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ajayhawkfan 07-18-2011 09:41 AM

Pictures of Southern Missouri (Mills) over a hot July weekend.
Last Wednesday I received a call from business customer of mine about a new project that he was planning. During the call the conversation turned to motorcycle riding. He mentioned that he and a few of his friends were leaving Thursday morning from the Branson, Missouri area and was heading to the Little Sturgis Rally in Kentucky. They were going to stop in Cape Girardeau, MO for the night. There is a brew pub in Cape that I have been wanting to try so I asked him if he would mind if I joined him and his friends for dinner Thursday night. With his answer, I cleared my desk off and was out the office door at 2:00. I pack and was on the road by 3:00. It was hot when I left, 95 degrees but got hotter as we headed east. I rode the slab to Washington, Missouri for the night. That evening I walked to a nice bar/restaurant for dinner and a few beers.

The next morning I was up and out fairly early. My plan was to ride mostly gravel and dirt to Cape and stop at a number of historic mills along the way. Cape is only 135 miles SE of Washington however my route was ending up being 235 miles because I headed SW to visit Paydown (Pay Down) Mill.

What I could find out about Paydown was that is was build by Charles Lane in 1820 and was the first mill and distillery in the area. He also was the first slave owner in the area.

Some of the "works" in the basement.

The mill had to go through a number of changes over the years. I believe originally the mill was powered by a waterwheel and later a turbine replaced the waterwheel. The turbine would be at the bottom of the shaft and covered by mud.

From Paydown I headed SW towards Hahns Mill.

ajayhawkfan 07-18-2011 10:38 AM

Headed SW with my goal of visiting Hanhs Mill. I stuck with my goal of riding the roads only the locals know. Soon I noticed the area had to have been hit by a downpour sometime yesterday: the roads were no longer dusty, puddles were everywhere and water was running in the ditches along the roads. My route took me to a water crossing along the Bourbeuse River.

I could tell the water was up and stained from the recent rains. I decided to check out the depth before crossing. I waded into the water and decided to reroute when the water came up to my knees.

Hahns Mill was a bust. It was torn down years ago. However, there was a fun water crossing on the Castor River. The water was crystal clear and deeper then it looked.

A short distance away along the Whitewater River was an old Baptist (?) Church,

also the Heitman (Dollie) Mill that is being lost to vegetation:

Heitman Mill was owned by Matthias Bollinger and finished in 1828. The mill dam was built by slave labor (maybe the mill was as well). Originally the power was from an over shot wheel but later changed to a more efficient turbine. The grinding stones were shipped in from France.

Moses Bollinger purchased the mill from Matthias in 1835. In 1854 Moses dies and the heirs could not agree to see the mill so it was sold at a sheriff's auction to John Dollie. The Dollie's kept it in the family until they sold half interest to William Heitman in 1899.

I had a few more mills I wanted to visit however it was getting very hot and steamy and running a little late to meet my friend. I headed to Cape to meet up with my friend. In town I checked my messages and found the motel where they were staying. You know you are not staying at the classiest place in town when there are there signs outside your door.

rhino_adv 07-18-2011 12:38 PM

I love the old mills! Southern Missouri is so beautifull, thanks for sharing!


kcc 07-18-2011 12:49 PM

I grew up in Jefferson City and since moving to Colorado I've really only been back to Missouri during the holiday seasons. Man, it looks hot, green and buggy there this year! I have to admit I miss the fireflies, but not the chiggers - remember waking up nights from those damned evil bugs :huh

Cool to see the water and the old mills, man... thanks for the pics.

ajayhawkfan 07-18-2011 01:19 PM

After showering we started loitering outside our rooms, even if the sign forbid it, having a few drink and waited for the cab to take us downtown for dinner. The cab driver was surprised the flood gates were open when we got there. They had been closed for a while. Before going to dinner we checked out the Mississippi River.

In 2003 Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge was opened over the Mississippi River at Cape. It is a cable-stayed bridge. The largest span is 1150 feet and total length is 3956 feet. There are 171 miles worth of cables used on the bridge.

