Friday, April 24, 2009

The Bottom

This morning on my way to the grocery store in town I decided to take a detour onto the old US Highway 78 into the Tombigbee River lowlands west of Fulton. This once-busy stretch of highway is now almost deserted as it now dead-ends at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway at Fulton. What little traffic is along this stretch of pavement is basically folks going to the Peppertown boat dock. This stretch of old paved highway crosses the Tombigbee River at the foot of River Hill east of Peppertown and then for three miles crosses several sloughs. When I was a kid, we traveled this highway going from Fulton to Tupelo. Along these sloughs during the summertime folks would be fishing from the banks and in the fields, white gold in the form of cotton would be growing. Today the fields are overgrown and the highway is silent as sand cranes stand like sentries in the swamps overseeing their peaceful domain.


Anonymous said...

I lived on the west side of the River, and can remember having to close schools in the middle of the day because of the flooding. Dorsey kids who went to Fulton schools would not have been able to get home.

Bob Franks said...

I remember those annual floods well. My parents always told me that during the year I was born, a big river flood came and washed out the highway at the foot of River Hill. For several days my dad had to drive to River Hill and take a boat across the river in order to get to work at Fulton.

Anonymous said...

Is this in the area where there were either 2 or 3 bridges almost "one after the other"? I have vivid memories of the last summer trip we made from Texas to Alabama when we decided to drive the old route that my grandparents drove from Bexar out to Dallas to visit Uncle Clifford Robinson in the '30's. This route took us north through Texarkana to Little Rock, Memphis, Tupelo, Fulton, Tremont and "just over the state line."

The cotton fields were covered and the water just below the highway road bed. This trip was made maybe in 1968 and not too long before Interstate 20 could be driven into Alabama! Yep, the then Governor's brother had mismanaged the highway funds and the Interstate was not ready by the time Mississippi completed "her share". bettye