Williams Creek Railroad Bridge

There has been talk of abandoning the St. Louis and Iron Mountain tracks south of Gordonville, so I thought I’d see what kind of shape they were in. When I first started walking across the bridge over Williams Creek, south of CR 228 between Gordonville and Dutchtown, I thought it was in pretty good shape.

That dip doesn’t look good

The further I walked south, though, the more I became sure I wouldn’t want to be on a train crossing the creek. What’s that dip up ahead?

Better get up a head of steam

I can hear Casey telling his fireman, “Better throw on more coal. We’re gonna need a run at it to jump this.”

Photo gallery of Willams Creek bridge

These photos were taken in July and October. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. I’ll have more photos of the railroad later.

 

Lohmann Fixture Company

Lohmann Fixture Company is about the only old building left in what used to be called Smelterville. You have to look hard to see it peeking above South Sprigg Street.

The road has been raised to keep it from flooding. Seeing how far Lohmann’s is below street level will give you an idea how low the community was and why it flooded every few years.

Lohmann’s in 2008

Brother Mark and I paused on one of our bike rides to shoot a few photos of the building in 2008.

Lohmann’s in 2010

Niece Laurie Everett wanted to go on a photo ramble in the fall of 2010. We spent some time down at the 1929 railroad bridge over Cape LaCroix Creek, then we did some “peeling paint” photos of the old building.

Tool Ghosts

I always like to spot traces of things no longer there.

Not much info on business

I saw some Missourian briefs about rummage sales to be held in the building, but not many other stories. The 1968 City Directory had a listing for Lohmann Fixture Company at 2300 South Sprigg. The building has 2200 on the front of it, but I assume it’s the same business. Clarence A. Lohmann was listed as the president of the company.

Clarence A. Lohmann

I found an obituary for Clarence A. Lohmann in the October 13,2008, Missourian.

Clarence A. Lohmann, 89, of Cape Girardeau died Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008 at The Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau.

He was born May 11, 1919, in Cape Girardeau, son of Edward and Emma Kohlfeld Lohmann. He and Vera (Felter)Lohmann were married Nov. 18, 1939, in Chaffee, Mo.

Served in World War II

Lohmann was owner of Lohmann Supply Co. and Semo Leasing for 60 years. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and was a member of VFW Post 3838 and American Legion Post 63. He was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, where he served as Eucharistic Minister, and was a member of Cursillo, St. Vincent Society Men’s Club. He also was a member of Father Marquette Knights of Columbus 11205 and Thomas A. Langen 4th Degree Council and served as Faithful Navigator. He belonged to the Jesuit White House Retreat.

He was a former member of the Jaycees and charter member of the Exchange Club of Cape Girardeau for 50 years. He formerly belonged to Kimbeland Country Club and the Refrigeration Service Engineer Society. He graduated from Rankin Technical School of St. Louis.

Mr. Lohmann’s family

Survivors include his wife, Vera Lohman of Cape Girardeau; a son, Dan (Tammy) Lohmann of Cape Girardeau; a daughter, Jane Lohmann of Houston; a grandson, Kirk Lohmann of Cape Girardeau; and a brother, Elmer Lohmann of Scott City.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Elvis Lohmann, Arnold Lohmann and Richard Lohmann; and a sister, Erma Richter.

Photo gallery of Lohmann’s Fixture Company

Here are a few more photos of the building, including an aerial. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

Allenville Railroad Bridge

The Missourian carried a story May 22, 2012, that a Jackson, Gordonville and Delta Railroad plan to abandon a 13-mile section of unused tracks has some Allenville residents worried. They’re not concerned about losing the railroad – it hasn’t carried traffic between Gordonville and Delta since 1997. They’re worried about the railroad bridge and trestle over the Diversion Channel. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

Tiny town cut off by floods

The story by Shay Alderman quoted lifelong Allenville resident Phil Thompson as saying the town has been hit by 12 floods since 1973. Roads were impassable for about six weeks during flooding in 1993 and 1995. The trestle and bridge were the town’s supply lifeline.

Will bridge end up on scrap heap?

Robert L. Adams, railroad president said the bridge is in such poor condition that he would advise against anyone walking or driving a vehicle across it. I can understand why he’d say that for liability reasons.

I’ll have to take a meander down that way when I go home. At least I’ll know I won’t have to dodge any highballin’ freights in the middle of the channel.

Houck Railroad Bridges

I was planning to write about Happy Hollow, but I ran across so many good stories I decided to hold off until I can do it justice. Here’s a piece of the Happy Hollow neighborhood that has what Missourian blogger James Baughn says may have been the oldest bridge in Cape Girardeau.You should read his blog entry about two bridges here that spanned Good Hope and William Streets. Reading his account will boost his traffic stats and save me some typing. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

Louis Houck decided to use area between Independence and William Streets for his railroad depot, rail yard and other facilities. You might remember the large three-story stone building near where the federal courthouse is today. I wish I had some photos of it, but it was torn down before I started documenting things like that. This trench and overpasses provided a south approach to the rail yard.

Aerial of South Fountain area

The bridges were taken out and the area filled in when South Fountain Street was extended to River Campus. River Campus is on the left side of the photo. The approach to the old Mississippi River Traffic Bridge is at the east end of Morgan Oak.

View south from William Street

The street was still under construction when this was shot November 9, 2010, but it is open now.

I wonder if ghost whistles of Louis Houck’s engines can still be heard in the neighborhood at night. I’m sure reader Keith Robinson will tell us much more about the railroad.