The flood wall at Cape.

After checking out the river we went to Buckner Brewing for drinks and dinner. I was disappointed they did not have an IPA on tap so I ordered samples of the 7 beers they had on tap. I enjoyed a porter the most and when dinner arrived I ordered porter to go with the Cajan seasoned ribeye. It was a good combination. After dinner we walked to a bar with a deck the bartender recommended, had a few drinks and when back to the motel.

I travel all over the country and have found brewpubs tend to have good to great beer and better then average meals. I use this site and this app all the time while traveling.

To be continued.........

Lab-Kid 07-18-2011 02:20 PM

I have always enjoyed Cape. One of my favorite restaurants used to be there but, unfortunately, it closed a few years ago (best lobster bisque ever).

I think you and I may have been traveling some of the same roads this weekend.

Thanks for posting up the pictures.

ajayhawkfan 07-18-2011 07:22 PM

The next day my friends and I parted way. They went to the Little Sturgis Rally in Kentucky. I decided to head up the Mississippi to see the mill I missed yesterday, a few waypoints that I have stored in my GPS and anything else I come across.

My first stop was in the little town of Old Appleton where there is an old bridge, over Apple Creek, build in 1879, It is now part of the city park.

Next I came across "Schnurbusch Karst Window". A Karst is a geologic feature where bedrock is resolved leaving a void (cave). The Schnurbusch Karst Window is a collapsed cave exposing and underground stream. It is on the grounds of St. Joseph Catholic Church in the village of Apple Creek originally called Schnurbusch.

From here I went east towards the Mississippi and stumbled upon upon Altenburg, MO one of 7 communities in the area settled by 750 Saxons in 1839. Saxony is an area of Germany south of Berlin. They came to Missouri for religious freedom. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod traces it origin to Altenburg. Their first Concordia Seminary is a log cabin preserved along main street. It was built the same year the Saxons settled in MO:

I went further east to another Saxon settlement on the Mississippi River called Wittenberg. There was not much left of Wittenberg but a boat landing on the Mississippi and it was flooded. As you can see it was recently higher.

I went a little south to Tower Rock. It was a very cool road to the rock.

Tower Rock is a unique formation in the Mississippi River. Passing Tower Rock for Mississippi River Boatman is a cause for celebration similar to crossing the equator for seaman.

When the water is low you can walk to the rock. In high water like it is in the picture, extremely dangerous whirlpools are created below the Rock that tugboats captains avoid.

A few facts about the Rock:

In 1673 explorers Marquette and Joliet pass the rock in a canoe. Local "savages" warned them that a "demon that devours travelers" was in the water.

In 1803 Louis and Clark passed the rock. Lewis reported the rivermen passing the rock had to either supply spirits to be drunk or be dunked in the river.

General Grant passed by the rock numerous times while he confronted Confederates during the War of Northern Aggression. He must have had some affection for Tower Rock because when he was president in 1871 it came to his attention that the Corp of Engineers were going to blast it out of the river to improve navigation he issued a presidential decree saving Tower Rock for public use.

After leaving Tower Rock I headed upriver looking for McClannahan Mill.

To be continued.......

ajayhawkfan 07-19-2011 09:52 AM

From Tower Rock I headed upstream trying to stay as close to the Mississippi River as I could. From a distance I could see a large bridge but I knew of no car or RR bridge in the area. My GPS did not show any either. When I got closer I realized it was a bridge that carried a natural gas pipeline:

This is the Grand Tower Pipeline Bridge, claimed to be the "Worlds Longest Pipeline Suspension Bridge". It is a suspension bridge built in 1955 and still carries natural gas. It supports 2 thirty inch pipes. The longest span is 2,161 feet. The "wings" are for cables to keep the pipeline from swaying horizontally.

I continued following the Mississippi River upstream. I was zig-zagging through the bluffs and hills following the river the best I could. I came across and old general store in Farrar, MO. According to the website the store has been restored and converted into a B and B.

