Morley to Cape Girardeau

Point of Interest

Map submitted by Robert Barnes.

This line was built to connect Cape Girardeau with Morley, the watermelon capital of the world. Built in 1893 through thick marshes and bogs, this railway connected with an incline at the Mississippi River at Commerce to connect with the Illinois Central on the other side.

The official name for this railroad was "Houck's Missouri and Arkansas Railroad", named for Louis Houck, a railroad visionary in the area who came up with the idea for this railroad. It was ultimately merged into the Saint Louis & San Francisco Railroad, who abandoned the line soon after.

Where did you find the information on this? Because I had no idea this existed before you posted it here.

Robert Barnes
Cape Girardeau, MO


INCORRECT INFORMATION..... no ferry existed in Commerce. IC tracks only went as far as Thebes.Ferry for Houck to/from IC was in Cape. One ferry at Graysboro MO / Thebes Ill (Cotton Belt) and one a little farther south (not all the way to Commerce)for Frisco / C&EI traffic at Thebes. Frisco bought Houck's GULF LINE around 1904 or so and used it until 1934.

Fred Smith
Cape, MO


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Do you have any pictures or information about Morley to Cape Girardeau? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.