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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General Store
Main Street
Mining Heritage
Mining Museum
Lost History Museum
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Hours Open

OPEN: Wed. through Sunday, 10am - 2pm. CLOSED: Monday and Tuesday

Relive Yesteryear

Tours by appointment (call the Superintendent BEFORE you come - New Number: 636-551-8705). Please call ahead as our hours (and weather) vary from St. Louis. Our forest takes 25 minutes to drive around so we aren't always 'home'at the General Store or Museum if we are mending fences and gates. So please call ahead.

The Lost History Museum preserves and displays local artifacts from Valles Mines, one of Missouri's oldest settlements. On Main Street in this ghost town you can still tour the General Store, Paymaster's Office, and Furnace Tender's cabin, 3 log cabins, Artesian Well, and the All-Oak Miner's cabin. We keep the Smelter Chimney off-limits to children. Please do not sneak behind its fence.

The museum itself (14115 V.M.Sch.Rd.) is housed in the 1749 settlement log cabin of settler Francois Valle. Inside holds an extensive collection of photos, miniatures, and primitives and a 3D town model from our last mining era.


Exhibits you can walk into.

[Many exhibits have been moved to the General Store during restoration of the log house but tours are available. NOTE: The Museum building is undergoing chinking if you want to see a log cabin restoration tour up close. Otherwise, The Historic Collection has taken up temporary lodgings in the General store pending completion.]

Valle did more than carry lead back to Ste. Genevieve over the French Village Road.
"The following paper was read by Gen. F.A. Rozier, of Ste. Genevieve, before the Missouri Historical Society, at a late meeting in Washington University, St. Louis: After the delivery of the territory of Illinois east of the Mississippi by France to England, in late 1765, the French inhabitants of Kaskaskia, Fort Chartres, Prairie du Rocher, and Kahokia began to remove to St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve, owing to their great aversion to living under the English flag..." The Iron County Register, Ironton, MO., Thursday April 9, 1885,
[reprint coming soon]

RESEARCH NOTE: In 2020 National Geographic completed an 8-episode limited Historical Drama called Barkskins, shot as a period piece in the Nouvelle-France era. The historical sets were recreated for the filming. Notice how importantly the palisade walls protect the village. It was the frontier. [Possibly still on Hulu]
PARENTS NOTE: The show is also rated MA. "Parents need to know that the TV adaptation of Barkskins, a historical drama about early colonial life in the French territories, features lots of mature content. Characters do whatever it takes to survive, including cheating, spying, torturing, and murder." May 29, 2020 [See Parents Guide: see the review.]
A most accurate description of the era? Certainly the sets and costume reflect accurately.
"Based on the novel by Pulitzer-winner Annie Proulx, BARKSKINS follows a disparate group of outcasts who must navigate brutal hardships, competing interests, and tangled loyalties at the crossroads of civilization- late 1600s New France."

See also
Re:"the Iroquois" "The Six Nations Confederacy During the American Revolution" for background on how the 6 Indian nations, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk and later, Tuscarora tribes formed a nation, The Six Nations Confederacy. The French referred to them as the Iroquois or "Haudenosaunee" for "The People of the Longhouse." The coming of the war between England and her colonies brought new problems and concerns... [The Confederacy] did not fully understand why the English were quarreling with one another, and had no desire to be drawn into what they perceived as a civil war. Early in the revolution, Oneida leaders sent a message to the governor of New York stating:
"We are unwilling to join either side of such a contest, for we love you both, Old England and New. Should the Great King of England apply us for aid, we should deny him - and should the colonies apply, we shall refuse. We Indians cannot find or recollect from the traditions of our ancestors any like case."

But they were eventually pulled in. The British attack on Fort San Carlos (later known as Saint Louis) came with the support of a thousand Iroquois warriors.