Valles Mines, Missouri, U S A
Founded in 1749 by Francois Valle years before he became Don Francois Valle.
The Valle Mining Company's 4500 acre property every year absorbs 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide and puts out 14,000 tons of oxygen.
This is enough to meet the needs of 63,000 people. [USDA Forest Facts] Site Map

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The Paymaster's Shack

The Paymaster's Shack

Where early miners and prospectors came to stake their claim when they were starting out or to sell their ore later on if successful. Here the Paymaster graded, weighed and purchased ore for the Valle Mining Company and set credit policy for the General Store. The amounts bought, sold and owed remain to this day in ledgers which can be seen at the Lost History Museum across the street.

For security, the Company drove a thousand handcut nails into the face of the front door (see close up when you visit).

Jesse James - The Legend

At the end of a pay period miners came here to be paid out by the Paymaster after settling their outstanding debts with the Company for their housing, staples, and equipment such as pick axes and later dynamite during the era when Valles Mines was called "Boom Town".

The Paymaster's office held a safe, a safe periodically robbed by highwaymen. On one occasion, however, the safe was even blown open with dynamite. No doubt that was one reason Superintendent "Two Pistol Pete" Frazier carried those guns - to keep law and order down in the valley on Pay Day.

Legend has it that one of the robbers had been Jesse James, whose hideout in a cave in the area across the now Highway 67 is common knowledge. Possibly the same cave hid Sam Hildebrand, whose band of Confederates shot it out with Federal troops at the first General Store, a log building from long before the Civil War.

Today - The Drop Box

The Drop Box is located in the front door of the building. You can't miss it. Someday when we don't have rural mail delivery anymore, or we bring our Post Office back where it used to be next door, it will be a mail slot - again.