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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The Tiff Ponds

Two 10-acre lakes, now known as Lake Mina and Beaver Lake, support largemouth bass and pan fish. Both are manmade and the dams came from rock hauled in from the mines from the ore-dressing operations for lead and barite ("tiff"). The Lower Lake has a huge natural artesian spring flowing out of the bottom of the lake. You can see how much water is coming out by checking the spillways. Needless to say, the lake has been adopted by local beaver colonies and has shallow 'kiddie pools' closest to the road in spring for the new arrivals to train in. The Upper Lake has been characterized by Conservation as marginal Wetland habitat and is visited by Canada geese annually. The Lower Lake is spring fed with a gravel bottom making it capable of supporting trout. In the near future we hope those released grow to a native population.

With almost 8 sq. miles and ruins of former villages, we are still mapping the abandoned county roads, graveyards, and schoolhouses where the old villages stood. Since many trails were made with crushed rock from the crusher and tiff mills at this site, they are still quite usable today. To see a bigger version of the picture above, Click Here. Recently the Upper Lake was drained and the dam maintained, and, for the visiting geese, an island added in the middle of the lake.