Friday, January 6, 2012

watkins woolen mill

Woolen Mill as seen from the
front lawn of the house.
      Watkins Mill, in Lawson, Missouri, is a preserved woolen mill dating to the mid-19th century. Designated a National Historic Landmark on November 13, 1966, the mill is protected as Missouri's Watkins Mill State Historic Site which preserve its machinery and business records as well as the building itself. The historic site itself is the centerpiece of 1,500-acre (610 ha) Watkins Woolen Mill State Park.
      Watkins Mill was built in 1859-1860 by Waltus Watkins, who called it Bethany Plantation. Watkins built housing for the mill workers nearby, creating one of the first planned communities in North America. The community was effectively self-sufficient, the mill producing yarn and wool cloth. The mill operated at capacity until 1886, two years after Watkins' death. From 1886 to the turn of the twentieth century production declined. Nearly all of the mill machinery has been preserved, including a 50 horsepower steam boiler that powered the factory.
Equipment set up next to 
the woolen mill.
      The site also includes the Watkins house, dating to 1850. The twelve-room 2-1/2 story house includes three staircases, the main stair detailed in carved walnut. It remained a Watkins family home until 1945.
      The Franklin School, or Octagonal School was built in 1856 and was used by the Watkins family and their employees until the mid-1870s, when it became a residence for mill workers. The unusual octagonal building was built of locally manufactured brick on Watkins land.
      The Watkins' also donated the land for Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, built in 1871 to replace a log church dating to the 1850s. Of the $5000 construction cost, more than half was donated by Watkins.
      The property became part of the Missouri state parks system in 1964, and it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
      Teachers may use the following photographs for the development of educational  Power Point presentations. I snapped fifty photos of Watkins Mill, museum and home during one of my many family trips.
      Read the Terms of Use before downloading the jpgs. and click on the thumbnails to download the very largest photo available.

Side view of the old mill.
The red barn as seen from the front
lawn of the Watkins family home.
One of two remaining barns on
the property.
Watkins family home and out buildings
Front view of the old family home.
Barn for family use only.
This is the backside of the
Watkins family home; in the
foreground are bee hives.
An out building on the Watkins family property.
The old smoke house.
Equipment inside the
smoke house.
Courtyard of the
Watkins family home.
Back porch belonging to the house.
Ring for help or dinner.
Front porch of the Watkins family
home with Christmas swags.
Side view of Watkins family home.
Garden at the back of the house.

Strange looking chickens are very cute.
Two types of fencing on the farm.

Sheep provide the wool of course.

View of Watkins Mill as you
walk into the property.
Watkins Mill Museum.
Side entrance of the Watkins Mill
Museum. The following
photographs were taken of the
Museum contents.

More Folks Visit The Old Watkin's Estate and Woolen Mill:
More History About Watkin's Mill:
Lesson Plans for Watkin's Mill:


    1. Hi!
      My name is Heather and I work for Worth Ave. Group. We’re currently holding a contest for K-12 teachers to win grants for their schools, and iPads or iPods for their classrooms. If you’re interested in participating, feel free to email me or visit the link I’ve posted below.
      Have a great day!

    2. My husband and I are going to be visiting Watkins this weekend and are wondering if photography is allowed inside the house and mill? Thanks!

    3. I do not know if they allow it inside the Mill or House. The photos that I took are of outside locations and the museum.

    4. Easter is a time of rememberance, a time of thankfulness, a time of Joy...

      Many Blessings Kathy to you and your Loved ones.

      Christaian Love - Ron and Anne

    5. Hey this is a great post . Can I use a portion of it on my site ? I would obviously link back to your page so people could view the complete post if they wanted to. Thanks either way.

      photography degrees

    6. Thanks Jeremy,

      The photos are copyrighted and can't be spread around. These are for teachers who need to develop power points, sorry.