Alley Spring

I spent the weekend watering young trees, the vegetable and flower gardens, and young bushes. Our yard is like a blast furnace, and it’s all we can do to keep up with the watering to make sure everything survives this heatwave. On a break from watering I found this picture that I took in Missouri a few years ago.

“What a coincidence,” I thought. “That’s the same amount we need every day for the watering!”

Ok, so maybe not that much, but it sure seems like it.

Alley Spring, near Eminence, Missouri in the Ozarks, rises up out of the ground into a large pool,

and then flows into a stream.

The area was first occupied by native Americans, and then settled in the 1830s by European immigrants from Tennessee. In 1868, the first mill was built to grind the local farmer’s grain. It was powered by the flowing water from the spring. Soon, a small town grew up around the spring with a post office and blacksmith. In 1894, the present mill was built,

a state of the art mill for its day, with power derived from the spring via a turbine,

instead of a waterwheel, and with rollers instead of stone grist stones for processing the farmer’s grain. Farmers from miles around came during harvest time with their families to have their grain turned into flour or meal, and they would camp near the spring and stream for several days.

While the adults caught up on local gossip, the children played with each other, and the young adults formed relationships that sometimes led to marriages. With the passing years, the town grew with the  addition of a school and  a general store. But in early 1900s, the town’s growth slowed as need for the mill’s services declined. The spring continued to attract visitors though, and for a time from 1913 and into the 1920s, there was a commercial resort that attracted patrons from as far away as St. Louis. The mill closed in about 1950.

Today, the spring still attracts visitors to walk the trails beside the stream,

marvel at the rushing cold spring water,

and tour the mill,

which is not operational, but is under restoration.

Hope this little trip back in time, along with the pictures of the cold spring water eases your heatwave woes.

—–>Tomorrow:  A tour of a lumber baron’s late 19th century mansion atop a high hill overlooking the Mississippi River. See you then!


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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20 Responses

  1. Lee Ann L. says:

    What a pretty place!

  2. If only I had a spring in my garden!!!
    Thanks for the cool refreshing water views.

  3. Vivian says:

    Ahhh! Doesn’t that water look refreshing for hot, tired feet? Is the spring water actually blue, like it looks in the 1st picture?

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Vivian,
      The blue is the area where the water is coming up out of the ground. It is crystal clear, and in deep pools appears a pretty blue.

  4. Lynn says:

    I’ve been there!! We used to go there on vacation all the time when I was little. Boy is that water COLD! I am from Southern Illinois, and new to your web site. I have been to Hermann Mo and many of the places you talk about. We have just moved to Laramie, Wyoming, so I have lots of beautiful pics too. Love the peach pie pics too. My friend just mailed me some peaches last week from IL and I made a pie too!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Lynn,
      There is a sign somewhere that says you can’t swim there, but the water is so cold I can’t think anyone would try!
      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Teresa says:

    I’ve actually been to this one, but I think I was sixteen the last time I was there. Your pictures are just beautiful, and I had no idea of all that history.

  6. Stephanie says:

    What a pleasant place! Cool for snapping beautiful pictures 😀 With water gushing sound… I can imagine this place to be a good place for picnic also. Hope it was not too cold when you were there he he… Btw, I like the red mill building both the colour and the strong structure.

  7. Glenda says:

    Whew! I feel better already! Will come in tonight after watering and look at these photos once again. They are refreshing!

  8. Melanie says:

    Loved the red mill–I have always wanted to see one of those in person!! Now I know where to go!

  9. That looks like a very pretty place to visit. I love any place with trees and water and rocks….so beautiful! The mill house is gorgeous!

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