The Jerry Lee Lewis Ranch

10 Mar

The Lewis Ranch | 1595 Malone Rd |Nesbit, MS | (About 30 minutes south of Memphis)

Mind the sign. There are rules at The Killer's house.

When I pilgrimate to Jerry Lee Lewis’s home in Nesbit, Mississippi, I’m never sure whether I want The Killer to be home or not.  On one hand, it would be nice to know that I’m standing only a dozen yards from a rock icon. On the other, if he’s not home, I’m more likely to leave alive.

The Killer lives in an unremarkable red brick ranch house on a hilly, semi-rural road. This architectural feature seems to be the reason Lewis refers to his estate as “The Lewis Ranch.” (There are no branded cattle in sight.) It’s a house identical to the childhood home of most upwardly mobile middle-class Boomers. The choice mirrors Elvis’s satisfaction with Graceland: When you’re born in a shack, a medium-sized home feels like a palace. If more of us could achieve that same level of satisfaction with 2500 square feet, we would have avoided the current mortgage crisis.

A rancher is good enough for Lewis.

The unusual feature of the home is the large brick and board wall surrounding the property. In former days this fence was covered with graffiti from adoring fans, much of it in German. It’s now whitewashed. Three double gates adorned with wood panels, bearing the faintest resemblance to pianos, emphasize the estate’s exclusivity. Happily, the fencing does not bar the view of Lewis’s automobiles. Last visit recorded two unidentifiable cars under covers, and mid-1970s van favored by day laborers, and a beat-up maroon station wagon.

The ebony and ivory gates of the Ranch

The grounds also house the famed piano-shaped swimming pool and an attraction once billed as “The Killer Kar Museum.”

If you try to be social, you're responsible.

In 1994 Lewis opened his home to visitors (for $15, to help pay 4 million, later reduced to half-a-million in back taxes to the IRS) if you called ahead. After he divorced his sixth wife, Kerrie McCarver, in 2005, Lewis got the keep the house, but quit hosting fans. Now, a makeshift sign implores you accord The Killer his privacy. Another, more menacing sign, half-obscured by a weeping branch, informs you that the Lewis estate is not responsible for injury.

Elise Lauterbach

4 Responses to “The Jerry Lee Lewis Ranch”

  1. Geschenkideen November 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Tremendous article!

  2. Willie Small March 4, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

    hello Mr Lewis I am a big fan of you like the world is back in the 70’s we were neighbors you might remember our familyI was listening Jimmy Swaggart today he was praying for you that you were ill I prayed with him I.if it would be any comfort to you look on youtube under willie small 123 I sing gospel music I pray it will minister to you god blessWillie small

  3. jeremy whiting June 2, 2014 at 2:49 am #

    I actually visited jerry lee lewis ranch today from the outside of course didnt see him until my uncle said aye if u wanna go back u can get better pictures of his house so I did when I pulled over got out took the pictures then all of a sudden he came out the front door to get sumthing off his porch with camera in hand got a rare picture of him and even had to take a brick from the first gate jus to have a piece of history awsum

  4. Andre July 11, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

    I visited the Ranch in 2000 and i’ve been inside the house. What an amazing experience, I never forget that.

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