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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The Valley Where Time Stood Still

Exhibits
Restoration
GhostTownReborn

Lost History: What happened IS our mission

Day by day, we reconstruct, map, and document the town and times of Valles Mines, 2nd oldest village of the Lead Belt in Southeast Missouri. Actual physical artifacts are brought to us by former residents and their family members or visitors who come from all over the world (Australia, 2018, New Zealand May 2019, London, June 2019). Who would ever have suspected that they would someday return to bring us their stories... Or Francois Valle's descendant would move to Sydney?

Our Origin: Here in the History Museum of the old village of Valles Mines, things happen a little differently. One day we left the front door open while sweeping. For fun we had just hung our first (read: only) historic picture on the wall. A former village resident stopped in and, seeing the picture, mentioned they had a picture of the building that used to stand next door. In the year that followed, this scene repeated itself over and over. Soon we were on our way to reconstructing a pretty good picture of the old days of Valles Mines and its 74 buildings, 2 mills, and over a hundred mines. But 1749 to 2019? 270 years? Valle sent lead back to the Revolutionary War, his descendants sent lead to WW I and WW II and in between. Historically, they say, Valles Mines dies and gets reborn again every 50 years. Come visit version 5.2.

So we grew and we had to move next door into some old white building (14115 Valles Mines School Road, Valles Mines, Missouri 63087) to house all the photos and memorabilia people had been so kind as to give us. Turns out, that wasn't just some old white building next door. While repairing the cedar siding we found the old building was actually an old log cabin underneath, perhaps the original settlement house built for Francois Valle and his new bride, Marianne Billeron, a wedding gift by the Mayor of Kaskaskia.

Our Mission Statement

  • To preserve physical evidence of previous Times, Civilizations and Technologies and if possible
  • To recreate those Eras' events emphasizing how they lead to Demise or Prosperity, and
  • To provide enough context from the Era to avoid its mistakes or content ourselves with its successes.

For centuries people have come into contact with Valles' Mines, lived there, mined there, passed through, died there, or descended from those who did. They number well into the thousands, scattered all over the world now. The Lost History Museum has made it its Mission to find out where everyone went, contact them, receive their contacts, or even bring them back home.

Valle did more than carry lead back to Ste. Genevieve over the French Village Road.
From the Iron County Register, Ironton, MO., Thursday April 9, 1885, "WHEN MISSOURI WAS OF THE TERRITORY OF LOUISIANA - As Things Were a Hundred Years Ago"
"The following paper was read by Gen. F.A. Rozier, of Ste. Genevieve, before the Missouri Historical Society, at a late meeting in Washington University, St. Louis: After the delivery of the territory of Illinois east of the Mississippi by France to England, in late 1765, the French inhabitants of Kaskaskia, Fort Chartres, Prairie du Rocher, and Kahokia began to remove to St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve, owing to their great aversion to living under the English flag..."
In 1749 Francois Valle brought French civilization west of the Mississippi 16 years before the English took over the East side, a culture that survives here even today. If you know someone interested, bring them to town and come by the Museum. You don't have to speak French anymore. We welcome your company!