Cape Girardeau, MO

Discussion in 'St Louis Subdivision' started by chris, Mar 10, 2002.

  1. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Wednesday, June 10, 2015 I was in Cape Girardeau to get pictures of the river front for layout backdrop on my layout. I took a helicopter ride with Paul Salmon (my cousin's husband) who is a partner in Cape Copters and a certified flight instructor. We flew in a Robinson R44, four place helicopter, to fly low and slow enough to get the best pictures for my use. I have provided a sample of a river front shot and a composite of ground-based shots of the quarry at the cement plant that will be on the wall in an access aisle seen across the layout at Marquette Cement. The quarry image will be 12' long x 3' high. Incidentally, the shot of the Common Pleas Court House is one of over 200 consecutive shots from right at the Emerson Bridge to just north of Cape Rock. The composite can make a mural backdrop that is about 20 feet long.
    Marquette Quarry compressed.jpg IMGP0067.JPG Cape Copters R44.JPG
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  2. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    That's so cool! Both are perfect backdrop shots. I bet that was a fun ride.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  3. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Keith, that is impressive. Very nice shot of the courthouse and Water St./Main St. buildings. A quarry that long should be most impressive. Looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.

    Best Regards,
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    No Pun intended? My bolding in quote.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  5. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Well spotted! It wasn't initially intended, but after proofreading, I opted to leave it.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  6. timothy_cannon

    timothy_cannon Member Supporter

    Here are a couple of interesting photos. Look close in the background of the color pic and reporting marks on the gondola in the other pic. I never knew Marquette had their own rolling stock.
    F s Marquette s.jpg Marquette 2b.jpg
  7. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Yes, they had their own cement hoppers for transporting cement to the river terminal for loading onto barges, their own gondolas, metal and composite, for transporting coal from barges to the crusher for the kilns and their own drop bottom hoppers for hauling gumbo from the gumbo pits south of the plant for use in cement production. They were not necessarily consistent on reporting marks; sometimes using MCMCo and sometimes using simply MC. The strange looking car in the first picture was the type of cement hoppers used only on-site.

    Here's another of coal being loaded into a feed hopper for the kilns.
    Marquette Coal Pulverizer Loading 2.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
    Ozarktraveler and gstout like this.
  8. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Nice photos. Seems as if the cement plant would be a good switching layout.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  9. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Don't think that I hadn't considered just modeling a very large model of just the cement plant in my space...
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  10. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Take a second look at that color photo of Marquette's sign and read the scroll. It says, "The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of the powers of government." Woodrow Wilson

    That is not an exact quote, but is it an accurate observation.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  11. geep07

    geep07 Member

    Love your picture of your personalized "RED drone"!
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  12. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    While I was waiting in the office to take the ride with Paul, the gentleman that had just completed a two-hour flight lesson with him came into the office. I introduced myself as Keith Robinson and his eyebrows raised and he said, "Oh." I then explained that I was not associated with Robinson Helicopters but was a cousin of Paul's wife.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  13. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  14. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter


    I am not certain of the specifics of your question. The St Louis Sub was equipped with OBS between MP T7+18 poles to MP T135+22 poles. These semaphores are part of that installation. Let check to see when they were installed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2017
  15. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Fred Lynch's "f/8 and Be There" blog for the Southeast Missourian has the following Frisco photo from Cape Girardeau posted:

    Since it's daylight, apparently heading southbound and not flying white flags as far as I can make out, I'd wager that it's #807.

    No date is listed, but based on the PBR slogan on the billboard - and having heard that slogan a lot in "The Life of Riley" from late WWII to post-WWII years - maybe 1945-ish?

    This does seem like an oddity to have a ten-wheeler assigned to either 807 or 808. This would be a first that I've ever seen. Will be interested to see and hear what other River Division aficionados have to say about it.

    Best Regards,
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  16. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Supporter

    Since you asked, this River Division aficionado will give an answer to your questions. In fact, it could possibly be said, "I was there."

