GREER MILL & SPRING
Rushing water was the power that turned grain into flour and timber into lumber at the many historic mills that you can visit around West Plains. Some mills provide an interpretive history about life in the 1800s, while others simply provide a place to walk, take photos, or just enjoy the beauty and history of the Ozarks.
- Constructed in 1883
- Restored in 2016
- Sits on ridge above Greer Spring
Greer Mill & Spring
- Second largest spring in Missouri
- 222 million gallons per day
In 1859, Samuel Greer, for whom the spring is named, purchased the spring. In 1860, Greer built a gristmill at the spring.
After returning from the Civic War, he found his mill burned. He rebuilt and resumed milling operations. Around 1870, he enlarged the mill, constructed a dam at the spring, installed a turbine waterwheel, and built a three-story mill building. The mill was used to grind corn, saw lumber, gin cotton, and card wool. He trained oxen to haul loads up and down the steep slope above the spring without a driver.
As more people settled in the area, the need for flour, lumber, and other milled products increased. In 1883, he rebuilt the dam and began construction of a new roller mill on top of the ridge above the spring. Materials and equipment were used from the old mill to construct the new mill. A unique cable system was used to transfer power from the turbine wheel at the spring to the new mill on top of the ridge. This is the mill that stands today.
“The spring flows from two outlets about 250 feet apart at the bottom of a steep, shaded ravine at the terminus of the trail. The spring run drops 62 feet in elevation for 1.25 miles where it runs into the Eleven Point National Scenic River. Access to Greer Spring is via a 0.9 mile trail that descends about 250 feet in elevation along a gentle gradient from the trailhead at Missouri Highway 19.” ~ fs.usda.gov
41 miles From West Plains
Take Highway 160 east toward Alton. In Alton, turn left on Highway 19 north. Go 8 miles and the parking area for Greer Spring and Trail will be on your left. Continue on Highway 19 for .5 mile to Greer Mill. It is on the left and is easy to miss. There is not much of a parking area at the mill.
Make it a day Trip
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