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 Valley Where Time Stood Still


  • HOURS: OPEN Wed. through Sunday, 10am - 2pm. CLOSED: Monday and Tuesday

Lost History: What happened IS our mission

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?

Our Origin: Here in the History Museum of the old village of Valles Mines, things happen a little differently. One day we 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 1749 to 2019? 270 years? Valle sent lead back to the Revolutionary War, his descendants sent lead to WW I and WW II and in between. "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 cabin next door at 14115 Valles Mines School Road to house all the photos and memorabilia people had been so kind as to give us. Then one day, we found that wasn't just some old white building next door. While repairing the cedar siding we found the old building underneath - an actual 2-story log cabin, the original settlement 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 5.2.

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, or even bring them back home.

Valle did more than carry lead back to Ste. Genevieve over the French Village Road.
From the Iron County Register, Ironton, MO., Thursday April 9, 1885,
"The following paper was read by Gen. F.A. Rozier, of Ste. Genevieve, before the Missouri Historical Society, at a late meeting in Washington University, St. Louis: After the delivery of the territory of Illinois east of the Mississippi by France to England, in late 1765, the French inhabitants of Kaskaskia, Fort Chartres, Prairie du Rocher, and Kahokia began to remove to St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve, owing to their great aversion to living under the English flag..."
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!

RESEARCH NOTE: In 2020 National Geographic completed an 8-episode limited Historical Drama called Barkskins, shot as a period piece in the Nouvelle-France era. The historical sets were recreated for the filming. Notice how importantly the palisade figure in to protect the village. It was the frontier. [Watch on Hulu]
PARENTS NOTE: The show is also rated MA. "Parents need to know that the TV adaptation of Barkskins, a historical drama about early colonial life in the French territories, features lots of mature content. Characters do whatever it takes to survive, including cheating, spying, torturing, and murder." May 29, 2020
A most accurate description of the era? Certainly the sets and costume reflect accurately.
"Based on the novel by Pulitzer-winner Annie Proulx, BARKSKINS follows a disparate group of outcasts who must navigate brutal hardships, competing interests, and tangled loyalties at the crossroads of civilization- late 1600s New France."

See also re:"the Iroquois" "The Six Nations Confederacy During the American Revolution" for background on how the 6 Indian nations, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk and later, Tuscarora tribes formed a nation, the Six Nations Confederacy. The French referred to them as the Iroquois or "Haudenosaunee" for "The People of the Longhouse."
"The coming of the war between England and her colonies brought new problems and concerns... [The Confederacy] did not fully understand why the English were quarreling with one another, and had no desire to be drawn into what they perceived as a civil war. Early in the revolution, Oneida leaders sent a message to the governor of New York stating: "We are unwilling to join either side of such a contest, for we love you both, Old England and New. Should the Great King of England apply us for aid, we should deny him - and should the colonies apply, we shall refuse. We Indians cannot find or recollect from the traditions of our ancestors any like case."
But they were eventually pulled in. The British attack on Fort San Carlos (later known as Saint Louis) came with the support of a thousand 'Iroquois' warriors.