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Goner Message Board / Memphis / What's on President's Island?
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 6:37 am
 
I have to drive by all those nasty smoking fire plumes everyday on my way to work and I have no idea what's over there. Anybody know what's getting pumped into the air?
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 8:33 am
 
Most of that is a particular stage of petroleum processing as it's being turned into gasoline. There's other industry on the island (and east of the island), but that's what's coming out of the stacks. You should go check out Buttercup Marina. Cheap rates, interesting floorplans.
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 9:25 am
 
If you drive off the main drag into the wooded part, there is a huuuuge deer population. Drive through there around sundown and it's amazing how many you can see. But they'll chase you out of there if they see you. Worth it, though. Also, there're a couple of pretty good lunch joints.
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 9:47 am
 
is that the marina where shawn cripps had his boat? that place is completely creepy & great.
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 10:06 am | Edited by: taterhead
 
You probably see Valero Petroleum Refinery from the interstate (I-55). The island proper has a huge Cargill Corn Syrup plant, the radiation incinerator that pissed off a bunch of do-gooders, one of the biggest cranes in the U.S. and a bunch of other cool stuff. You have to drive over a causeway near the Metal Museum to get there. 80% of it is farmland/trees and ghost stories.

PI is one of the better, underrated places to see in Memphis. That and the neighborhood near the Metal Museum. And the smell of bubble gum from the Hershey Plant over there.
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 11:30 am
 
A big part of that "Memphis Smell" (which I describe as "The dog food went bad at the chemical plant") is an acrylics factory on the island.
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 12:06 pm
 
I know of a chemical company and a meat supplier on Pres Island.
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 1:17 pm
 
Glaxosmithkline, or GSK, where they make Goody & BC powders among other things.

P.S. If those stacks are working right, that's not smoke so much as steam you're seeing pouring out the top.
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 3:02 pm
 
very cool right-angled steam shooting out of that sucker the other day.
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 5:59 pm
 
My grandmother and her husband grew up on President's Island during the Depression.
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 7:40 pm
 
I hope it is mostly steam, b/c the volume of stuff coming out of the stacks is crazy! I gonna pretend it's steam anyway.
It does have an industrial allure - I like the twinkle lights and the flames. I wanna go exploring!
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 11:53 pm
 
there was a story recently about a secret submarine test facility over on the island.

plus the indian mounds/confederate bunkers next to the metal museum.
Posted: Feb 15, 2008 2:49 am
 
there is some sort of government property over there. some friends and i were chased off of it by security one night. heh. there was a huge ass crane over there that could have possibly been used for lifting subs (or maybe freight from barges?) i dunno. but it was cool.

i worked for air products and chemicals down there as a temp job. miserable. i worked with a lot of fat redneck ladies from north mississippi. heavy breathers that sweat just sitting there.
Posted: Feb 15, 2008 8:55 am
 
what's an ass crane?
Posted: Feb 15, 2008 9:09 am
 
The crane is nicknamed "Ichabad" and in the early 70's was the largest inland waterway crane in the world.
I used to work on the river in the summers when I was going to college.
I used to swim in McKellar lake until the day I saw my first gigantic gar.
He was a good 7' long and looked like a alligator.
One time we pulled a barge out of the mud when it got caught on shore after a fast drop of the river level...the biggest snake I have yet to see either in person or on tv was resting in the cool mud under the barge.
Posted: Feb 15, 2008 2:39 pm
 
I'm going to vent my fascination with that area, instead of working on a scary deadline...

Buttercup Marina is indeed the same place that Shawn rented a converted wheel boat. It was an old river tour boat, very small for such, and the owner turned it into a houseboat. If I remember correctly, it had a very slow leak that couldn't be repaired unless the owner pulled it out of the water, which he didn't want to do.

Renting a slip at Buttercup is a "who you know"/"how much of a scary fuck are you" situation, because if you call down to the marina office at 3 in the morning and tell her that you can only pay rent with a Diner's Club account, she'll tell you $495 a month, but I'm sure that can be worked down with the right combination of dubious attributes.

A floating meth lab went up next to Shawn's boat, and he had to kick it away from his while flames were shooting everywhere.

Many of Buttercup's residents have built customized floating homes - huge two-story boxes with a 25HP Mercury outboard attached to the back...and such.

