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Shelandra Y. Ford
Historical Markers of Shelby County

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Wedding Of The Waters

A great celebration marking completion of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad occurred here May 1-4, 1858. The festivities attracted 25,000 spectators and included a symbolic "wedding of the waters" at the Court Street Wharf, with firemen from cities along the Memphis & Charleston route pumping Atlantic Ocean water, drawn from (Continued) Charleston Bay, into the Mississippi River. One contemporary account hailed the celebration as "the greatest demonstration of popular joy" ever witnessed in the Mississippi Valley. Numerous Memphians, including Col. John T. Trezevant, Robert C. Brinkley, and W.B. Greenlaw, were important investors in and promoters of this railroad, which was highly successful.