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River stage: 22.39 ft. Falling
Sunday, Mar. 29, 2015
Blog without words: Four seasons at Pomona Natural Bridge
Posted Thursday, March 5, at 7:47 PM

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River-to-River Trail Society spring hiking schedule
Posted Wednesday, February 25, at 9:30 AM

Cabin fever is a terrible thing. These upcoming hikes in Southern Illinois will help: --- Contacts: Eric Johnson, (618) 499-2337; Gillum Ferguson, (630) 470-7692 The River-to-River Trail Society announces its schedule of guided hikes in and about the Shawnee National Forest for spring, 2015. ...

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Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Not what you probably expect
Posted Monday, February 23, at 11:00 AM

New Orleans has a reputation for drunkenness and nudity during Mardi Gras season. The dirty little secret -- or maybe the clean little secret -- is that this reputation is greatly exaggerated. In reality, the wildest debauchery is only tolerated in the French Quarter. The rest of the city, believe it or not, is generally family friendly. Indeed, the parades are actually geared toward children...

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Welcome to Frog City, Illinois
Posted Thursday, February 5, at 10:00 AM

As ghost towns go, Frog City in Alexander County, Illinois, is even ghostier than most: it's barely even a wide spot in the road anymore. Nevertheless, this location along Highway 3 -- about half-way between Olive Branch and Cairo -- offers a rich history, a short hiking trail to the Mississippi River, and a chance to see bald eagles...

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Sneak peek at the Cape Girardeau County History Center
Posted Sunday, February 1, at 4:11 PM

Work is underway to convert the former Andrew Jackson Bridal storefront into the Cape Girardeau County History Center. The anticipated opening date, March 15, is rapidly approaching. In the meantime, a reception was held last Friday providing a chance to see the progress so far...

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A tale of two courthouse squares
Posted Tuesday, January 20, at 11:00 AM

Cape Girardeau County holds the rare distinction of possessing two functional courthouse squares. Both of the squares in Cape Girardeau and Jackson were designed by the same person, Bartholomew Cousin. Working as Louis Lorimier's secretary, Cousin prepared the first plat map of Cape Girardeau in 1806. ...

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A short history of Jackson's traffic problems
Posted Tuesday, January 13, at 10:00 AM

Over the years, we've seen numerous ideas floated for how to improve the traffic congestion in the center of Jackson, but very little action. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Making changes to the streets around the courthouse -- whether this involves roundabouts, stoplights, blocking streets, or tearing down a perfectly good county administration building -- may only provide limited relief for Jackson's traffic woes...

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One advantage of winter hiking: ice formations
Posted Monday, January 5, at 4:00 PM

As I write this, we've had a large rainstorm followed by an Arctic blast. Although not exactly great conditions for hiking, these two ingredients are crucial for creating a spectacular yet brief sight: ice formations. The bluffs, canyons, and shut-ins of Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois provide the rugged terrain for creating frozen waterfalls, massive icicles, and other icy wonders...

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Selected scenes from the 2014 Christmas Country Church Tour
Posted Friday, December 19, at 3:05 PM

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Follow the Christmas ornaments
Posted Tuesday, December 9, at 10:00 AM

I've stumbled across many unexpected finds in the woods, but one thing I never anticipated was a fully decorated Christmas tree. This tree is the start of a series of holiday ornaments randomly placed along a trail, featuring everything from ribbons.....

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The two Byrd houses
Posted Wednesday, November 12, at 8:06 PM

The Byrd family, as I described in a recent blog, left their fingerprints over early Cape Girardeau County history. After moving from Tennessee in 1799, Amos Byrd and his sons Stephen, Abraham, John, and Moses were able to obtain generous land grants from the Spanish government. The Byrd name quickly started appearing on maps in the form of Byrd Creek, Byrd Township, and Byrd Hills...

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Halloween at Old Lorimier Cemetery
Posted Friday, October 31, at 1:44 PM

This time of year, Old Lorimier Cemetery is more picturesque than scary -- at least in broad daylight...

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Why Andrew Jackson?
Posted Monday, October 13, at 4:00 PM

We all know that Jackson, Missouri, was named for Andrew Jackson. But the real question is: why? As we celebrate Jackson's bicentennial year, this question has been nagging me. When researching the origins of town names in Missouri, my first stop is the Ramsay Place Names File. ...

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Boy, was I wrong!
Posted Sunday, October 5, at 8:57 PM

Last year, after filming wrapped on "Gone Girl", I was concerned about how Cape Girardeau would be portrayed. In the book, the fictional setting of North Carthage is described as a pretty horrible place, full of homeless people, squatters, and druggies, along with a surplus of dilapidated buildings...

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Pilot Knob commemorates 150th anniversary of Civil War battle
Posted Sunday, September 28, at 11:23 PM

Pilot Knob, Missouri, is a small town with around 750 residents. That all changes every few years when massive crowds descend on the town for reenactments of the Battle of Pilot Knob. This year's event, falling on the 150th anniversary of the battle, was the grandest yet with approximately 1,400 reenactors participating...

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Fall hiking schedule released by River-to-River Trail Society
Posted Thursday, September 11, at 10:27 PM

--- The River-to-River Trail Society announces its schedule of guided hikes in and about the Shawnee National Forest for fall, 2014. All hikes are open to the public free of charge. Most hikes are of at least moderate difficulty, intended for people in good health who have done some walking. Boots or sturdy shoes are highly recommended. Hikers should bring their own water and a snack. No dogs, please...

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Cape Girardeau selected for unique historic preservation project
Posted Tuesday, August 26, at 10:00 AM

This has been another rough year for historic sites in Cape Girardeau. The Fountain Street log house is doomed, the Marquette building is vacant, a storefront on Good Hope Street collapsed, a Queen Anne style house on William Street was demolished, the Reynolds House is still in limbo, and the owners of the Ponder House are struggling to find a use for it...

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Tour the railroad depots of Southern Illinois
Posted Wednesday, August 13, at 8:00 PM

"Nothing was more up-to-date when it was built, or is more obsolete today, than the railroad station." -- Ada Louise Huxtable, New York Times architecture critic, 1972 In the heyday of railroading, many local towns revolved around their train stations and depots. These facilities served as portals to the rest of the modern world and, as a result, functioned as important community gathering places...

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Log house on Fountain Street: It's do or die time
Posted Sunday, July 20, at 9:09 PM

I've written before the discovery of a log house at 818 N. Fountain Street, previously hidden beneath a mundane exterior. This isn't the first time something like this has happened in Cape Girardeau. In 1994, the city condemned a house at 127 S. Frederick Street. ...

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Where did Shinbone Alley come from?
Posted Tuesday, June 24, at 2:30 PM

Among all of Cape Girardeau's streets, Shinbone Alley easily has the most colorful name. It's a shame that it doesn't have any street signs. Shinbone Alley sits a half-block south of Good Hope Street in the Haarig district. One of my college professors liked to say that Cape Girardeau is a weird city because it has two downtowns. It's true: in its heyday, Haarig was just as much a "downtown" as the commercial district on Main Street...

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The webmaster of seMissourian.com and its sister newspapers, James Baughn has lost track of the number of websites he manages. On the side, he maintains even more sites, including Bridgehunter.com, LandmarkHunter.com, TheCapeRock.com, and Humorix.
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