On Saturday we took off to the south to see how many state park points we could pick up for the Pocket Ranger Passport Challenge. Unfortunately, the app is still a bit buggy and we never were able to get credit for this one. Still, without playing with the app, we never would have ended up here, and it is way cool!
I'm not a serious photographer, but it seems to me that this is a great site for people who really want to explore and take pictures of "abandoned" stuff without being lawbreakers. I know you. You are the people who dare your friends to do dangerous things while you act as "lookout".
I will pretend I played lookout here while Francis took pictures. I'm glad I married a journalist, because it is fun to watch him work!
Missouri Mines State Historic Site is the old processing plant of the former St Joe Lead Company. You don't actually go underground at this one, as you do at Bonne Terre Mine, and most of the site is closed to the public. You can see a lot from the area where you are allowed, though.
The museum is in the old power plant/locker room. Half the museum is mining equipment and half is a huge collection of minerals, plus a gift shop. On the mineral side, they left some of the lockers and showers. Behind the shower you can see the theater where you can watch a movie about mining (I assume - we didn't watch it).
You may remember some of this mining equipment from Bonne Terre Mine. If your kids like Museum of Transportation and/or digging for treasure, they will probably also enjoy Missouri Mine State Historic Site. I remember some kids I used to babysit went through a "heavy duty machinery" phase.
The shovel below can turn in a full circle with only 20' of space and only needs 7' headspace, if I remember right. The machine above is a locomotive. Like Bonne Terre Mine, a work day was a certain number of tons loaded. You loaded a one or two ton cart so many times, and then either you were done for the day, or you could load more for overtime pay.
Jesus Christ, Marie! They're minerals!
Ok I just had to get that out of my system. Moving on!
There are probably THOUSANDS of mineral samples here, and every time I see a museum collection of minerals, I marvel at a geologist/mineralogists ability to memorize stuff. Seriously, I cannot imagine how hard to you had to study for tests in college.
I can't leave off without giving an honorable mention to the dioramas, because I am a big nerd who loves some dioramas.
Missouri Mines State Historic Site is located at 4000 State Highway 32 in Park Hills, MO, which is about an hour south of St Louis. You can find the museum admission and hours on their website.