MO—Visit Missouri: Alley Spring & Mill By Aaron Johnson, Joel Anderson, 2023
- MO—Visit Missouri: Alley Spring & Mill
The scenic Alley Mill, or "Old Red Mill" is located in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The Mill is operated as an Ozarks history museum. The community is named after John Alley, a miller. Alley was home, farm, and school for people who lived there a century ago. Dances, baseball games, and roller skating were all part of Alley’s busier days. John Knotts purchased the 80 acre site in 1902 and diversified the enterprises to include a well-stocked store and blacksmith shop. A mill was vital to community life, where grain was ground to provide the daily bread. The present building was constructed during 1893-1894 by George Washington McCaskill as a merchant mill. Originally unpainted, it was first painted white with green trim, then later the famous red color associated with Alley Mill today. The process of converting wheat into flour at the mill was lengthy and time-consuming. The farmer brought his grain, either wheat or corn, to the miller who made an agreement to either buy the grain or make a trade. Often he would take a “toll” or percentage of the grain in exchange for grinding. Since the water supply of Alley Spring was constant, it seemed to be an ideal place for a mill. Free water power provided energy for the machines; however, recurring floods made the operation only marginally successful. To celebrate the iconic mill, the artists of Anderson Design Group created this classic design in the style of vintage 20th-Century travel posters and retro art. Enjoy the art as a framed print, canvas, metal sign, postcard or note card. To learn more about Missouri or to plan a trip there, check out the official website for Visit Missouri.