Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Willow Cutoff/Salem Crevasse/Goodrich Landing,Louisiana

Marker ID:  34
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


Willow Cutoff/Salem Crevasse/Goodrich Landing, Louisiana
Panel #34 Mississippi Riverwalk

A. Willow Cutoff
Mile 464.3 AHP

Before 1913, the lower Mississippi took a sharp turn east in this area, in a 14-mile long bend through what is now Lake Albemarle. During the 1913 flood, the river abandoned Albermarle Bend, taking a smaller curve called Newman Cutoff. Over the next 20 years, the river enlarged the cutoff, forming a new bend. Willow Cutoff was built in 1934 to bypass this growing bend. The abandoned river beds, Lake Albemarle and Lake Chotard, have been popular hunting and fishing areas. Located outside of the levee system, they have largely avoided agricultural chemical pollution, and their waters are periodically refreshed by overflowing from the Mississippi River.

B. Salem Crevasse
Mile 466.0 AHP

Salem levee was thought to be particularly secure during the flood of 1912. A small underwater break created a sand boil, but it was quickly sandbagged and local confidence remained high. The levee suddenly collapsed on April 13, 1912. Thousands of head of livestock and scores of the building were swept away. Men on horseback rode ahead of the advancing water to warn farmers and communities in the flood’s path. Hundreds of stunned residents took refuge atop the levee on either side of the crevasse, and some waited days to be rescued.

C. Goodrich Landing, Louisiana
Mile 467.4 AHP

During the U. S. Civil War, Goodrich Plantation was confiscated by the Union and used for a project to make freedmen self-supporting. Freed slaves from surrounding plantations were moved to Goodrich to grow their own cotton, and a garrison of African-American troops was stationed nearby to protect them. Confederate forces attacked the plantation in June 1863, burning the encampment and taking 1,000 of the former slave prisoner. Federal forces soon regained the area and the project was started again.

Mississippi Riverwalk.
Marker Number 34

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.