History in Alton…

To bring you up to date, Native Son has been repaired and is back with us. All is now working well on their vessel. We will depart on Wednesday morning for Hoppies which will be our last fuel and freshwater stop until we reach the Tennessee River at Green Turtle Bay. That is approximately 240 miles so fuel and water management will be in place to get us comfortably there.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Now to give a brief history lesson on the city of Alton. It sits very near the intersection of the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri Rivers. This made it an ideal location for a trading port. It grew and prospered in the early days of westward expansion.

 
 
Abraham Lincoln practiced law here for a time and tried a famous murder case here. One of the Lincoln-Douglas senatorial debates took place here. The photo shows the height discrepancy between Lincoln and Douglas who was called the “little giant”. If you watch Hollywood’s version in the movies you would think that Lincoln’s backwoods manner won the debates but this is not so. Douglas was a master of true debate and even though Lincoln got a lot of laughs he lost in most scholars’ minds and Douglas retained his senate seat. Of course Lincoln went on to win the Presidency within a couple of years because his folksy manner.

Alton is also the birthplace and hometown of Robert Wadlow know as the Alton Giant. He was and still is the world’s tallest human measuring 8 feet 11.1 inches at his death at the age of 22. I remember reading about him as a boy in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

We went to the Mississippi Mud Pottery where they use mud from the river mixed with the clay. We bought a little something for a sweet little princess who is having a birthday this month. We shipped it to her.

You see I can be educational as well as entertaining.

Happy Birthday to the Brookbank boys Will and Roy. They turned 6 today and we talked to them and sang Happy Birthday. Seems only last year we were flying to California to pick them up. Childhood is like forever to a kid but flies away to an adult.

2 thoughts on “History in Alton…”

  1. Rusty and Jan, Ah, Life on the Mississippi! The boys appreciated your singing, but I’m not sure there is a future in it! Very best regards, Mike

  2. When you get to Hoppies, let us know if our parott piñata is still hanging over Ferns “office”.
    And make sure to walk into Kimswick – neat town!
    Ken & Pat

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