photos in elegant surroundings.  The clothing collection is fascinating, and you are able to get close enough to see the detail work on some of it.  Be sure to get photos of your favorite outfit

The exterior of the house is beautiful, and if you stand near the sidewalk, you should be able to get a photo of most of the front of the house.  

Woodruff-Fontaine House dressing gown
Woodruff-Fontaine House desk

YeaMemphis Tip - An hour will give you plenty of time to take the tour of the house and walk around the outside and make photos. 

Make plans to see Woodruff-Fontaine the same day you are visiting one of our attractions that takes more time to see such as Rock"n"Soul Museum or Stax Museum of American Soul

I enjoy the elegance of a Victorian mansion, but get totally distracted by the clothing and this museum has elegant period clothing

Making the clothing displayed here took skill, and enormous patience

I do not make clothing, but know enough about sewing to be sure I would have never gotten past making a decorative cuff, much less stitching an entire dress, ruffles, lace, and all those buttons

Woodruff-Fontaine House girl's dress

The beauty and intricacy of the designs seen here are a testament to how much the ladies of the era wanted to dress in high style.

Woodruff-Fontaine House tea

Enjoy a step back in time at the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum.....

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Woodruff-Fontaine House

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