Valles Mines, Missouri, U S A
Founded in 1749 by Francois Valle. 274 years later The Valle Mining Company's 4000+ acre property every year absorbs 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide and generates
14,000 tons of oxygen, enough to meet the needs of 63,000 people. [USDA Forest Facts]
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The Paymaster's Office - 14116 Valles Mines School Road 63087

The Paymaster's Shack This is the building where a prospector came to stake his claim on mining rights. Usually a miner had his group picked out as mining was very physical so they then would head over to the Company store for toolsprovisions, and blasting powder (dynamite was invented in 1867). The Paymaster's Office was also where miners sold their ore if their mine was successful. Here the Paymaster graded, weighed and purchased ore for the Valle Mining Company and set your credit policy for the Company Store. Actual records in the form of ledger books showing the amounts bought, sold and owed remain to this day on exhibit at the Lost History Museum.


For security, the Company drove hundreds of handcut nails into the face of the front door (see close up when you visit).

Jesse James - The Legend

At the end of a pay-period miners came here to be paid out by the Paymaster after settling their outstanding debts with the Company Store for their housing, staples, and equipment such as pick axes and blasting powder. After dynamite became commonly avilable, Valles Mines was called "Boom Town".

But back to Jesse James and his Bushwackers who were hiding out in a cave in the area, across from what is now Highway 67. That safe was mighty tempting so one night they blew it open. No doubt that was one reason Superintendent "Two Pistol Pete" Frazier, a real person there, carried those guns to keep law and order down in the valley on Pay Day.

Possibly that same cave had hidden Sam Hildebrand, whose band of Confederates held the last shoot-out with Federal troops at the Company Store across the street.

Today - The Drop Box

The Paymaster's Shack
The Drop Box is located in the front door of the building. You can't miss it because it's the former mail slot.
Walk around and enjoy our little History Park.
(And feel free to drop your Museum donation into the Drop Box if we're not open.)

P.S. You can buy any of our books in person at the Company Store but don't waste a trip! Call 636-551-8705 before you come.