Representing the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Alley Spring and Mill will be featured on a new quarter from the U.S. Mint. What a wonderful way to commemorate a great piece of Missouri history. I was aware Alley Springs was one of the possible choices, but the actual coin looks just great!
One of my favorite places in Missouri, Alley Springs has been a destination 44 times since 1937 for annual The Brown Family Reunion. Alley Spring & Mill will always be a special place for many of my family members to include my grandmother Sue Reed. She had fond memories of “floating watermelons in the spring pond to keep them cool,” during some of the early reunions. Alley Mill was also one of the mills that fueled her passion for painting. She would eventually paint more than two dozen mills including a couple of Alley Springs Mill.
Sue’s mother, Ella Mae Brown also loved this mill and would visit often. Ella Mae kept journals for many years and here is her words from a trip she and husband D. A. Brown took in 1942 (see photo below) .
We visited Alley Spring and Alley Cave this morning. The spring was such a deep blue today. Saw a lot of fish in the spring, hog-suckers and white suckers. Visited Round Spring at noon; it is blue too. Alley Cave is not so pretty, but is a smooth dry cavern quite a ways up the hillside. A pretty stiff climb up to it. Not many stalagmites or stalactites in it. Afternoon we spent two and a half hours in the Round Spring Caverns and the formations in there are a sight to behold. I never knew the inside of the earth could be so beautiful.
Tuesday, October 27, 1942
~Ella Mae Brown~
If you would like to see more of Ella Mae Brown’s writing about the Ozarks and the Alley Spring area, then check out my new book Born of the Ozarks.