The Marina is not President's Island proper; it's on McKellar Lake and you get there by taking an exit on 55, among other little routes. The island in the middle of the lake is Treasure Island, in which the population consists of lots of deer, some black bear, hunters, and perhaps some homeless outdoor enthusiasts.

...and on the other side of the lake is President's island. Martin Luther King Riverside Park is the part mentioned above. It has a small, concrete-bedded pond with an ominous blue/green color to the water.

By far the creepiest aspect of the lake is the abandoned river boats, floating casinos, and floating restaurants that are tied or grounded at various points. Some are so big that you can see them with Google satellite mapping, and when a friend of mine pulled his boat close to one, a guy with a shotgun came out of nowhere in a johnboat and told them to leave.
Posted: Feb 15, 2008 4:15 pm
 
Neat. You are making me want to go bad. Jerryd and I were kayaking in the Harbor last Saturday, and down at the far end by the airport is an abandoned tug. Totally rotten. We didn't check it out this time. The water was really high that day, so it was also mostly submerging a grounded barge. All that stuff's really cool in an eerie way. You almost feel like you're being watched.
Posted: Feb 15, 2008 10:42 pm
 
And it's the unofficial graveyard for failed floating entertainment/vacation/restaurant ventures. Buttercup Marina is an insular community. They do not like outsiders, and there's some sort of unwritten code on that lake.
Posted: Feb 15, 2008 10:47 pm
 
what's an ass crane?

As if you don't know. Next I'llshow you the penis flamingo move.
Posted: Feb 16, 2008 9:46 am
 
is mckellar lake really that bad? they saw this is the north bank.
URL
Posted: Feb 16, 2008 10:04 am
 
sorry- that should read "they SAY this is on the north bank"
Posted: Feb 16, 2008 11:04 am
 
that's probably the area right by the causeway to President's Island. It's a collection point for all the trash that drifts into the lake. And it is hideous.
Posted: Feb 16, 2008 12:17 pm
 
Fascinating.
Alisa - how come we never drove down there? Next time I'm in town we're going exploring!
Posted: Feb 16, 2008 4:30 pm
 
today me and britney went but we could only get to the area where all the trash is- how do you get to the other side?
Posted: Feb 16, 2008 5:27 pm
 
today me and britney went but we could only get to the area where all the trash is- how do you get to the other side?

See above. There's an exit for McKellar Lake off 55 South. It's the Mallory Ave exit. Go towards the river (a right), then another right at the park. It's pretty easy to Google map. Take the road through the park to the marina. Go into the Marina office/cafe and ask to see their vegan menu, tell them to swith the TV to women's tennis, then ask them to donate money to a homosexual cause of their choice. That's code for "I want a tour of the marina."
Posted: Feb 16, 2008 5:47 pm
 
thanks- tried google mapping it and it was giving up some crazy directions that did NOT get us to our destination.
Posted: Feb 16, 2008 5:57 pm
 
nope. not to our destination. just sports balls and bottles. that is it.

sports balls! heh heh
Posted: Feb 16, 2008 6:08 pm
 
Google-map "Memphis" and scan over to the area, it's pretty easy to find. It's just south of the metal museum. Or, you can take that exit on 55 South and follow the signs to the marina.
Posted: Feb 16, 2008 6:12 pm
 
today me and britney went but we could only get to the area where all the trash is- how do you get to the other side?

Were you guys down there in a blue car? If so, we were looking for it as well( black truck with a couple of kayaks on top) and saw a car with a goner sticker on it and just started laughing. After a while of driving we finally found it and talked to a guy who maybe resided there. Had it not been raining we would have dropped in the water and paddled over to the abandoned river cruise/casino? Looked kind of sketchy and I had no idea it was connected to the back of MLK park. I used to golf there all the time but never actually drove through to the other side.

Next weekends adventure( weather permitting) is paddling around the houseboats and the whole lake and trying to catch some three eyed fish.
Posted: Feb 16, 2008 6:13 pm
 
i forgot how much you love sports balls, britney.
Posted: Feb 17, 2008 10:46 am | Edited by: The Driver
 
there was a story recently about a secret submarine test facility over on the island.

Not really much of a secret - info here.
Posted: Feb 17, 2008 11:05 am
 
Were you guys down there in a blue car? If so, we were looking for it as well( black truck with a couple of kayaks on top) and saw a car with a goner sticker on it and just started laughing.

