By Amanda Layton - Perryville News
As the Mississippi River continues to drop to historically low levels, artifacts long submerged have been uncovered near the shores of the massive waterway.
A couple on an afternoon stroll late last month stumbled across such a find when they located the remnants of a ship that apparently sank long ago and came to rest on the Missouri side, within walking distance of the bridge that spans from the Boise Brule Bottoms of Perry County to Chester, Ill.
“On Sunday, Dec 23, we discovered the remains of an old shipwreck on the west bank of the Mississippi River, on the Missouri side, a little more than quarter mile south of the Chester bridge, between the bridge and the old Gibbar dry dock area,” said Donna Lintner, a Perry County resident who found the partially exposed ship.
“It is a wooden hulled vessel over 100 feet long with a little more than half still in the water,” she said. “You can see old square-headed nails and spikes and a small pile of bricks that must have been part of the cargo.”
The bricks themselves found resting with the ship have a history all their own.
They are stamped “LFB WKS” and below that “NO A.” This stands for the Louisville Fire Brick Works, a Kentucky based company that has been in operation for close to 125 years.
Based on the estimated age of the bricks, it is presumed the Southern Clay Manufacturing Company, formerly known as the Tennessee Paving Brick Company, located in Robbins, Tenn., forged them in the early 1900s at the Robbins Brickyard.
The company forged bricks for many different regional plants.