I was getting tired of driving up and down this long country road that went through the Mark Twain National Forrest in Missouri just looking for a sign, a post, anything that said turn here to go to Falling Spring Mill. Nothing could be found in the least to tell you where this place was except for a map sitting in the passenger seat of my car. Finally I decided to take this lonely looking road off to my right. This road snaked down this forest filled mountain side and ended up in a valley that, surely would have made an Ozark family happy as a lark to settle down in. After a later reading up on this area, that is just what happened back in the 1850s.
There it was standing just as it did back in 1927 when it was built, Falling Spring Mill. It is really the youngest mill in Missouri. You can see the falling spring behind the old mill that gave it its power for grinding corn in those early days as well as saw shingles and firewood. The mill is owned and run by the Forrest Service today. I guess it was worth the search to find this little gem of a place, so if you plan a ride to this neat little nook take a good map with you.
Farewell to the bushy clump close to the river
And the flags where the butter-bump hides in forever;
Farewell to the weedy nook, hemmed in by waters;
Farewell to the miller’s brook and his three bonny daughters;
Farewell to them all while in prison I lie–
In the prison a thrall sees naught but the sky.
Shut out are the green fields and birds in the bushes;
In the prison yard nothing builds, blackbirds or thrushes.
Farewell to the old mill and dash of waters,
To the miller and, dearer still, to his three bonny daughters.
In the nook, the larger burdock grows near the green willow;
In the flood, round the moor-cock dashes under the billow;
To the old mill farewell, to the lock, pens, and waters,
To the miller himself, and his three bonny daughters