305A: A river runs through it?

I am trying to locate a children’s book that I read as a child in elementary school in Middle Tennessee. I cannot remember the title or the author, but would love to locate the book for my students. I believe the time period was in the 1800s and it was about a girl who lived near a river that froze due to record breaking low temperatures causing the river to freeze. I thought it was about the Cumberland River (near Nashville, TN) but it might have been the Mississippi River (near Memphis) or ever the Ohio River? I remember that the book mentioned the mother warming a brick, wrapping it it flannel, and placing it in the girl’s bed to warm it prior to her sleeping.  I believe it also mentioned that horse drawn wagons were able to cross the icy river. I’m sorry that I don’t have more information; I have been looking for this book for years and would appreciate any assistance that you could provide. Thanks for your help.

8 thoughts on “305A: A river runs through it?

      • A slough, yes, but no river. OTOH, a slough is a swampy area which requires some kind of water source, so… I definitely recall Mother Ingalls wrapping a stone in (specifically) flannel to warm the girls’ bed.

  1. I wonder if it might be about the extremely cold winter of 1816, ‘The year without a summer’? Ethel Parton’s ‘The Year Without a Summer’ might be one possibility, though it’s many years since I read it, and cannot remember if it included a frozen river.

  2. I do remember them crossing a frozen river in one of Laura Ingalls Wider’s books. The day after they crossed, the river broke up. They could hear it while they were camping on the other side. That would have been at the end of the first book, ” Little House in the Big Woods” or the beginning of the sequel, ” Little House on the Prairie”. I know Ma heated bricks and wrapped them in flannel to keep their feet warm, but I forget which book. It does sound like you are thinking of ” Little House in the Big Woods”, but a lot of historical novels probably had similar incidents.

  3. Could this maybe be ‘Caddie Woodlawn’ by Carol Ryrie Brink? I don’t remember the river, but winter was very cold and I do remember the brick – although I guess that would be common in stories from this time!
    It’s set in Wisconsin and was one of my favourite books as a child.

  4. The Year the River Froze, by Christine Govan. It takes place in Tennessee (she co-wrote the Lookout Club series which also takes place in Tennessee), and the river in question is the Mississippi.

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