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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

We can scratch Devil's Island off the list

Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012, at 9:48 PM

I discovered last winter that the causeway to Devil's Island near McClure, Illinois, had partially collapsed, making it difficult to reach the island on foot.

Since then, the partial collapse has turned into a total collapse. The whole southern end of the causeway is simply gone.

There's no jumping across this gap, even with the Mississippi River at a ridiculously low stage. It might be possible to wade across the channel at a point downstream where the water is shallower, but otherwise Devil's Island is now reachable only by boat.

I've had good luck spotting bald eagles here, but the lack of access to Devil's Island makes this state wildlife area much less appealing. On the other hand, the wildlife population should be happy that fewer humans will be tromping around the island.

Meanwhile, the low river stage has fully exposed a wrecked boat on the mainland opposite Devil's Island.

This shipwreck is located upstream from the failed causeway, or immediately north of the abandoned farm building. The boat doesn't appear to be particularly historic, but it's still a peculiar sight.

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Always enjoy your local interest postings and pictures. Looking on Google Earth it looks like this wreck is visible in 2005 and 2006.

-- Posted by Paul Nenninger on Sat, Oct 13, 2012, at 10:33 AM

I don't expect this island was that much of a priority if the causeway was in as bad of a condition as it was. That shipwreck might still be interesting to see, though. Any many such shipwrecks happened along bends along the river or actually anywhere on the river considering the prevalence of wood ("snags" they were called) that floated up and down the river. Prior to steel hulled boats is was extremely expensive to own such boats and metal (usually iron clads) were the exception, not the rule.

Now that I think on it though, it might also have been a loose barge. Many of them sank and the boat owners didn't even bother to let the people keeping track of which barges sank (I'm not sure if that's the cast today though.)

-- Posted by AtheneBelle on Thu, Oct 11, 2012, at 4:43 AM

Thanks for the update on the failed causeway furnishing access to Devil's Island. That's sad, but with the current economic situation in Illinois, it is doubtful that any improvements will be made in the near future if ever.

-- Posted by tuffoldbird on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 10:35 PM

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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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