Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

River Love from Childhood & Changes in the River, by Erwin A. Thompson

River Bluffs

I have lived on the bluffs that overlook the Mississippi River for all but the first nine months of my life.

The family owned a good pair of field glasses, and they were one of my great experiences, to look through them and watch things like the building of the rafts when they logged "Scotch Jimmie's" Island when I was about seven. By that time the main channel had been diverted to the other side of the island, but originally it had been on this side.

My Grandfather, E. A. Riehl had his own steamboat landing just above where Stanka Lane meets the River Road, to use today's standards of location.

His day books are filled with entries of the various people who had "Arrived on the Belle of Calhoun", or the amount of sweet potatoes or apples that he had shipped. One year he accompanied a shipment to New Orleans of several barrels of apples in the winter time, and oversaw the marketing of them.

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2 Responses »

  1. Between the logging and the levees, we've created quite a problem, haven't we. It's amazing that we still think we can "control" nature, when nature has been getting along just fine for millennia without us, and will again.

    Thanks, Janet and Erwin, for this fascinating series! Janet, travel well, and don't get singed. . . .


  2. Janet,
    Speaking of rivers. We have one. It freezes in the winter, sort of like our fingers and noses in the -50F. Then springtime takes over. Forty years ago we had a race to Nenana 75 miles downstream in rafts. Here is the website. We are planning a reunion of the crazies. Though you might like to see some photos.

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