Railroad Tie Raft Floats down a Missouri River - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Doniphan, MO -- Gia Hill Reports

Railroad Tie Raft Floats down a Missouri River

September 2, 2006 -- 6:15 PM CDT

DONIPHAN, MO -- About 20 rivermen got together in Doniphan, MO, to make a railroad tie raft.

Two hundred fifty railroad ties were assembled to create a 200-foot long raft that floated six miles along the Current River.

"It hasn't been done in nearly 70 years, said riverman Ray Hastings.  "It's been 75 years exactly since Howard Steen brought down the last tie raft on Current River."    

Riverman Robert Kirby said that he's glad to be a part of such a historic moment.

"We've done this once before...six years ago, said Kirby.  It's just something that people got the idea...trying to reenact the tie raft, and just do something that hasn't been done in a long time."

It took the 20-plus rivermen about two hours to make the raft, and the raft set out to float around 11 a.m. Saturday.

"Everybody loved it the first time," said Hastings.  "We thought we'd give the ones who didn't get a chance to see it last time another chance to see it, and we just enjoy doing historic things," he added.  

He said that building the raft pays tribute to the oldtimers who came before him.

"It's a lot of hard work in remembrance of what our ancestors did a hundred years ago."


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