April 18, Free Trip into Louisiana’s Bayou Teche NWR

Contact: Donovan Garcia (337) 923-9718
needtopaddle@yahoo.com

Experience all the flora and fauna of the Cajun Coast first hand!

FRANKLIN, LA – Free guided tours aboard motorized boats into the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge are being held April 18, 2015 for the Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival.

Tours will be guided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Friends of Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge.

Advanced reservations the day of the event are required. Registration will be at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tent set up in Historic Downtown Franklin. Please register early at the tent as trips fill quickly.

Groups will be limited in size for optimal viewing experience. Tour times are 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Trips may be cancelled due to weather.

Historic River Maps Make Great Gifts!

Lisa's maps at village frameI walked into Village Custom Frame in La Crosse, WI, the other day and found Sue busy at work filling orders for Lisa Middleton’s historic map prints ordered for Christmas giving. The framed maps 1887 Ribbon Maps are a GREAT idea for a corner nitch, or between two windows, or as a cabin feature!

santa_claus_and_christmas_tree_207602

If you don’t live in La Crosse, Stockholm, Alma, Winona, or Wabasha … where many of the frame shops sell Lisa’s maps already framed… you can now order FRAMED 1887 Mississippi River Ribbon maps at the Great River Publishing gift shop on ETSY.com

frame samples

$145 includes choice of mat color (choose from those samples show) with a dark wooden frame.Maps can be shipped directly to the recipient!

Questions? Ready to order? Have another of Lisa’s historic map paintings you’d like framed and shipped? Want to frame the original painting?  Call 406-471-7563 or go to ETSY.com to order online.

Our Historic Map Artist Makes the Glossies!

Our Mississippi River map artist, Lisa R Middleton, was featured in the FALL 2014 issue of the Montana Quarterly  

We’ve been lucky to have her on the river for the past 7-8 years, but she is expanding her territory westward. It was great having her on the Upper River for ART FAIR ON THE GREEN this summer. Thank you to everyone who expressed such enthusiasm for her Hisoric Map paintings and WELCOME to all our new owners!

Anyone who might like to see the 5-page spread should contact Montana Quarterly 

Visit Lisa’s online blog, ART AT HEART, at www.greatriverarts.com !  Yes, she does accept special requests for original paintings!

The Story of Albert D.J. Cashier

Albert DJ Cashier

Albert DJ Cashier

One of the more unusual stories from the Siege of Vicksburg came from the 95th Illinois Regiment. This regiment had a reputation as a particularly fierce group of fighters. Only 58% of the regiment had survived the previous Battle of Shiloh. Among those at Vicksburg was one they called “the fiercest of the fierce” — Albert D.J. Cashier.

When injured in a car accident in 1913, Albert (on right in photograph) refused medical help unless the doctor refused to reveal his secret… that Albert was a woman. Inevitably, the secret leaked out and a movement began to have Cashier’s name stricken from the Vicksburg monument. But in 1915, representatives of the regiment met in Chicago and signed a communication to the Illinois governor requesting that if any name was stricken from the regimental listing, then EVERY name must be stricken. Albert’s name is still listed to this day.

One knowledgeable researcher suspects that “Albert” was once engaged to a man named Albert in Ireland. When he was killed in an uprising, she committed herself to carrying on his life by following through on his dream to come to the United States. She dressed as a man, stowed away on a ship, and enrolled in the war using Albert’s name. At least 600 women are documented to have fought as men in the Civil WGRFF IV cover 033005ar.

Insight excerpt from the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 78, Vol 4 of DISCOVER! America’s Great River Road by Pat Middleton. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

Links for Following the “Healing the Water” Walk

Track exactly where the group is today…

LIVE GPS tracking: (copy & Paste into browser)http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0mPHV4igHadEVfpSyKWhmaoe1egzqco2g

Schedule for the Walk (save this as a possible route for walking the entire length of the Mississippi River. This schedule presumes walking 25-30 miles per day.

https://word.office.live.com/wv/WordView.aspx?FBsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdownload%2Ffile_preview.php%3Fid%3D551090901588065%26time%3D1363819016%26metadata&access_token=1381570422%3AAVLBnSAg3R0QABSDzNAoBkEMMGiYBGyCeSFq1LXn4bIgtw&title=Mississippi+River+Water+Walk+Updated+3.12.doc

The group also has a FACEBOOK page.

Could an Earthquake Happen in the Midwestern United States?

A major fault lies below the Mississippi River from Memphis to St. LouisWith all the media coverage of the 7.0 magnitude quake in Haiti
in January 2010, interest has shifted to the USA.

We all think of California immediately, but could it happen
here in the MIDWEST? Think NEW MADRID FAULT,
right under the Mississippi River!

