Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Wedding of the Waters

Marker ID: THC 4E 86
Location: Riverside Drive and Jefferson, Memphis, TN
County: Shelby
Waymark: None


A great celebration marking completion of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad occurred near here on May 1-4, 1858. These festivities attracted 25,000 spectators and included a symbolic "wedding of the waters" at the Court Street Wharf, with firemen from cities along the Memphis & Charleston route pumping Atlantic Ocean water, drawn from Charleston Bay, into the Mississippi River.

One contemporary account hailed the celebration as "the greatest demonstration of popular joy" ever witnessed in the Mississippi Valley. Numerous Memphians, including Col. John T. Trezevant, Robert C. Brinkley, and W.B. Greenlaw, were important investors in and promoters of this railroad, which was highly successful.

Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission