BACKSTORY: From The Peabody Hotel website: In 1869, a very wealthy man named Robert Brinkley decided to build a beautiful new hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. He wanted it to be the finest hotel in the South, an oasis of elegance and good taste where local gentry, wheelers and dealers could congregate in comfort to wine and dine on the finest foods and rarest wines; where their ladies could meet for genteel afternoon tea in opulent, exquisite surroundings. Just before the official opening of the hotel, Mr. Brinkley's best friend, George Peabody, an international financier and philanthropist, died suddenly in London, England. Brinkley was devastated by the loss of his dear friend. Without hesitation, Brinkley decided to commemorate his friend by changing the name of The Brinkley House Hotel to The Peabody Hotel.
Legend of The Peabody Ducks
Back in the 1930s Frank Schutt, General Manager of The Peabody, and a friend, Chip Barwick, returned from a weekend hunting trip to Arkansas. The men had a little too much Jack Daniel's Tennessee sippin' whiskey, and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoys in the beautiful Peabody fountain. Three small English call ducks were selected as "guinea pigs," and the reaction was nothing short of enthusiastic. Soon, five North American Mallard ducks would replace the original ducks.The original ducks have long since gone, but after nearly 80 years, the marble fountain in the hotel lobby is still graced with ducks. The Peabody ducks march at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.