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]
Site Map

You Are Here:  Home : Our Mining Heritage : Diamond Steam Drill

The Artesian Well and the 6 Deep Drill Holes

The Valles Mines Artesian Well

Deep Drill #1 1914: The Valle Mining Company decides to prospect for lead ore deeper down than its surface mines, hundreds of feet deep down into the Bonne Terre Formation. The question: "Does the Viburnum Trend lead reach this far north in the Lead Belt?" A steam-powered diamond core drill at the time was the only way to go. At first, the day proved nothing. Over and over, the decision came down. "We'll go deeper!" 100, 200 400, 800 feet deep they drilled, still nothing. Then came that sound... The sound of water! At 840 feet they struck an underground artesian river. What was once a dry drill hole transformed into a river. Water came gushing out at 75 gallons per minute, enough to fill a modern day drywall bucket in 4 seconds.

50 years later the Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources traced the source of the water 200 miles back to an underground river in Arkansas. That river feeds this well from deep within the aquafer. The Artesian Well flows today and people drive hundreds of miles, even from Illinois, to fill their water jugs. The oldest man in town attributes his old age to the water, drinking it every day. To see how pure it really is and what's in it, Click Here

Try the video The Well flowing. 90+ years later, even during the worst drought, the well 
            continues to produce.

105+ years later, even during the worst drought, the well continues to produce. Nearby wells recently have diminished its volume but the purity and rare flavor endures to this day. A great place for a microbrewery if you know someone...

The 2 Mysteries of Drill Hole #2

Deep Drill #2 Not only did they strike water in Drill Hole #1 but a mile away by the Big Lode Mine Drill Hole #2 struck 6 feet of lead. Although the largest lead nugget at Valles Mines was the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, this would be even bigger. No one ever pursued this prospecting discovery and Drill Hole #2's exact location has been lost. However, based on old maps and surveys, it is located about 100 feet south of the Frazier Quarry (formerly the Big Bill twin shafts) towards the Big Lode Mine. The precise depth of the strike was never determined either. It remains a project for a metal detector as the 10 foot tall iron casing that guided the drill remains in place waiting for its rediscovery.