Scientists suggest there is a 25% chance of a 7.5 magnitude quake by the year 2040. A quake of this magnitude would be felt throughout half of the United States and cause damage in twenty states or more.

by Pat Middleton, Volume 3, DISCOVER! AMERICA’s GREAT RIVER ROAD


Intensity map for the New Madrid Fault

 

    The New Madrid Fault is a major active fault line that runs approximately from Memphis, Tennessee, to St. Louis, Missouri. On Dec. 16, 1811, this area was hit with an estimated 8.6 magnitude quake on the modern-day Richter scale. This was the first of THREE major quakes to rock the Midwest. A second quake on January 23, 1812 is estimated to have been an 8.4. A THIRD shock on February 7, 1812, is estimated to have been the strongest jolt ever to hit the North American continent at somewhere near 8.7 to 8.9.Find extensive details about the New Madrid earthquake fault and the formation of REELFOOT Lake in Volume 3 of DISCOVER! America's Great River Road.

    We pulled some illuminating facts from Volume 3 of DISCOVER! America’s Great River Road…What would an 8.7 magnitude earthquake feel like?

The New Madrid earthquake released energy equal to 150,000,000 tons of TNT. In comparison, the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII equaled 35,000 to 40,000 tons of TNT!!


When the tremors and convulsions of the earth subsided, 30 to 50 thousand square miles of land had undergone vast topographical changes. Most of which are visible today. In the northwest corner of Tennessee, land dropped 10 to 20 feet and caused the Mississippi River to flow back upon itself which formed REELFOOT LAKE. In places along the Mississippi River, I have seen sandboils which still lie barren, or waves of undulating earth frozen into the compacted soil.

The New Madrid fault system extends 120 miles southward from Cairo, Illinois, through New Madrid andCaruthersville, Missouri, following I-55 free way system to Bytheville and on down to Marked Tree, Arkansas. Buried five to to ten miles underground (similar in depth to the Haiti quake), it crosses five state lines and cuts across the Mississippi River in three places.

Map showing earthquakes

 

    THE USGS maintains a real time list of tremors along the New Madrid fault. Click map image  to see the map for today.

 

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Return to the MISSISSIPPI RIVER HOME PAGE at 
www.greatriver.com

 

 

 

  

Stories from SURVIVORS of the New Madrid Earthquake of

1811-1812
related in part from “Reelfoot Lake and the New Madrid Fault” by Juanita Clifton, 1980

Witnesses report that about 2 a.m. on December 16, 18aa, the earth around the little settlement of New Madrid, Missouri, began to rise and fall like waves upon the sea. When the peaks of the waves rolled through the Mississippi River, the river bottom heaved up, emptying the river onto its banks, inundating the shores and leaving some boats on dry land. When the troughs followed, the river rushed back into the hollows with such force that entire groves of trees were drawn out by the roots and thrown into the river.

On dry land, trees bent like heads of grain in the wind, their ranches interlocked, until they were ripped from the ground. Cracks formed in the earth that sometimes ran for MILES. The quake’s ground wave created sunken lands, fissures, and domes. Sand blows eruped sand and belched hot water, fumes, and carbonized wood.

Mattis M. Speed, a river traveler in February, 1812, described his experience.  “We were awakened about 3 a.m. by the violent agitation of the boat accompanied by a noise so terrible it can best be described as the constant discharge of heavy cannon. The banks were falling into the river and the island to which we were tied was sinking. We cut ourselves loose from the island and pulled as far from the banks as necessary to avoid the falling trees. The swells of the river were so deep as to threaten the sinking of the boat with every minute.”

When he pulled out of the maelstrom at New Madrid, he wrote, “The former elevation of the bank was about 25 feet above common water. When we reached it, it was barely 12 or 3 feet. Scarcely a house was left entire, some completely prostrated, others unroofed and not a chimney standing.”

One man described holding to a tree to support himself during a quake. A fissure opened in the ground and both he and the tree fell in. He was unable to climb out of the fissure at that point and was forced to walk along it until an incline allowed him to scramble out. Fissures as deep as 100 feet ran for miles through the countryside.

 

New Madrid Earthquake Creates Reelfoot Lake

Both Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee,  and St. Francis Lake in Arkansas were formed by the New Madrid Earthquake in 1811, 1812. A citizen from New Madrid, Missouri, wrote in 1816, “Lately, it has been discovered that a Lake was formed on the opposite side of the Mississippi River, in the Indian country, upwards of 100 miles and from one to six miles wide, of a depth of from 10 to 50 feet.”

The epicenter of the quake was about 70 miles southwest of modern Reelfoot Lake and more than 1800 recorded tremors, some of which rang bells on the east coast, followed by the first powerful jolts.

In 1815, Congress passed an act to relieve area inhabitants who found their riverside farms swallowed up or buried in the sand that spewed from the earth. More than 500 earthquake “certificates”, redeemable for up to 640 acres of government land, were allotted. The site of Hannibal, Missouri, was one of the resultant land grants.

The TIPTONVILLE DOME

A dome-like rise in the otherwise perfectly flat land is clearly visible on the west side of Reelfoot Lake, on the road from the Airpark Inn to Tiptonville, Tennessee.  The Tiptonville Dome formed when the land around Reelfoot Lake sank during the earthquake. Above the newly formed depression, the Mississippi River appeared to flow backward when the waters rushed to fill the depression–the center of which is now Reelfoot Lake.

