Valles Mines, Missouri, U S A
Founded in 1749 by Francois Valle in the French Upper Louisiana before Lewis and Clark. 275 years later the Valle Mining Company's 4000+ acre property every year absorbs 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide and generates
14,000 tons of oxygen, enough to meet the needs of 63,000 people. [USDA Forest Facts]
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The Valley Where Time Stood Still

"GhostTownReborn" from January, 1947

Day by day, we restore, map, and document the town and times of Valles Mines, 2nd oldest village of the Lead Belt in Southeast Missouri. Actual physical artifacts are brought to us by former residents and their family members or visitors who come from all over the world (Australia, 2018, New Zealand May 2019, London, June 2019). Who would ever have suspected that they would someday return to bring us their stories... Or that a Francois Valle descendant would move to Sydney, Australia?

Lost History: What happened IS our mission

Our Origin: Here in the Lost History Museum of the old village of Valles Mines, things happen a little differently. One day around 2001, Steve Frazier, former Superintendent Of Lands for 35 years, now Museum Curator, and I, John Harrison, Director of the Valle Mining Company, left the front door open while sweeping. For fun we had just hung our first (read: "only") historic picture on the wall. A former village resident stopped in to buy a Mushroom Hunting Permit and, seeing the picture, mentioned they had a picture of the building that used to stand next door. In the months, and now years, that followed, this scene repeated itself over and over.

Soon we were on our way to reconstructing a pretty good picture of the old days of Valles Mines and its 74 buildings, several mills and smelters, and over a hundred mines [see map on left of the mountain and its miles of its cave system, now being surveyed underground (Inside the Garotte Mine].

TIME CAPSULE: Go Back in Time [Coming Soon]


1749 But how did we get from 1749 to 2024? Back in 1749, Valle smelted and sent lead back to fight the Revolutionary War to make the United States. Decades later, his descendants smelted and sent lead for the fighting that kept the United States going, through WW I and WW II. Short story: 276 years of lost history is being found. How could this still be going? Some say three Valle sisters married three Rozier brothers in the old French custom and the Valle Mining Company continued. Historically, some have said, "Valles Mines dies only to be reborn every 50 years". WW I and The Spanish Flu ended zinc mining operations but it was not from lack of ore. Some say Welton Rozier, president of the Company died prematurely in 1928, taking all the secrets with him. WW II restarted minor lead production .

AS far as the Museum, it grew and moved next door into the old house next door at 14115 Valles Mines School Road, housing all the photos and memorabilia people had been so kind as to give us or we found. Serendipitously as luck would have it one day, we found a lost log house under the Museum's cedar siding. Not just some old building painted white, Valles original settlement house.Repairing storm damage to the cedar siding let us see underneath for the first time in 124 years when the annex was added to.... To what? "Hey, what's this under here?"

Thus we found under the 124-year-old cedar, the original settlement house, a 2-story log cabin long since forgotten, the house originally built for Francois Valle and his new bride, Marianne Billeron as a wedding gift from her father, the Mayor of Kaskaskia in 1749.

The Lost History Museum of Valles Mines, N001693115

Our Mission Statement

  • To preserve physical evidence of previous Times, Civilizations and Technologies and
  • if possible, to recreate those Eras and their events,
  • emphasizing through education, celebrations, recreations, music, exhibitions, websites or other digital and analog media,
  • how they led to Demise or Prosperity, and to collect enough context from the Era to avoid its mistakes or content ourselves with its successes.
  • To find out where everyone went or to contact them and to receive their contacts, or even to bring them back home.

For centuries people have come into contact with Valles' Mines, lived there, mined there, passed through, died there, or descended from those who did. They number well into the thousands, scattered all over the world now.

The Lost History Museum has made it one of its Missions to find out where everyone came from and went, to contact them, to receive their contacts, to celebrate their history, or even help bring them back home.

If you have information on former residents, alive or even buried in our Cemeteries of the Villages or their surviving families, please feel free to contact us.

Steve FrazierHistorianSteve@GMail.com636-551-8705

In 1749 Francois Valle brought French civilization here, a culture that survives even today, having crossed to the west side of the Mississippi River as the British colonized the East side for the next 16 years. He later fought and defeated their war parties at the Battle of Fort San Carlos, in the village today known as St. Louis, Missouri.

To whomever recently built Ballpark Village on top of Fort San Carlos, the LHM will be building our own fort replica and reenacting the battle some day here on the Museum grounds.

Everyone else, please come by the Museum for the goûter hour (currently coffee or a chocolate shake at 4PM).
You don't have to speak French anymore to enjoy le goûter. We welcome your company!