Valles Mines, Missouri, U S A
Founded in 1749 by Francois Valle years before he became Commandante of the Fort of Sainte Genevieve and The King of Spain made him Don Francois Valle for saving their Fort San Carlos (now St. Louis).
270 years later as The Valle Mining Company, his 4000+ acre property every year absorbs 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide and puts out 14,000 tons of oxygen, enough to meet the needs of 63,000 people. [USDA Forest Facts]
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Roads of Valles Mines

North

Valles Mines RR Station & Post Office (now at Hwy 67), Flint Rock Mound (where Indian braves made their spearpoints), and the rock shelf that made for Finney Creek's Low Water Crossing.

The Hillsboro-Farmington Road

The present Valles Mines Road went through Buster Crossing to French Village and Ste. Genevieve. Once known as the "Hillsboro-Farmington Road", Y Highway today actually begins at Buster Crossing, goes up the mountain above the former village of Tunnel Station and over the top to the Halifax Post Office Road, closed by Wally Crowe decades ago. "French Village Road", as it was once known was the north fork and the south fork, cut by the construction of Hwy 67 near the Radio Tower, was much older. Where it went we are still trying to find out but it heads to Ste. Gen.


All that remains of the road to Tunnel Station is what we call The "Mud Road" starting at the Upper Lake. It also served as a haul road down from the mountain to The Upper Lake's Ore Washer, long since gone, while The Lower Lake remains relatively untouched as a beaver lake.

Vinegar Hill Road


Vinegar Hill Road South once served the Garottee Mines with its textbook example of the Eminence/Gasconade Ledge and joins Valles Mines Road. The Garottee Mine lies near the ruins of the former village of Prospect School, whose foundation still protrudes. Just a few hundres yards before that intersection, the famous Selma Road, the renown late-1700's haul road out of the Lead Belt, comes in from the south and continues to the Upper Lake, although now in bad repair.

Railroads of Valles Mines

Mississippi River & Bonne Terre ("MRBT") Railroad sights you would have seen had you been riding the train on the RR Right of Way.

Tunnel Station:

  • The Cemetery at Tunnel Station was served by a now abandoned County Road that connected to the Silver Springs Baptist Church on Hardin Road.
  • Tunnel Station was also served by a now abandoned County road to the Halifax Post Office Road (now Y-Highway after it crosses 67) to French Village and Ste. Genevieve.
  • Alternatively, to get to Ste. Genevieve from Valles Mines, take the "The Rock Road" past the vista at Look Out Mountain, aka, "Hill 1133, the USGS "VALLEY" marker", come out at the Radio Tower, then connect by a road (now Y-Highway after it crosses 67) through French Village to Ste. Genevieve.
  • Silver Springs Road and Berry Road Connection was at the railroad station where the MRBT crossed Silver Springs Road, just up the tracks from Tunnel Sta. past the Calzine Zinc furnace site and digs for our signature Drusy Quartz mineral.
  • Where the MRBT crossed Hardin road at Cole Lake sits Cole Field, a dirt airfield for tail draggers.
  • All the connections to French SE Missouri begin in Ste. Francois County (I wonder where they got that name?). When Ste. Genevieve County was carved up to make Franklin County there had to be an artery to get between the County seats. Although we offered MoDOT a chance to re-open this road, they declined "for now". It was formerly called "The Hillsboro-Farmington Road".