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Maps of Former St. Francis Lake in Northeast Arkansas

This page is an appendix to the speculative article
1811-12 New Madrid Earthquakes, A NEO Connection?

Installed 05 Jan 2006. Latest Update 18 Nov 2006.

Key words

1811-1812 New Madrid Earthquakes, Craighead County AR, Hatchie Coon Island,
Homestead Settlement, Marked Tree Arkansas, Poinsett County AR, Saint Francis Sunk Lands

St. Francis Lake, 1889
St. Francis Lake, 1889 with one minute grid overlay

The one minute grid overlay was transferred to the larger map below
in order to show the 1889 boundaries of St. Francis Lake with reference
to current day landmarks.

This map insert was copied from a map of Crowley's Ridge at the University of Alabama Map Library



Marked Tree Quadrangle
Portion of Marked Tree Quadrangle with outline of the former St. Francis Lake

The 1889 edges of St. Francis Lake fairly well correspond to the
meander lines of 1845-1849 which are shown on the 1956 topo map.

The clear cut area near the north end of Hatchie Coon Island was apparently a Homestead Settlement back in 1908. It is accessible from the east via Craighead County Road 82, which is also known as Hatchie Coon Road. [Added 06 Jan 2006.]

About a mile east of the homestead settlement just mentioned, is an area known as Panther Island. This area is enclosed inside an oval on the topo map. Shawnee Chief Tecumseh is credited with prophesying that a continent shaking catastrophe would occur on December 16th 1811. The name Tecumseh means Panther in the sky. Anybody having knowledge of how Panther Island came to have that name please contact the author. (Does Indian history in any way connect Chief Tecumseh with Lake St. Francis?) [Added 28 Feb 2006.]

Click here to see a blink comparator of a satellite photograph of the area and an elevation contour map. Note the high ground located in the upper right hand part of the contour map. [Added 18 Nov 2006.]

At the bottom of the section of the USGS topo map, shown just above, there is a ditch located along the inside edge of the eastern levee which borders the St. Francis sunk lands. The ditch is labled "Iron Mines Creek." (This name is enclosed in a elongated vertical ellipse.) Anybody having knowledge as to whether there ever were iron mines in the St. Francis Lake area, and if so, where they were, please contact the page author. Also, on the St. Francis river, itself, near the former southern boundary of St. Francis Lake, are two annotations, "Lead Fork." (These are enclosed in the shorter horizonatal ellipses.) If anybody knows what the meaning of these notations are, especially if the words "Lead" pertain to the metallic element bearing the same name, please contact page author. [See correspondent's comments below.]
[Added 26 Feb 2006.]

According to Scott May, a member of the Hatchie Coon Hunting and Fishing Club, Inc., the 1849 meander line (shown on the 1956 topo map above) is a misnomer, because when the surveyors came in the winter of 1849, the water was too deep in the area near Hatchie Coon. This fact is reflected on the surveyor's notes available in the State Land Office in Little Rock, AR. [Added 08 Aug 2006.]

According to May, the southern "lead fork" is locally known as "Stud Horse Run," and the fact that the same name appears in two different locations may be a mapping error. He says (with respect to the word lead, as in lead forks) "It is definitely lead as in the metal. I have never heard it pronounced as in to "lead" the horse to water." [Added 08 Aug 2006.]

The hunting and fishing club, mentioned above, is located on the west side of the St. Francis river, southwest of the lower "lead fork." On the 1956 topo map, it is located inside the red rectangle. [Added 09 Aug 2006.]

If there were any lead or iron mines, however temporary, in the Hatchie Coon/Saint Francis Lake area, then there may be old photographs, news clippings, or other narrative materials relating to them. These could be tucked away in albums or stored in other keepsake stashes. Any readers who can find any materials of this nature, which provide dates, names, locations, etc., of the mines, is heartily encouraged to contact the author. They can be incorporated on this webpage. [Added 08 Aug 2006.]

In this light, the author was told by a CPA in Marked Tree, AR that Chief Tecumseh had a son (or nephew) who lived in the northeast Arkansas area, who had written a book (or pamphlet?) about matters related to the 1811-1812 earthquakes. A copy of that document would be very helpful. [Added 08 Aug 2006.]

Contact Robert Fritzius at fritzius@bellsouth.net


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