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.
Categories: Health, Science & Technology, Natural Enviroment
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
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