Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Mounds Landing Crevasse/Cypress Bend/Caulk Neck Cutoff
Panel #40 Mississippi Riverwalk
A0 Mounds Landing Crevasse
Mile 560.5 AHP
The Mounds Landing Crevasse was the most disastrous levee break during the great flood of 1927. The levee was old, originally built in 1867, and a ferryboat’s frequent landings had weakened the embankment. At 6:30 a.m. on April 21, the levee blew out. By noon that day, the crevasse was a one-half mile wide and still growing. The wall of water that came through the gap moved quickly south to Greenville, MS. As evacuation began, six foot deep currents ran through the streets. Thousands of refugees gathered on the Greenville levee, and their combined weight caused the levee to begin to sinking. Most of the homeless were taken to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where they lived in tents until the flood waters subsided. Nearly 2,000 square miles were flooded by the Mounds Landing Crevasse, and when the water retreated it left behind a 65-acre lake.
B) Cypress Bend
Mile 570.0 AHP
By the late 1700’s, settlers in Louisiana had cut down most of the cypress groves along the river, and loggers moved north to the massive stands that lined the banks along Cypress Bend. Trees were cut and gathered into huge log rafts to be floated downstream to New Orleans. After the Civil War, steam-powered boats moved up along the Lower Mississippi, and by 1916 the Cypress Trees had been logged out. The disappearance of the cypress led to major ecological changes, and many of the waterfowl once abundant in the region was gone.
C) Caulk Neck Cutoff
Mile 575.0 APH
Caving banks were a longtime problem along the eastward loop of the river called Bolivar Bend, and it was bypassed by the artificial Caulk Neck Cutoff in 1938. The cutoff also removed the flood-ridden town of Bolivar, MS, from the river. During the U. S. Civil War the Bolivar area was a hotbed of Confederate guerrilla activity, and in 1863 Union forces cut the levee to flood the rebels out. The levee remained open for years after the war, periodically submerging the little town and the farmland nearby.
Photo Credit: Mounds Landing Crevasse by Steve Nicklas, NOS, NGS - Historic NWS Collection
Erected by Mississippi Riverwalk. (Marker Number 40.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • 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 Island River Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 125 N Front St, 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); 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 29, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 27, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 109 times since then and 19 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on March 27, 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?