We have visited Tower Rock and taken photos and videos on these dates:
February 9, 2003
January 20, 2011 (river not low enough)
August 25, 2012
and January 6, 2018.
The river has been low enough to walk across 9 times since 1988: 1988, 1989, 1990, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2014, and 2018.
To get to Tower Rock, drive State Highway A through Altenburg, Perry County, Missouri, and continue until you see a sign for Tower Rock, turning right onto the gravel road which is County Road 460. The road will end at Tower Rock. Across the other side of the river you can see Grand Tower, Illinois.
In this video of Tower Rock, you will see:
1) 2012 videos
2) Video of a walk across the top of Tower Rock!
3) 2012 photos
4) Video of barge from the top of the rock
5) More photos from 2012
6) 2011 photos with the river up, unable to cross, and a view from the look out (to get to the lookout, cross the railroad tracks and drive down the road further away).
7) 2003 photos, it was snowing
This video of images and videos was taken in 2018.The river is not low enough to cross, but it is frozen enough to cross! Oh, I was leery to walk on ice, but everyone else was doing it! Now, there is that saying, "you don't have to do what everyone else is doing."As I walked across the ice, I first noticed large cracks and my leery soul thought again for a moment. As I continued to walk, I realized people had tried hard to break the ice, so I felt a little safer. That is, until I reached the other side and the water was flowing! (see it in the video) People were also walking across the ice to the right of the rock. I made a panorama with 5 photos. Oh, and someone was out there with a drone and I want to find it to see if we are on it.
The earliest mention of Tower Rock is the French missionary Jacques Marquette in his journal in 1673, "...we found ourselves at a river called ouaboukigou, The mouth of which is at the 36th degree of latitude. Before reaching it, we passed by a Place that is dreaded by the Savages, because they believe that a manitou is there, — that is to say, a demon, — that devours travelers; and The savages, who wished to divert us from our undertaking, warned us against it. This is the demon: there is a small cove, surrounded by rocks 20 feet high, into which The whole Current of the river rushes; and, being pushed back against the waters following It, and checked by an Island near by, the Current is Compelled to pass through a narrow Channel. This is not done without a violent Struggle between all these waters, which force one another back, or without a great din, which inspires terror in the savages...." Marquette and Jolliet talked to the local natives who warned them that demons would devour them, and that they offered sacrifices to the demon to appease.
In 1679 Henri de Tonti(LaSalle's faithful lieutenant) and several missionaries placed a large wooden cross at the top of Tower Rock , calling it Le Cap de Croix, or Rock of the Cross, to prove to the natives that the Christian God was more powerful than manitou. Lieutenant Tonti had lost his hand in battle and the natives called him "Iron Hand." In 1699 St. Cosme, a French explorer and missionary discovered the cross stolen and replaced it.
Other names include Tower Rock, La Roche de la Croix (rock of the cross), Castle Rock, Devil's Tower, Rock of St. Cosme, and Passage of the Cross.
A legend is told that a Wyandotte brave was loved by a Fox Indian, but she was already promised by her father to another Fox. She climbed Tower Rock and leaped 62 foot to her death in the waters below, to which he followed upon learning of her death, giving the rock the name of "Lovers Leap."
Lewis and Clark also visited Tower Rock noting in the journals on Nov. 25, 1803, “Arrived at the Grand Tower a little before sunset, passed above it and came too on the Lard. Shore for the night.” The next day Lewis described Tower Rock made of “limestone and the same quality of the cliffs heretofore described” and that there were “strong courants thus meeting each other form an immence and dangerous whirlpool which no boat dare approach in that state of the water…”
I found the below videos from other people on Youtube.