Pavement Ends
James Baughn

More than you wanted to know about Bird's Point

Posted Monday, May 2, 2011, at 12:55 PM


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  • Very interesting. I grew up in Mississippi County and appreciate the history. I look forward to future blogs.

    -- Posted by RickBlumenberg on Mon, May 2, 2011, at 5:31 PM
  • Been waiting for the James Baughn take on the Bird's Point mess. Great stuff as usual, James!!

    -- Posted by John R Cash on Mon, May 2, 2011, at 5:41 PM
  • I grew up in Mississippi County as well. There is a lot of this history I've never heard before. Thank you for posting it, can't wait to read more and I'm going to put that book on my "To Get" list. Any idea when the next installment might be? Rick Hess - CHS Class of 70

    -- Posted by Btlfld on Mon, May 2, 2011, at 7:38 PM
  • Thanks, as always, for the perspective.

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Tue, May 3, 2011, at 8:48 AM
  • I enjoyed the history of Bird's Point. My Grandmother was born there I think in 1904.

    -- Posted by TDT on Wed, May 4, 2011, at 1:59 PM
  • It would be interesting to know what the original agreement was with the landowners when the levee was constructed and what they were paid. I've known all my life that this was an emergency floodway, so they had to also. Have you got this information up your sleeve?

    -- Posted by slim_pickens on Wed, May 4, 2011, at 7:33 PM
  • My grandfather, glen pete eddleman was the last resident of birdspoint. I spent my childhood there and still visit. His father, walter, moved the family from vandalia mo to birdspoint via the river. They stopped there for the winter in 1919. He worked on the highway and built a small house for his family and never left. They lived there until 1972 flood and after that he luved just across levee in a tralor on the curve by mr richardson farm. He loved that river and made his living from it fishing and unloading fuel off barges with bill franklin. His house was on stilts level with the hardroad and sometimes we took a boat from levee to get there during floods. I have many pics from the area and even more memories. Thank u for the trip down memory lane.

    -- Posted by MarkSparkyEddleman on Sat, Nov 7, 2015, at 8:39 PM
  • I'm a Cotton Belt historian researching Birds Point. There is a 29 year gap in the railroad history. The flood of 1909 took out the transfer point, but the railroad did not abandon the line from Wyatt to Birds Point until 1938. The other thing that no one knows about is the oil pipeline built on the old Cotton Belt right of way from Wyatt to Birds Point. The pipeline was built during World War Two to facilitate the transportation of oil by barge. What I have found on the internet is fragmentary. But the old time tables don't lie. Ed in Kentucky

    -- Posted by Edwin Cooper on Thu, Jul 27, 2017, at 11:46 AM
  • Edwin Cooper. The pipeline u speak of did not go all the way to wyatt. It followed the railroad towards wyatt but only went to a download terminal just a half mile past where levee is today. There were several giant tanks to hold the fuel until loaded on trucks and taken to the filling stations. The tanks were removed in the late 80s. My grandfather worked the terminal for years. There is still pieces of pipe and valves there. The ground has risen 2ft since 1972 burying most of the railroad and pipe.

    -- Posted by Sparky Eddleman on Sun, Feb 4, 2018, at 4:46 PM
  • Sparky Eddleman were you there in 1941 when the pipeline was laid on the old railroad right of way from Wyatt to Birds Point? Pipelines work both ways. The pipeline was pulled up between Wyatt and the oil station by the time you saw it. The Cotton Belt Special Instructions from the 1940s give loaded oil tank cars a speed limit of 15 miles per hour on the Wyatt Subdivision. The oil trains to Wyatt are noted in two books: Fred Frailey's Blue Streak Merchandise and Twin Streaks of Rust by Joe Webb. You can find Webb's book in the East Prairie and Charleston libraries in the Special Collections. A retired railroader at Scott City gave showed me the location of the oil track in Wyatt where the tank cars were unloaded. And a couple of retired railroaders in Scott City used to drive truck for the oil station when it was a distribution center. The oil station was partially destroyed by an explosion on October 22, 1974. My fourth research trip to Birds Point, Wyatt, and Charleston will be later this year.

    -- Posted by Edwin Cooper on Fri, Jun 1, 2018, at 2:16 PM
  • There is a Spring 1952 aerial photo on the "Remember East Prairie When" Facebook page, see August 10, 2016. It shows a backwater flood and shows a Cotton Belt oil train in the East Prairie siding facing north. The retired Cotton Belt employees at Scott City told me the standard procedure with a loaded oil train was to take it from Malden to East Prairie, park half of it in the siding and take the other half to Wyatt to unload into the pipeline. Then the process would be repeated with the second half of the train. I don't know when the oil trains stopped running to Wyatt, but 1941-1952 is known.

    -- Posted by Edwin Cooper on Tue, Jun 19, 2018, at 9:38 AM