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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.

New Madrid’s Riverfront Park

New Madrid Riverfront Park 08-14-2013Mother and I drove down to the Mississippi Mudd in New Madrid for dinner. She likes frog legs and they are reputed to have big ones (the reputation is deserved). I had a hamburger steak with bacon wrapped around it and covered with some great grilled onions and peppers that added flavor to the meat.

It was getting late in the afternoon, so we took a drive up on the levee and down to the waterfront where I shot the baptism in 1967.

Lined with walkways

New Madrid Riverfront Park 08-14-2013Cape’s riverfront has a nice walkway that has been extended recently, but I really like the high overlook you get from this arrangement. Another nice thing is that you could watch the river when it gets high, unlike at Cape, which has to close the floodgates. I bet the view of a flooding Mississippi is spectacular from the long pier in the background.

Look at the cat

New Madrid Riverfront Park 08-14-2013

I got out of the car with a medium length zoom, figuring all I was going to take was an overall photo. A piece of paper blowing in the wind near the water’s edge caught my eye. I looked at it for a few more seconds, then turned to go back for the body with the longer telephone lens so I could shoot this white cat in the lower right part of the frame. I don’t know what he was hunting, but he was working hard at it.

Click on the photo to make it larger.

Strange stone structure

New Madrid Riverfront Park 08-14-2013I heard childish voices coming from this stone structure. Kaceja Thomas, who is a high school freshman, didn’t know if it had any special significance or if it was just a neat place to play. Her brother who claimed to be 7 didn’t slow down enough for me to get a good photo of him. For the record, Sis said, “You’re not 7, you’re 6. I should know. You’re my brother.”

I’m textually inept

New Madrid Riverfront Park 08-14-2013I printing this cropped version of Ms. Thomas because I told her she could go to the library to see her photo this morning. She gave me her cellphone number, but I’m not exactly sure how to transfer my digital camera photos to her. I can think of a convoluted way to do it, but I really need a 10-year-old kid to show me a simpler way.

Project cost  $4.1 million

New Madrid Riverfront Park 08-14-2013A 2001 Missourian story said the riverfront park and levee improvements cost $4.1 million. The project wasn’t just to make a pretty park. City officials said large rocks which kept the levee from eroding made upkeep difficult. Filling in the rocks with dirt and planting grass over them made the area easier to mow.

The plan was to build a lighted walking path with benches for seating and improved parking, tables for public use and amphitheater seating in the Riverfront Park. The boat ramp and boat parking were to be improved also. It looks like mission accomplished to me.

I wish Cape had a park where tourists – and locals – could get a gander at the river without leaving their cars. New Madrid has done it right.


6 comments to New Madrid’s Riverfront Park

  • Mary Jean Rodgers Harmon

    The strange stone structure you show is the old structure they built for the Easter Sunrise Services. That was used for the tomb. We would get up in the dark and go to the levee to watch the pageant. It was a pretty venue for the sunrise service. It was participated in by many of the churches in New Madrid and well attended the years I attended.

  • Terry Hopkins

    What a beautiful place…I thought Cape was pretty nice but this is really nice!

  • Margi Whitright

    Ken, you should take your mother to Grant Seafood Festival in Grant, FL in February or March. They used to have fantastic frog legs and probably still do. It seems like it used to be called the Grant Frog Leg Festival way, way back like the early ’70s.

  • Keith Robinson

    Ken, I agree with your lament about the lack of a park space with a view, even from automobiles. In previous posts, I have gone off on rants about the travesty of Cape Rock Park and also about how the city could create a park were a view of the river could be had along the riverfront even during flood stage. I find it hard to believe that apparently no one locally will take up the challenge and make something happen. If I still lived in Cape, I know that I would be aggravating the city officials and spearheading a drive to make some progress toward making the river and riverfront a greater tourist attraction.

  • Christina McWaters

    The stone structure is actually the remains of an old home. It was the entrance to their garden. There were many houses on the now river side of the levee years ago, but the mighty Mississippi has worn that part of town away. The structure was used for sunrise services however. We are so happy to know that you enjoyed your visit to New Madrid and our beautiful riverfront area. We are quite proud of it.

  • Mary Jean Rodgers Harmon

    There are stone steps on the levee that was the remains of an old home, but the structure pictured, I believe was built to be a part of the Easter sunrise services held on the levee. I vividly remember it being used as the tomb. I hope someone will correct me if I am wrong, but that is my recollection.

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