Valles Mines, Missouri, U S A
Founded in 1749 by Francois Valle years. 274 years later as The Valle Mining Company, his 4000+ acre property every year absorbs 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide and puts out 14,000 tons of oxygen, enough to meet the needs of 63,000 people. [USDA Forest Facts]
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OPEN: Wed. through Sunday, 10am - 2pm. CLOSED: Monday and Tuesday

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 Francois Valle's descendant would move to Sydney?

Lost History: What happened IS our mission

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.

Come visit the newest restoration, version 6

Our Mission Statement

  • To find out where everyone went or
  • to contact them and to receive their contacts, or even to bring them back home.
  • To preserve physical evidence of previous Times, Civilizations and Technologies and
  • If possible, to recreate those Eras and their events, emphasizing 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.

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,, 636-551-8705
John Harrison,

In case you were wondering, here's a Generation Chart if you need a timeline.

In 1749 Francois Valle brought French civilization here, west of the Mississippi 16 years before the English took over the East side of the Mississippi River, a culture that survives here even today. Come by the Museum. You don't have to speak French anymore. We welcome your company!