Our Origin: Here in the History Museum of the old village of Valles Mines, things happen a little differently.
One day around 2001, Steve Frazier, Superintendent, and I, John Harrison, Director, 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 and, seeing the picture, mentioned they had a picture
of the building that used to stand next door.
In the year 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, 2 mills, and over a hundred mines.
But how did we get from 1749 to 2019? 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, for WW I and WW II. Short story: 270 years. How could this still be going? Perhaps the real
reason: Three Valle sisters married three Rozier brothers in the French custom and the Valle Mining Company
continued. Historically," some have said, "Valles
Mines dies only to be reborn every 50 years".
So the Museum grew and had to move next door into the old rental house next door at 14115 Valles
Mines School Road to house all the photos and memorabilia people had been so kind as to give us. But as luck would have it, one
day we found that house was not just some old building painted next door.
While repairing some storm damage to the cedar siding we could see underneath it for the first time.
And we found underneath the original settlement house - an actual 2-story log cabin, long since forgotten,
the original house built for Francois Valle and
his new bride, Marianne Billeron, a wedding gift from her father, the Mayor of Kaskaskia.
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 its Mission to find out where everyone went,
contact them, receive their contacts, celebrate their history,
or even help bring them back home.
If you have information on former residents, alive or buried in our
Cemeteries of the Villages or their surviving families, please feel free
to come by or contact us
Steve Frazier, HistorianSteve@GMail.com, 636-551-8705
John Harrison, John@VallesMines.com
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
parties at the Battle of Fort San Carlos, in the village today known as St. Louis, Missouri.
To whomever recently built
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!