Magazine article Sea Classics

Memphis, Tennessee

Magazine article Sea Classics

Memphis, Tennessee

Article excerpt

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - Mud Island River Park, located in the middle of the Mississippi River, is a 52-acre attraction which features an 18-gallery museum as well as a five-- block-long flowing replica of the Mississippi River. One attraction that draws a crowd is the famous World War II B-17 bomber, the "Memphis Belle." When World War II ended the bomber was heading for a junk pile. The City of Memphis, proud of this unique and historic namesake, bought the plane and after a fundraising campaign and refurbishing of the bomber, it was moved to its new location on Mud Island.

The five-story River Center is the attraction's main building where visitors are viewing an unusual model of a riverboat. It is, however, the threestory BELLE OF THE BLUFFS, which is a full scale re-creation of an 1870s steamboat, decked out in all the splendor of the era.

The BELLE is actually only the front third of a steamboat, but the detail is precise and life-size, allowing a visitor to stroll through the opulent salon, investigate the pilot house on top, and snoop through the cargo stowed below. At certain places visitors "eavesdrop" on recorded conversations among the crew, gamblers and passengers on board the BELLE OF THE BLUFFS.

The Riverfolk Gallery portrays lifesize river characters, one of whom is Mark Twain, who through audiovisual programs, tell about their experiences on the Mississippi River. The Theater of River Disasters recalls via film the tragedies that occurred along the river - everything from yellow fever, massive floods and steamboat explosions. …

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