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Lum Noonkester Grist Mill ruins
Ozark Co. | Missouri | USA | 1864 or 1865
Township: Hammond | Watersource: Millrace off Turkey Creek


Lum Noonkester Grist Mill ruins
Picture: K. C. Williamson III, Ph.D.

Looking North at the west creek bank, mill remains are mostly under water.I recently visited, in 2006, Spring Valley Trout Ranch on Turkey Creek which is about one mile east of Hammond, Missouri. The owners told me that there were the remains of an old wooden grist mill located on the property.

Lum Noonkester Grist Mill ruins
Picture: K. C. Williamson III, Ph.D.

Race flume looking South at north end.The owners found the foundation when using a trackhoe to clean the gravel out of the stream. I or they have found no record of its existence and many of the people that might know are not alive. My father, K. C. Williamson Jr., has written a book (640 pages) called 'The History of a Community Called Nottinghill'.

Lum Noonkester Grist Mill ruins
Picture: K. C. Williamson III, Ph.D.

Race flume looking north at south end.In this book he describes all the original settlement families and their descendents. He identifies their origins and their contributions to the Nottinghill community. He was raised up in those hills and has researched each family history. Even, at that, he did not know of a grist mill on Turkey Creek. No one does that we are aware of at the current time.

Lum Noonkester Grist Mill ruins
Picture: K. C. Williamson III, Ph.D.

Remains of wooden dam in race flume. I do know that the original settler was Shelvy Kile in 1880's and kept in the Kile family for many years thereafter. To me, North Fork (the Hammond Mill) is not the best site for a mill, in that, it has the capability of drying up and has been dry in the past, where Turkey creek, on the other hand, has never been dry and will never go dry.

Lum Noonkester Grist Mill ruins
Picture: K. C. Williamson III, Ph.D.

Remains of wooden dam supports in creek bed.I was able to find a story on the history of the mill that had been written by Dean Wallace. A fellow by the name of Lum Noonkester had been the one who had built the mill. Calvin Williamson, my father called Dean Wallace (4-3-06) and questioned him concerning the subject. He told me Lum had married a sister to his grandfather, Dave Wallace. It seems that Lum had built that mill in about 1864 or 1865.

Lum Noonkester Grist Mill ruins
Picture: K. C. Williamson III, Ph.D.

Wooden tree nails in flume.Dean said Lum had left that area to make the Land Run in the Oklahoma Territories. I called Dean again (5-5-06), and he told me 'Lum had staked a claim down by Bixby, Oklahoma'. That run was made in 1892. I believe Dean then told me Lum had left there sometime later, and had died in California. Dean also alleged Lum may have been the one to homestead where Stony Williams lived. He said, 'Lum lived there before Stony did'.

Lum Noonkester Grist Mill ruins
Picture: K. C. Williamson III, Ph.D.

Dove-tail on race flume.As you can see from the pictures, the construction is a hand-hewn oak timber frame, assembled using mortise-and-tenons, knee braces, and tongue and fork joinery secured with tree nails (tapered wooden pins). Boy is that a mouthful of old-speak. I believe what is visible here is the race flume for an under shot wheel type of mill. The visible structure is approximately 8 by 150 feet, which may include the waste gate and wooden dam features. I am sure that there is more to be discovered.

Lum Noonkester Grist Mill ruins
Picture: K. C. Williamson III, Ph.D.

Remains of fitted mortise and tenon.Not only would this represent an exciting academic project but would increase the property value to the current owners. However, and sadly, they do not want to allow public access. Personally, I love those hills and everything they represent.

Lum Noonkester Grist Mill ruins
Picture: K. C. Williamson III, Ph.D.

Mortise slots for fitted tenons.Not only is my family history within the Ozarks, but the struggle of a people to make a life in a very unforgiving part of this nation. Our history is so important and is fast to slip away.GPS: 36 40.18'N, 92 37.93'W 745'/227 meters Thornfield Quadrangle

Take the name of Jesus with you...It will joy and comfort give you; Take it, then, where'er you go. "Take the Name of Jesus with You" by Lydia Baxter 1809-184
(From the Nazarene hymnal - Sing to the Lord)
Directions: North of US 160, 2 miles west of Theodosia, turn north on MO 95. Go through Thornfield heading east on MO 95 toward MO Jj. In 0.4 mile, turn right, after Cr 857, onto CR 844 and continue 0.9 mile., then go south on CR 855 2.5 mile to Hammond. Turn left/east on CR 850 for 1 mile to Turkey Creek. Tthe mill ruins are in the stream about 0.25 miles northeast of the Turkey Creek bridge.
 
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