Mud Island, across the old Wolf River channel before you, began to be formed by the Mississippi River around 1900. By 1916 there was concern that it would grow so far south that it would block access to the harbor, so the island was connected to the mainland and the Wolf River was diverted to run between Mud Island and the mainland to keep the channel open.
In 1958, much of the western portion of the island was removed to make way for the new Hernando Desoto Bridge (Interstate Highway 40), and the Wolf River was cut through the north end of the island, creating the present still-water harbor you see.
Mud Island Park, directly in front of you, is owned by the City of Memphis. Construction began in 1977 and was completed in 1982 at a cost of $63 million. It celebrates the history and the culture of the lower Mississippi River and contains a museum, an amphitheatre, shops, restaurants, play areas, and a scale model of the Mississippi River which runs the length of the park. Access is by the pedestrian bridge or monorail to your right.