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Watkins Mill MO

 Photos Courtesy Mike Sinnwell March 2015

I took a leisurely stroll around the grounds. Due to construction in the mill and other areas I was unable to go inside. I was curious as I happened to be working on a restoration project at the Greer Mill in South MO and I wanted to see what they had done to the mill. No such luck. Maybe next year.

Waltus Lockett Watkins settled here on an 80-acre tract. The wooded hillsides were once grazing areas for Watkins livestock, while the creek-side valleys of white oak, sycamore, bur oak, walnut and slippery elm once provided lumber for Watkins' mill and the many other buildings in the small community he created.

Its main feature is the three-story woolen mill, the only 19th century textile mill in North America with its original machinery still in place. In fact, both mill and machinery are in such excellent state of preservation that the site is a National Historic Landmark, as well as a National Mechanical Engineering Historic Landmark.


The site also preserves the Watkins farmstead. A visit to this living history farm offers a glimpse into 19th century agriculture, technology and family life. Period gardens and orchards featuring heirloom plants and seeds have been introduced along with various breeds of livestock, some now rare and endangered.