1893 - Present
Alley Spring is the seventh largest spring in Missouri, discharging approximately 81 million gallons of water per day. This continuous flow of water provided enough power to operate a grist mill, and one was constructed in 1868 to support the town of Alley and its population. Around 1894, George Washington McCaskill built the present standing mill to grind corn rather than flour. McCaskill’s mill replaced the grist operation with that of a roller mill, considered at the time to be a superior technology and was more profitable since the area farmers primarily grew corn, not wheat. The roller mill ceased operations in 1918, and the property was sold shortly after to the newly created Missouri State Park system. In 1971, the site was incorporated into the National Park System.
The mill first stood unpainted, and then was coated in white with green trim and eventually coated in its iconic red color. The “old red mill” and spring have created one of Missouri’s most iconic scene’s that has been seen and photographed by countless visitors. Although the mill equipment is no longer operational, tours of the facility give patrons a glimpse into the mechanics of an Ozarks roller mill.
Date: 1893 - Present
Subject: Mills; State parks--Missouri; Water mills; Water mills--Missouri--History
Collection Name: From the Darkroom: Springfield's Historic Newspaper Photographs
Contributing Institution: The Springfield News-Leader
Copy Request: Transmission or reproduction of items on these pages beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the Springfield News-Leader: 651 Booneville, Springfield, Missouri, 65806. (417) 836-1100.
Rights: The photographs in this collection are the property of the Springfield News-Leader, and are protected by copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property laws. The collection is provided solely for personal noncommercial use. You may not use the photographs within this collection in a manner that constitutes an infringement of the Springfield News-Leader's rights or that has not been authorized by the Springfield News-Leader. More specifically, unless explicitly authorized in these Terms of Service or by the owner of the materials, you may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, translate, sell, create derivative works, exploit, or distribute in any manner or medium (including by email or other electronic means) any material from the collection. You may, however, from time to time, download and/or print one copy of individual pages of the collection for your personal, non-commercial use, provided that you keep intact all copyright and other proprietary notices. For information about requesting permission to reproduce or distribute materials from the historic photograph collection, please contact the Springfield News-Leader.