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.