Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Donaldson Point, Missouri/Island No. 8/Hickman, Kentucky/Dorena Crevasse

Marker ID:  62
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


Donaldson Point, Missouri/Island No. 8/Hickman, Kentucky/Dorena Crevasse
Panel #62 Mississippi Riverwalk

A) Donaldson Point, Missouri
Mile 905.3 AHP

Union forces dug a canal across Donaldson Point in 1862 hoping to use it to bypass Confederate batteries at Island No. 10. The canal proved to be too shallow, but the rebels scuttled the steamer Winchester across its lower end just in case. Silt and sand built up behind the sunken vessel, forming the Winchester towhead, which now encloses both Donaldson Point and Island No. 10 on the Missouri bank.

B) Island No. 8
Mile 914.0 AHP

One of the largest islands in the Lower Mississippi, Island No. 8 is one of the few that has not become part of the shoreline. The main channel was located in the bend west of the island until the flood of 1927 and 1937 filled it with silt. The chute below Island No. 8 is now maintained as the navigation channel.

C) Hickman, Kentucky
Mile 933.3 AHP

Founded in 1834, Hickman grew quickly as a transportation and trade center. Its steamboat landing was busy, an overland stage route ran east to Nashville, and a ferry moved passengers and freight across the river to Missouri. A Confederate river battery at Hickman was abandoned after Columbus, Kentucky fell, and a Union garrison occupied it for most of the Civil War. Hickman now has a still water harbor, and is an active river port.

D) Dorena Crevasse
Mile 924.0 AHP

Early French settlers called a break in the river embankment a “crevasse” and the term has been used ever since. One of the worst modern crevasses occurred at Dorena, Missouri during the great 1927 flood. The river tunneled a hole through the Dorena levee, and within hours a large section of it collapsed. A massive wall of water hurled through the town, wrecking buildings, sweeping away animals and drowning several residents. The force of water demolished a schoolhouse 15 miles inland. It rushed south to the city of New Madrid, where flooding was so severe that water inside the levee stood 1 foot higher than the river outside. Construction of the mainline levee system in 1928 now protects Dorena, but its location on the Birds Point’ New Madrid Floodway leaves it open to the occasional backwater that seeps into the floodway's nearby outlet.

Mississippi Riverwalk.
Marker Number 62

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.