How Graceland in Columbus, Ohio got it's name.
The Grace of Graceland was a woman...
Grace Murnan? Did she marry Pat Murnan, a colorful Columbus Ohio businessman? Mike Murnan left a comment on a post about Graceland the shopping center we know today and referred to Grace as "Grace Murnan (nee: Grace Backenstow)
Murnan went on to sat Grace: "was the Madam owner of a brothel located at Front and Broad, in the 1920's. "
How Graceland in Columbus got it's name
Just a little bit different version. Or... was she "Grace Backenstoe"? According to Doral Chenoweth (the Grumpy Gourmet) that's how Grace's last name was spelled and she was "a very, good friend" of Pat Murnane who owned a gambling establishment in downtown Columbus.
Here's the way the Grumpy Gourmet tells the story of Grace of Graceland.... The Grace who's name graces Graceland, a shopping center since the mid 1950s. Doral Chenoweth's Columbus Chef's site about long ago restaurants in downtown Columbus mentions Pat Murnan's "gambling operation." Referring to Maurice Patrick (Pat ) Murnan's downtown office and gambling operation, Chenoweth says:
"Downtown Office of Graceland Stock Farm – Yep, that was the name of Pat Murnan’s wide open gambling operation. Booze, numbers, the works if you wanted to place a bet. The Graceland name came from Murnan’s very good friend, Grace Backenstoe, who owned the farm where Graceland Shopping Center now stands. It was Murnan who engineered the sale of Graceland property to the late Don M. Casto. She had refused many offers until Casto, one evening over a few hard beverages in the Backenstoe manse, sealed the deal by telling her “Grace, you sell it to me and I’ll name it after you.”
Mike Murnan wrote:
"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.
Before he died, Pat named the farm on North High after Grace."
And the shopping area was named after the farm.... which was named after Grace.
At City Hop last week a volunteer who knew a lot of Columbus history called Grace, Pat Murnan's friend or girl friend too. Or perhaps she said Grace was his "mistress."