    First, the location of the photo is just south of the Marquette Cement Plant and its employee natatorium, along old highway 74 under the line of bluffs that used to be there. The billboard identifies the location, as well as the approximate date as you mention. The year is actually 1952, when the Mississippi River flooded all of downtown Cape Girardeau and the Frisco trackage, thus splitting the River Division in two. And this is definitely train 807, returning southbound shortly after terminating at Cape as train 808 northbound.

    That spring was the occasion of my Trinity Lutheran School kindergarten class's outing from Cape to Chaffee, with a picnic there in the central park and return to Cape via St. Louis-Cape chartered bus. I have a photo of my mom, myself and the class boarding the Sunnyland at the freight depot since the passenger depot was flooded. In fact, the train backed into the spur serving the old creamery to discharge and load passengers and express/mail. My class ate our box lunches on the freight platform because the train was so late backing in all the way from Chaffee. And that's the story portrayed in the Missourian photo.

    While the track was flooded, train 808 would proceed northbound from Memphis as far as Chaffee, to be turned on the Rockview Wye. Then the E8 diesel would be replaced by an available steam engine, which would back the train twelve miles to Cape and return as southbound 807. Then the diesel would again take charge of the train to Memphis. Why the steam engine? Look at the photo and notice the water level and spray. The water would short out a diesel's motors, but the steamer plowed right through. The ten wheeler was normally power for one of the freight locals out of Chaffee and simply happened to be on hand for the job.

    Don't ask me to remember what I ate for dinner last night, but I can remember every detail and minute of that experience. It was my only contact with Frisco steam in service. I was a hooked railfan for sure, the disease being "terminal, but fortunately not fatal."

    Ken McElreath
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  17. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Ken, the odds of someone here actually "being there" is quite incredible, and I'm exceedingly grateful that you've shared the story.

    I'm particularly amazed that "Frony" had the inspiration - or the insight - to place himself at a point where he could get a photo of what is presumably one of the last steam-powered runs of "Sunnyland." Certainly the only instance I've ever seen of this type of motive power being used on either 807 or 808.

    Is this the one-story building on the SW corner of William St and Aquamsi/S. Main across the street from the current depot? I believe I've seen a spur there on old Sanborn maps, but I don't recall the use of that building/siding.

    As far as I'm concerned, you've remembered the important stuff, Ken. I guess that's what they call a flashbulb memory or recollection.

    Again, many thanks on behalf of many of us for sharing.

    Best Regards,
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  18. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Supporter


    Yes, I think the building may still be there. As I recall, there was a sign painted on the north brick side of the building, "Sugar Creek Creamery." My mom was raised in Egypt Mills, and she told me that she and her father would frequently drive their horses and wagon to the station at Bainbridge with cans of cream to be picked up by the southbound train (possibly the Sunnyland, but more likely the Memphis Express Local) and delivered to the creamery in Cape. I remember playing as a youngster on the freight station covered platform at Bainbridge, opposite Egypt Mills.

    yardmaster and Joe Lovett like this.
  19. Cape Rider

    Cape Rider Member

    Marquette Cement had a set of short wooden open hopper cars for hauling gumbo (grey clay) up from the "swamps." They were similar to ore cars. They used a simple link and pin for the couplers. I worked with them at the unloading facility in the summer of 1969. One pulled the pin to release a car and throw a chain in front of the wheels of the next car to chock the still loaded cars. Load was winched up to the top of a elevated platform with a cable reel. It was unloaded with poles through bottom dump. We applied cement dust to unstick the clay occasionally. When the car was empty, a co-worker would walk down and throw the track switch at the bottom to the empty line. The hopper was then pushed off with the cable attached to haul it back down for another car. It was a great learning experience.
    Don Neumeyer
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2020
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  20. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Don, take note of my post #26 on page 3 of this thread:
    Here is a closer view of the gumbo hoppers.
    Gumbo Cars.jpg

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