Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Winding 981 miles to Cairo, Illinois from its Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania head, the Ohio has been an important force in America’s history and its economy. Pioneers made it the highroad to western expansion after the American Revolution. The Ohio Valley’s rich resources were carried to a growing nation on its waters, and the river still transports the abundant industrial and agricultural harvests produced along its banks. The busy Ohio and its thriving basin are the Lower Mississippi’s eastern connection to commerce and transportation.
Two sophisticated Indian cultures flourished in the Ohio Valley in prehistoric times. The French first explored the Ohio in the mid-1600’s and battled England for control of its headwaters until the British won in 1758. The American Revolution opened the way for settlers willing to persist against fierce Native American resistance. The Native American’s defeat in 1784 and the steamboat’s arrival in 1811 unleashed a flood of immigrants down the Ohio, which became the gateway to the West.
The Monongahela River and the Allegheny River meet head-on at Pittsburgh to form the Ohio. From there it runs downstream through rugged hilly forests and highlands into rolling hills and scenic floodplains on its southward course. Three-fourths of America’s bituminous coal is found in Ohio Valley states.
Cities and industry brought pollution, as well as, prosperity to the once clear Ohio. In 1948, valley states formed ORSANCO, a pollution control agency, and conditions have since improved. A new dam system begun in 1954 improved navigation and load capacity. Today, barge tows take less than a week to navigate the 981 miles to Cairo, where the Ohio crowds the muddier Mississippi against its west bank, and both flow downstream as the Mighty Lower Mississippi — Old Man River.
Erected by Mud Island River Park.
Location. 35° 8.968′ N, 90° 3.507′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker can be reached from Island Drive 0.8 miles south of West A.W. Willis Avenue when traveling south. Touch for map. Located in Mud Island River Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 125 N Front Street, Memphis TN 38103, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Mississippi Riverwalk (here, next to this marker); Cairo, Illinois Islands No. 2, 3, and 4/Fort Jefferson, Kentucky/Bird’s Point, Missouri (here, next to this marker); Island No. 5 (Wolf Island)/Belmont, Missouri/Columbus, Kentucky (here, next to this marker); Donaldson Point, Missouri/Island No. 8/Hickman, Kentucky/Dorena Crevasse (here, next to this marker); New Madrid, Missouri/Cates Casting Field/Island No. 10 (here, next to this marker); Tiptonville, Tennessee/Bixby Towhead (here, next to this marker); Island No. 20/Cottonwood Point/Booth Point, Tennessee/Linwood Bend (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
Categories. • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Revolutionary • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 8, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 8, 2018, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 130 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 8, 2018, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.