Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Waterproof, Louisiana/Ashland Landing, Mississippi

Marker ID:  27
Location: Mud Island River Park, 125 N Front Street, Memphis, TN
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 35° 8.968    W 090° 3.507
  35.14946666    -90.05845
Waymark: None


Waterproof, Louisiana/Ashland Landing, Mississippi
Panel #27 Mississippi Riverwalk

A. Waterproof, Louisiana
Mile 381.0 AHP

This small community was moved four times due to floods and the towns caving banks. The original location is now said to lie in the Mississippi River. During its third washout, a newspaper reported the entire town was under water, except for “one waterproof knoll.” After the flood subsided, the community rebuilt on the spot and was named Waterproof. At that time the community was located just above and eastward bend in the Mississippi. The straight channel that now stretches downstream, known as Waterproof Cutoff, opened in 1884.

B. Ashland Landing, Mississippi
Mile 381.0 AHP

Zachary Taylor planned a triumphal tour up the Mississippi River after he was elected President of the United States in 1848. Taylor owned a plantation in the vicinity of Ashland Landing, and the elegant steamboat Tennessee was to pick him up there on January 31, 1849, to begin the tour. Just before dawn, a boat pulled up and Taylor boarded the vessel. The President retired to his stateroom as the steamer began its journey upriver. Sometime later, an aide discovered they were on the wrong boat. The vessel was not Tennessee but the Saladin. The deception had been carried out by the Saladin’s young captain, Tom Coleman. A friend of the Taylor family, Coleman wanted to have the honor of caring the President-Elect on the first leg of his journey to Washington. When President Taylor awoke and was told of the trick, he only laughed and stated that Tennessee could catch up with them in Vicksburg, MS.

Mississippi Riverwalk.
Marker Number 27

A photo of this marker can be found on HMDB.org


AHP - Above Head of Passes, this is the distance from the mouth of a river when measured along the course (navigable channel) starting at zero.