My friend and I recently visited Sam A. Baker State Park and on our way back home to St. Louis, we stopped at the Missouri Mines State Historic Site in Park Hills, Missouri.
Southeast Missouri is home to some of the largest naturally occurring lead deposits in the world so it is no coincidence that Missouri is the Nation’s primary source of lead. In order to show how important the mining of lead was to this area, the historic site was developed. Missouri Mines State Historic Site encompasses what was once Federal Mine No. 3 that was last owned by the St. Joseph Lead Co. The plant was built in 1906 in an area known as the Old Lead Belt. Operations ceased in 1972 due to the lack of ore in the area. New mining operations opened in the New Lead Belt near Viburnum, Missouri.
There is also a museum on site and for a small fee you can go inside and learn about the history of the Old Lead Belt. The Old Lead Belt encompasses several Southeastern Missouri counties. The first mine opened in Mine La Mott in the early 1700’s.
After operations ceased, the land was donated to the State. Much of the land was used to create St. Joe State Park. St. Joe is one of two Missouri state parks that allows off-road vehicles. You can see my post from that state park HERE!
I wished there would have been some signs or plaques outside explaining some of the buildings as I couldn’t go in the museum since I had my pup along. It is my goal to one day visit all of Missouri state parks, it was a nice stop and good to cross it off of the list of “places to visit” 🙂
Be sure to check out the Missouri State Parks website for more information!
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