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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Relive Yesteryear

Tours by appointment (calling Steve's cell at 573-631-6875 works best). Please call ahead as our hours (and weather) vary. Our forest takes 25 minutes to drive around so we aren't always 'home'. And even Steve eats lunch eventually. So please call ahead.

The Lost History Museum preserves and displays local artifacts from Valles Mines, one of Missouri's oldest settlements. Walk down mainstreet of this ghost town and visit the general store, payroll office, smelter, furnace tender's cabin, or other historic sites.

The museum itself is housed in the 1749 settlement house of Francois Vallee. Inside is an extensive collection of photos, miniatures, and primitives and a 3D town model from our mining era that has somehow come back again and again over the centuries, from WW II to the Big Lode Mine (closed before 1898). From 1725-1974 a lot of mineral production in our region came from the Potosi-Eminence Mineralization in Valles Mines.

"In 1780 great great great great Uncle Ferdinand was taken by Indians as a child. I hope someday we find your long lost cousins. And for that matter, whatever happened to Marguerite Valle? "

Click here for more on The French & Spanish Colonial Era


Exhibits you can walk into.

  • Exhibit:Local photos, ledgers, artifacts and documents from the 1800's forward. Many local residents or their descendants have donated their family portraits and work pictures of times past. Valles Mines has former residents and their families all over the world.
  • Exhibit: Mining artifacts. Hand mining on your back all day, blasting with black powder packed in holes made with star drills, eventually steam tools and always brute force. "The men were bulls!"
  • Exhibit: Diamond drill cores from 6 drill holes. Of course the famous one is the Artesian Well now. In 1911, the steam powered Diamond Core Drill struck an underground river making the Artesian Well. You can see it today at the foot of the hill where the Museum stands, where it still flows today.
  • Exhibit: 'Mineral Blossoms' (drusy quartz) gathered from Mines on the property.
  • Exhibit: The present General Store. Before the Tornado sucked up the original building, [CIVIL WAR REENACTMENT SITE] Confederate Bushwacker Sam Hildebrand and his men shot it out with Federal troops during the Civil War.
  • Exhibit: The Paymaster's Shack, a small building with a big history (14116 Valles Mines School Road, Valles Mines, Missouri 63087). Jesse James blew the safe. His hideout cave lies a few miles due East. Scheduled for Rehab Phase 1, Summer 2019.