Buttercup Marina: The Voodoo Village of the 2000's. Bring your gun!
Posted: Feb 17, 2008 12:20 pm
 
Yeah, Driver, I want to go too. Alex took some out of town company there yesterday. I've never known how to get there!
Posted: Mar 26, 2008 12:15 am
 
I read this article on the "official" president's island website and thought it was worth posting on this thread. Apparently President's Island has a long history of bootlegging, gambling, and cockfighting, and Nathan Bedford Forrest may have died from drinkin' dirty island water. Good times!
http://www.piia.us/PresidentsIslandHistory/tabid/56/Default.aspx

Anyone ever been to this Port Restaurant? Looks like a fun place to fraternize with sketchy toothless barge workers....
http://www.portofmemphis.com/detail.asp?rs=&id=102
Posted: Mar 26, 2008 12:37 am
 
bootlegging

there were a TON of whiskey stills there during prohibition. feds would take boats out near there to go try to bust 'em but you could see the fed boats comin' from a long ways down the river, so they never would get the folks, just the whiskey.
Posted: Mar 26, 2008 1:19 am
 
sketchy toothless barge workers...

I've still got most of my teeth, and so did many of my coworkers, but I do remember being greeted by an absolute stranger with "got any fuck tapes to trade?"

Ah, those were the days. St Louis to Baton Rouge, pushing coal.
Posted: Mar 26, 2008 1:34 am
 
I've still got most of my teeth, and so did many of my coworkers

Sorry, no offense intended. I only mentioned the toothless part because one of the only times I've been perceived as being a lesbian (accurately, natch) was by this really insane tooth-deprived barge worker gal who rolled into the bar i worked at about six years ago and wouldn't leave me alone until her "vacation" was over a few days later. I wasn't interested, as I like my ladies toothy, but she would not take no for an answer and tried to romance me with stories of life on the barge. I have been slightly terrified of barge workers ever since.

It must get lonely out there on them barges! 'Specially if you're a lezzie. (Incidentally, the first thing that came up when I Googled 'President's Island Memphis' was a document entitled "Presidents Island Dikes and Retards", which was good for about five minutes of giggling.)
Posted: Mar 26, 2008 1:42 am
 
this really insane tooth-deprived barge worker gal

You met Wire?
Posted: Mar 26, 2008 1:43 am
 
I did a summer at Trumball Asphalt- hot as hell work.

Ate at The Port every day...
Posted: Mar 26, 2008 3:35 am
 
"Presidents Island Dikes and Retards",

ha. too bad it's a topo map. boooooooo!
Posted: Apr 21, 2008 3:03 am
 
Howdy!

I spent a lot of my childhood in the late 70s going to President's Island with my father, who's a pilot who kept a small plane on a dirt strip called "The isle-a-port" which is located on the riverside. There is a hanger, with a guy named Rusty who lived in it a lot of years. Rusty was an aircraft mechanic, who lived in an apartment he built upstairs. He had a remote controlled airplane toy that he lost, later accidentally running over the lost craft with his tractor. The tractor was cool and I use to drive it when I was about 13 or so, in that jungley bottomland by the river. This is where I learned that first gear is the best gear to go up hills.

One time when I was about 12 years old, my father took me to lunch with one of his redneck aircraft friends in a cafe on President's Is. that was half a topless bar! With topless dancers at noontime. No problem letting me sit in the restaurant side. Just a greasy spoon with tits.

I also remember my father and I exploring through on an old abandoned barge on the river. That was cool. I was just a little kid then, maybe 10 to 12 so I don't remember where it is, except that it was more or less on the end of the island.

Another interesting place to go is the Allen Steam Plant, but that place is just south of President Is. near the state line with Mississippi. My father and I (I was again, about 10-12) got stuck down there chopping wood with some piece of shit FORD van he owned and spending most of the day there. We got out finally after several hours of pushing, gunning the motor, putting pieces of wood under the wheels, and learning the word "shit."

I would like to know if there are any good bars there for the factory workers. Places with big burley men, smoking Marlboros, drinkin' PBR, listneing to Johnny Cash after a long, hot day in the plant. Would be totally gay of course, but I am sure that they are there.
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