Tower Rock has been the subject of much historical legend and lore.
Tower Rock is a natural island that sits in the middle of the Mississippi River between Perry County, Missouri and Grand Tower, Illinois.
It was formed some 400 million years ago. Now, it stands about 60 feet above the average river level.
Tower Rock has been the subject of much historical legend and lore. Jacques Marquette first wrote about the feature in 1673. Then, William Clark mapped the rock in 1803 during their travels along the river.
Lewis Clark described Tower Rock made of “limestone and the same quality of the cliffs heretofore described” and that there were “strong currents thus meeting each other form an immense and dangerous whirlpool which no boat dare approach in that state of the water…”
Researchers say a very tragic wedding happened there on April 9, 1839. The wedding party crossed the river to hold the ceremony on top of Tower Rock. As the party was leaving, their boat got caught in a whirlpool. The only survivor was a slave.
The bridegroom’s niece was also born that day. On her twentieth birthday, they celebrated on Tower Rock. Legend has it, the slave who survived the whirlpool was the birthday girl’s “special guest.” Later in the celebration, the original wedding party appeared to rise from the depths of the Mississippi River.
These days, a hiking trail leads you to a perfect place to snap a picture of the historic formation.
Tower Rock Conservation Area even has a few picnic tables where you can sit to eat right by the river.
Sometimes, if the water gets low enough, the island is even accessible by foot.