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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"...After its introduction to the state in the 1820s, the mule quickly became popular with farmers and settlers because of its hardy nature. Missouri mules pulled pioneer wagons to the Wild West during the 19th century and played a crucial role in moving troops and supplies in World Wars I and II..".
From Missouri's State Animal

The Missouri Mule, once legendary, has fallen from favor along with the U.S. Cavalry [Disclaimer: former Valle Mining Company president, the late Major General William H. Harrison, joined the Cavalry at Missou where he began his military career with horse-drawn cannon. He attended the U.S. Army Field Artillery School (USAFAS) in Fort Sill, OK which later attracted the attention of Gen. George Patton when he assembled his 3rd Army, ETO. He made Harrison his youngest general staff officer.]

In 1995 the Missouri mule was designated as the official State animal. Some have chosen to keep the tradition of this sturdy animal alive and tack and gear for them is still available. Many are fond of this unusual animal and even show their Zebra Hybrids and 'Zorses'.

The last mule to work on the property belonged to the late Tom Jarvis, our logger in 1986, who used a pink-nosed mule to skid logs out of tight places in the forest and to help position the sawlogs for easier loading onto the log trucks on the landings. Fortunately, just as we were getting lonely for more mules, we were visited not too long ago by Mr. Larry French who was kind enough to bring his mule wagon and mules to visit.

Our old Mule Barn at 14160 Valles Mines School Road

Our former Mule Barn Shown right, our old Mule Barn at 14161 Valles Mines School Road. This picture was taken in 1978 in the heart of Winter and in collapse but the stone foundation remains to this day.

We have uncovered a lot of the stone foundation and layout of the stalls. Maybe someday it will come back to life again.

Historically, though, according to Historian Steve, the barn had a very wide stairs up to the hayloft where several people could walk abreast. Once a year in Fall, the women would sweep the place spotlessly clean and his grandmother would take their team and wagon down to the railroad depot where everyone would pitch in to buy bales of cotton off the train. Then they would bring them back to the hayloft where the women would spend days if needed to make all the pillows and comforters everyone would need for winter and the next year. The men were encouraged to stay out of the way (read: moonshine time) until this crucial work was done.


The Mule Gallery

Fine examples of mulekind