Valles Mines, Missouri, U S A
Founded in 1749 by Francois Valle years before he became Commandante of the Fort of Sainte Genevieve and The King of Spain made him Don Francois Valle for saving their Fort San Carlos (now St. Louis).
270 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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Our Geologic Origins

Why Here? Stratigraphy - What's Down There Is Up Here Now?

Over one million years before mankind even walked on the earth, a staggering local seismic upheaval broke the Earth where Valles Mines would later be found. Huge pieces of broken plates, like if you dropped a stack of china plates, tilted the extensive hypogene cave system hundreds of feet under the ground. What should have lain forever deep in the ground below pushed up to the surface, but instead of Godzilla, we got lead sticking up from the surface. Native American tribes apparently traded the shiny galena nuggets and word of this new commodity made its way to Francois Valle, a French merchant in Canada. So he came here to trade and then settled here to stay.

Before the Highway 67 Interchange at V Road was built you could still see the Valles' Mines Fault on the east side of Highway 67 south of the exit. The Fault exposed red Potosi rock on one side and blue Eminence on the south side. While faulting in rock units occur all over the Earth, this faulting is unusual in that it has been used as a textbook example of a 'reverse thrust' fault, meaning it's backwards, a very rare occurence where the deep layer ends up on top! What came to the top? Lead ore. Some of the most geologically perfect minerals on our planet. Galena nuggets the size of Volkswagons made up of 99% pure ore with an impurity of...silver! Get some at our Rock Shop.


Stratigraphy - What's Down There?
We have on display some of the cores from the Diamond Drill's work in 1914 that brought us the Artesian Well.