Showing posts from May, 2023

Pinhook, Missouri (1927-2011): A Black Ghost Town

Pinhook, Missouri , a small town situated approximately 8 miles west of the Mississippi River, holds a significant place in history as a black community founded by sharecroppers in 1927. Due to limited options for settlement from white landowners refusing to sell their land, these determined individuals settled in low-lying land that would later prove perilous during flood seasons. ( Location on our Ghost Towns Map ) The status of Pinhook is both a story of ongoing climate change as well as the lackluster emergency response from the government, who in fact made Pinhook's perilous situation even worse. Image: Steve Zumwalt/FEMA via Vox Magazine . Five years after its foundation, the Army Corps of Engineers built the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway to ease the annual flooding along the Mississippi River, in an attempt to save the then-prosperous City of Cairo downstream. The floodway, when used, put the excess waters directly in the path of the town. ( ProPublica ). At its peak, the

When Weather Changed Railroad History: The Story of the Overseas Railroad

The Overseas Railroad was spanned over 156 miles and connected mainland Florida to Key West, a chain of islands at the southernmost tip of the state in an absolute marvel of engineering. The railroad was constructed in the early 1900s by the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) and was completed in 1912, after years of grueling labor and numerous setbacks. ( Right of way ) A vintage FEC Postcard showing the Overseas Railroad  at Long Key Viaduct. Palm Beach Florida Weekly The idea for the Overseas Railroad was conceived by Henry Flagler , a businessman and entrepreneur who was instrumental in developing Florida's tourism industry. Flagler recognized the potential of the Florida Keys as a tourist destination and saw the need for a reliable transportation system to connect the mainland to the islands. The FEC Key West Extension Map (Mike's Railroad History) Construction of the railroad began in 1905 and was one of the most ambitious engineering projects of its time. The railroad wa