Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Donaldson Point, Missouri/Island No. 8/Hickman, Kentucky/Dorena Crevasse
Panel #62 Mississippi Riverwalk
A) Donaldson Point, Missouri
Mile 905.3 AHP
Union forces dug a canal across Donaldson Point in 1862 hoping to use it to bypass Confederate batteries at Island No. 10. The canal proved to be too shallow, but the rebels scuttled the steamer Winchester across its lower end just in case. Silt and sand built up behind the sunken vessel, forming the Winchester towhead, which now encloses both Donaldson Point and Island No. 10 on the Missouri bank.
B) Island No. 8
Mile 914.0 AHP
One of the largest islands in the Lower Mississippi, Island No. 8 is one of the few that has not become part of the shoreline. The main channel was located in the bend west of the island until the flood of 1927 and 1937 filled it with silt. The chute below Island No. 8 is now maintained as the navigation channel.
C) Hickman, Kentucky
Mile 933.3 AHP
Founded in 1834, Hickman grew quickly as a transportation and trade center. Its steamboat landing was busy, an overland stage route ran east to Nashville, and a ferry moved passengers and freight across the river to Missouri. A Confederate river battery at Hickman was abandoned after Columbus, Kentucky fell, and a Union garrison occupied it for most of the Civil War. Hickman now has a still water harbor, and is an active river port.
D) Dorena Crevasse
Mile 924.0 AHP
Early French settlers called a break in the river embankment a “crevasse” and the term has been used ever since. One of the worst modern crevasses occurred at Dorena, Missouri during the great 1927 flood. The river tunneled a hole through the Dorena levee, and within hours a large section of it collapsed. A massive wall of water hurled through the town, wrecking buildings, sweeping away animals and drowning several residents. The force of water demolished a schoolhouse 15 miles inland. It rushed south to the city of New Madrid, where flooding was so severe that water inside the levee stood 1 foot higher than the river outside. Construction of the mainline levee system in 1928 now protects Dorena, but its location on the Birds Point’ New Madrid Floodway leaves it open to the occasional backwater that seeps into the floodway's nearby outlet.
Erected by Mississippi Riverwalk. (Marker Number 62.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Industry & Commerce • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels.
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. Located in Mud River Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 125 N Front Street, Memphis TN 38103, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Mississippi Riverwalk (here, next to this marker); Ohio River (here, next to this marker); Cairo, Illinois (here, next to this marker); 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); 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 8, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 8, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 168 times since then and 37 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on March 8, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide shot of marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?