Alley Spring and Mill, Missouri
December 28, 2011
Photographer: Curtis Jamison
Summary Author: Curtis Jamison
Nearly 60 percent of the state of Missouri is underlain by soluble carbonate rock. Karst features such as caves, springs, sinkholes and losing streams were created when groundwater dissolved these soluble rocks -- primarily limestone and dolomite. It's estimated that as many as 6,000 caves and 3,000 springs are found in Missouri. Shown above is Alley Spring, just west of Eminence, which has an average daily flow of 81,000,000 gallons of water. Over a hundred years ago, this flow was used to power a gristmill. Mills commonly used large water wheels for their power, but Alley Mill used a 35 in (89 cm) diameter Leffel Water Turbine, which could develop greater power. Unlike a water wheel, the speed of the turbine could be controlled by adjusting the volume of water falling through a gate. The Mill was closed in 1918, after the surrounding area was logged off. It was then sold to the Missouri State Park system. In 1971 it was transferred to federal ownership. The mill is open to the public just during the summer months; however, the spring is open to visitors all year long. Photo taken on September 23, 2011.
Photo details: Nikon D-40 camera; 1/5 sec. exposure; f/22; ISO 200; 18mm lens; five images stitched together form one panorama.