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 1928
A small turbine mill built in 1928 by Walter Klepzig sits alongside Rocky Creek. Son of a Prussian German immigrant, Walter was a forward thinker, introducing barbed and woven fench wire and a refined breed of milk cow to the area. He sawed his own logs into boards to build his house and out-buildings. He even saved good boards to build coffins for neighbors. He would grind corn for free for neighbors who could not afford to pay.
Klepzig Mill was a sawmill house built by nailing vertical planks to a hand-hewn sill at the bottom and a sawn two-by-four plate at the top, replacing the customary log built structure of its time. Its foundation is piers of uncut and unmortared native stone.
“In a spectacular setting, surrounded by the rhyolite rock of the ‘shut in’ canyon made by Rocky Creek. It is a lasting testament to the hardships of every day life in the Ozarks in a time not so long ago.” ~ National Park Service
62 miles From West Plains
Take Highway 63 north toward Willow Springs. Just before Willow Springs, take Highway 60 east toward Mountain View. Stay on Highway 60 for 36 miles. Turn left on Highway 19 toward Winona. Go through Winona then turn right on H Highway. Stay on Highway H for 8.5 miles then turn right on NN Highway. In 4 miles, turn left on County Road 522. The mill is less than a mile on the right. (Not recommended for motorhomes or trailers.)
Make it a day Trip
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