To be continued.....

wimj 07-19-2011 10:46 AM

great stuff!
Thx for the RR. So good to see places where I'll probably never be through the eyes of a fellow mc-ist! :clap

ajayhawkfan 07-19-2011 12:54 PM

I never could find McClannahan Mill but I did find some incredible roads cut through the hills and bluffs all along the river. (When I got home I checked on the coords of the mill and mine were correct. From aerial views it looks like the mill is on in private property and not visible from the road.)

I have ridden along the Mississippi River many time over the years, including the Great River Road from Memphis to Lake Itasca, the river's headwaters, and have never been disappointing with the roads. The hills and bluff along the river are all wonderful places to ride.

I also enjoy the history along the river. My next stop was Ste. Genevieve, MO, founded between 1722 and 1749. Ste. Genevieve has the greatest concentration of original French Colonial buildings in North America and is the only surviving French Colonial Village in the United States. Ste. G. is the oldest permanent European settlement in MO and one of the oldest west of the Mississippi. History of Ste. G

The Greentree Tavern (Nicholas Janis/ Janis-Zigler House) is an example of French Colonial vertical log construction. It is believe to have been the first Masonic Lodge west of the Mississippi in 1809.

Much of Ste. G. had been defined by flooding over it history:

The top red line states "Aug. 6, 1993 49.74" The sign is along the road to the ferry at the edge of downtown.

There is so much history to see in Sainte Genevieve it is worth visiting and staying a night or two as I should have. However I pushed on in the heat of the day.

While I was in town I checked to see if anyone has "tagged" the last picture from the KC area Photo Tag game. No one had so I turned my back to the river and headed towards Hodgson Mill in south central, MO hoping to grab the "tag". My plan was to stay the night at Salem, MO however the two nice motels were booked so I ended up riding to Licking, MO. Before checking in I rode to the Licking Milling Company in downtown Licking.

The Licking Mill was erected in 1882 and had the capacity of 40 barrels a day. It was a steam powered mill. The boiler is still in the the building however can't be fired. The mill is being restored and the equipment on the first floor can be run.

Licking or "The Lick" as it was originally known derived it name from a buffalo lick. Buffalo were plentiful in the area up to 1835.

To Be Continued......

DirtFarmer 07-19-2011 03:22 PM

We shared some of the same roads when I went down on the 4th, I was having a blast when things went south. I was planning on going around New Madrid and see where they blew up part of the levee, I friend of mine sent me some pictures.

That is a pivot irrigation system, there is some videos on Youtube showing the Corp blowing the levee at Bird's Point.

ajayhawkfan 07-19-2011 04:25 PM


Originally Posted by DirtFarmer (Post 16432988)
We shared some of the same roads when I went down on the 4th, I was having a blast when things went south. I was planning on going around New Madrid and see where they blew up part of the levee, I friend of mine sent me some pictures.

That is a pivot irrigation system, there is some videos on Youtube showing the Corp blowing the levee at Bird's Point.

We need to do more riding together.

JackJack 07-19-2011 05:16 PM

Nice RR! It's making me a bit homesick, though. So where did you stay near Licking? I don't recall there being any hotels in the area, though I suppose that could have changed in the 20 years I've been gone.

ajayhawkfan 07-19-2011 06:14 PM


Originally Posted by JackJack (Post 16433743)
Nice RR! It's making me a bit homesick, though. So where did you stay near Licking? I don't recall there being any hotels in the area, though I suppose that could have changed in the 20 years I've been gone.

Licking has two places. I stayed at Scenic River Inn. It is less then 10 years old and clean but nothing fancy. The other place at the intersection of US 63 and MO 32 called Country Inn. It is a much older place. I have not stayed there in years.

RAGBrian 07-19-2011 08:43 PM

Great RR. I see some new places that need me to explore in the future! Especially south of Ste. Gen (I lived there 2 years and didn't get really south of St. Mary's; other than on I-55 towards Memphis).

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