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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Tiptonville in Lake County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Reelfoot Lake

 
 
Reelfoot Lake Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, April 21, 2009
1. Reelfoot Lake Marker
Inscription. (Front):
In 1811-12 the greatest earthquakes in North American history enlarged existing bodies of water, blocking inflowing streams, and extended the boundaries of a cypress swamp to form Reelfoot Lake, a haven for fish and wildlife which attracted Davy Crockett and other hunters. Originally about 40,000 acres, siltation has shrunk the lake to about 14,000 acres. Conservation efforts seek to preserve the lake and protect its wildlife , which includes the American bald eagle. see other side

(Back):
This area remained the hunting ground of the Chickasaws until 1818. When settlement began around 1820, use of the lake was held to be a common right. Thus when an organization achieved legal control of the lake in the early 20th century, some area residents organized as "Night Riders" to resist the loss of their fishing rights. Their efforts caused public attention to focus on the problems and potential of Reelfoot and the state acquired ownership in 1914.
 
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number 4B 33.)
 
Location. 36° 21.768′ N, 89° 25.992′ W. Marker is near Tiptonville, Tennessee, in Lake County. Marker is on Tennessee Route 21E, on the right when
Back of Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, April 21, 2009
2. Back of Marker
traveling north. Click for map. Located at the entrance to Reelfoot Lake State Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2595 State Route 21E, Tiptonville TN 38079, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. General Clifton Bledsoe Cates (approx. mile away); Tiptonville Presbyterian Church (approx. 2.6 miles away); a different marker also named General Clifton Bledsoe Cates (approx. 3 miles away); Capture of Island No. 10 (approx. 3 miles away); Confederate Burials (approx. 5.6 miles away); Confederate Forts & Batteries (approx. 6.1 miles away); a different marker also named Capture of Island No. 10 (approx. 6.1 miles away); New Madrid Earthquake (approx. 11.9 miles away in Kentucky). Click for a list of all markers in Tiptonville.
 
Also see . . .  Reelfoot Lake State Park. (Submitted on May 19, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
 
Categories. DisastersNatural FeaturesNatural Resources
 
Reelfoot Lake Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, April 21, 2009
3. Reelfoot Lake Marker
Reelfoot Lake Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, April 21, 2009
4. Reelfoot Lake
Looking across the lake today. The lake was formed as portions of the land subsided or fell during the great earthquake. Observers claimed the Mississippi River ran backward to fill in the low area. Today the lake, although reduced in size, is still a major portion of the local drainage system. However despite the surface area the lake is rather shallow.
Cypress Trees in the Lake Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, April 21, 2009
5. Cypress Trees in the Lake
The lake was bounded by expanses of cypress stands prior to the 20th century. Adjacent areas were drained and turned to farm land, causing the siltation mentioned on the marker. Today cypress still grow around the edges of the lake.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,711 times since then and 241 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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