Since the late 1800s, houseboats and shacks began to appear along the banks of Pigeon Creek, from its mouth to at least Maryland Street. To some Evansville residents, they created an eyesore, and others were concerned that substandard housing might produce other hazards. Over the decades, attempts were made to remove the houseboats and shacks, but they eventually returned to the creek. In March 1957, the Evansville Redevelopment Commission served condemnation notices and evacuation orders to the “shanty dwellers”
in a move dubbed “Operation Houseboat.” In May, city firemen burned the abandoned shacks and boats, and the unconventional “neighborhood” that had existed along Pigeon Creek was just a memory.