The raising of the dome also created a natural dam that, for a short time, forced the Mississippi River to flow back south upon itself. The same dam trapped water in low swampland in the vicinity of Reelfoot Creek and Bayou de Chien, eventually allowing Reelfoot Lake to form.

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The American Queen returns to American Rivers

Now here is some REALLY GOOD NEWS!

The largest steamboat in the world was recently purchased by The Great American Steamboat Company  based in Memphis, Tenn., and it will return to America’s rivers next year.

The steamboat, which is 419 feet long and 90 feet high, holds 436 passengers was purchased for $15.5 million. It was launched in 1995 at a cost of over $65 million, but has been laid up in Beaumont, Texas since 2008, after the Majestic America Line decided to discontinue its cruise business.


“Our plans with it are to restore the service and return it back to its historical roots,” Greg Brown, executive vice-president of the Great American Steamboat Company, said.

“For two years we’ve been working on purchasing the American Queen, so this is the product of a couple years worth of work.” Brown said the American Queen will travel the “greatest hits routes” it used to travel, as well as some of the popular routes once traveled by the Mississippi and Delta Queens. He said itinerary for the American Queen will depend on the season, and it will travel the Mississippi River and many of its surrounding tributaries.

“We have it in the plans to get on the Ohio River for the Kentucky Derby season,” Brown said. “I think we’re a couple weeks away from having a firm schedule and brochure.”

Getting the American Queen up and running is expected to create more than 250 jobs, with 160 of those employees working on the steamboat at all times. Before starting out on cruises, Brown said the American Queen will undergo a $5 million renovation project. He said “she’s in very good condition,” but needs a new coat of paint, some machinery work, new dishes and bath towels, among other things.

Hurrah! for the Great American Steamboat Company. Hurrah! for America Rivers. :-)

“Toots,” the original RIVERLORIAN for the Delta Queen Steamboat Company has written a memoir of the last cruise of the American Queen. Click link to visit.

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Return to GREATRIVER.com, The Mississippi River Home Page

Return to WATERWAY CRUISE REPORTS

 

 

 

FLOOD OF 2011 May Rival Even 1927

Fox News photo of Birds Point Levee floodway

 

130,000 acres of agricultural land floods after a deliberate break in the Birds Point Levee south of Cairo.

The FLOOD OF 2011 is threatening to rival the flood of 1927!

I can’t think of a more dangerous place to be in the world just now than at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers! Levees completely encircle the city of Cairo, forming an island during floods and the Mississippi River begins to back up into the Ohio River.

For an INTERACTIVE MAP of where flooding is at its worse, visit www.greatriver.com/FLOOD.htm

Some 60% of the water that flows through the U.S. passes through this confluence, including much of the deep south, via the north-flowing Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. As this is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, it is worth noting that General Grant named Cairo Fort Defiance when it was occupied by the Union Army.

See more stats on the major tributaries of the Mississippi River by visiting www.greatriver.com/tribs.htm To follow the progress of high water through the small towns of the Mississippi River, read Discover! America’s Great River Road.

 

Vicious Storms Spawn Tornado in St. Louis

I was amazed to read this a.m. of the tornado which destroyed the St. Louis International Airport as well as nearby neighborhoods late Friday night.

Visit www.weather.com for video and forcasts of continuing severe weather through the Easter weekend.

There is about 200% more moisture involved in this stalled front than is normal, which poses a real threat of continuing heavy rain for the next three days. This increases the threat of flooding on the Mississippi and other rivers through the Ohio River Valley.

I have been on the Mississippi River when rains in Kansas caused the Mississippi to raise 30 feet over night… we woke to a river full of floating logs, full sized trees, and other debris picked up by water raising in the back waters.

“Toots” remembers the Delta Queen

“Toots” Maloy, who for some 30+ years was the “face” of the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen recently sent me her new memoir of her days on the paddlewheelers.


I found it doubly interesting because it was NOT a history of the company, but truly a memoir of her days on the boats, recounted as she made the last river journey of the Delta Queen to its current Tennessee berth.

Toots also serves as our eyes and ears as she gets a last look at the mold-infested shell of the Mississippi Queen. All of us who loved traveling the Delta Queen fleet, who loved traveling with Riverlorians “Toots”,  Bill Wiemuth, and the rest of the crew, will find this a poignant reminder of how much has been lost with the cruising paddlewheelers.

“We haven’t just lost a vessel,” Toots writes, “we lost a way of life. And with just a stroke of a pen it could have been saved.”

Yes, we have Toot’s book available online at our Mississippi River bookstore. Just $7 plus shipping for a limited time. 54 pages, with 8 pages of photos.

Please click on the link below to order instantly online, or phone 888-255-7726.

A Page Out of History

by Riverlorian, Karen “Toots” Maloy

SECURE online Order Form!

As of 2012, the AMERICAN QUEEN will be BACK on American rivers! Click link to see the update.