After shooting the two photos the paper ran, I wandered around shooting portraits of anyone I encountered. Those photographs were never published and languished in my files until I retired from the newspaper business in 2008.
They were some of the first frames I digitized. I didn’t think anyone would be interested, but then I decided to try to find the grownup versions of the kids I had captured half a century earlier.
That journey introduced me to hundreds of people who still had roots in a “community of love” that had been washed away by the floods of 1973 and 1993. Smelterville is gone, but its memories survive, kept alive in the memories of former residents who come from all over the country to periodic reunions.
You can get copies from three local area places.
Annie Laurie’s Antique Store, 536 Broadway Street, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63701; Phone 573-339-1301, $20 in person.
Pastimes Antiques, 45 Main Street, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63701; Phone 573-332-8882. $20 in person. They are able to take credit card phone orders and mail them for $30, which includes shipping and handling.
Cape Girardeau County History Center, 102 S. High Street, Jackson, Mo., 63755; Phone 573-979-5170. $20 in person; $30 to cover shipping and handling if mailed. Unfortunately, they are unable to take credit card orders.
Here are posts I’ve done about Smelterville
- Smelterville 1967: where are they?
- A church in Smelterville
- I found Billy and Margaret
- Another cleanup
- Lohmann Fixture Company
- A 1929 railroad bridge in Smelterville
- Consolidated Grain and Barge
- Faye Powders discovers her mother
- Clinton Wren remembers Smelterville
- Rose DePree: “We didn’t know we were poor”