The Vieux Carr' Times

Ol' Man River

     Army engineers have a 1.000-foot minature model of the lower Mississippi on which they work out flood control problems.  The Mississippi is really not a continuous river at all but one that flows into and out of a whole series of lakes.

     The first steamboat on the Mississippi, and appropriately so, was "The City of New Orleans," built by Nicholas Rosevelt, a kin to FDR.  First trip down the Mississippi, from Chicago to New Orleans, was made by a Jesuit, one Jacques Gravier, early in the 18th Century.

     The State Of Missouri once almost declared war on Iowa because of a boundary dispute brought about by a shift in The Mississippi's currents and the dispute still is going on, after more than a century.

     For over a year, a saloon stood on the ice in the middle of the river at St. Louis.

     Another river oddity of years ago was a "wolf ferry," a small boat towed from shore to shore by trained wolves.

     Legendary river characters are "Mike Fink," a strong man, and "Annie Christmas," a strong woman, both of whom performed incredible feats of prowess.  More of the same is "Old Al," a giant alligator, called "The King of the River." and often referred to by river people even today.  Another of the more famous legends concerns the river's water and how it's supposed to be a guarantee against sterility in humans.  It was once even bottled and sold with that recommendation.


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