Monday, July 7, 2014

Tour of Missouri: Watkins Woolen Mill Reprise


 We first visited Watkins Mill this spring for our first camping trip of the season. It was a quick trip and we did not have enough time to explore the entire park, so we looked forward to returning. We visited the same park over the July 4th weekend.



We enjoyed a sunny mild day on July 4th. We biked five miles around the lake, gave The Short Chic a bike riding lesson (she can't bike The Katy Trail if she does not know how to bike),  and enjoyed the company of our friends. Saturday, July 5th was cloudy and rainy. The Boy was able to spend a few days with us before he left for a summer vacation with his dad.  So, we headed out to expose him to some history before he left. The Short Chic has to bring Elsa with us everywhere we go.

We visited the Visitor Center and learned about the Watkins family and their farm and mill. We chose to do the self guided tour but guide tours were available as well.

The rain passed over us as we were in the Visitor Center.


During the summer months at Watkins Mill volunteers participate in a living history program. As part of this program, as we approached the Watkins family home we were met with young people wearing turn of the century clothing and playing turn of the century games: croquet, ring toss, and stilts. The girls partook in a quick game of croquet on the front lawn. 


The grounds were beautiful and fresh after the rain. The volunteers had been cooking up lunch in the summer kitchen. Just the smell of the freshly baked food made The Boy hungry. Well, I am not sure what doesn't make The Boy hungry these days!


The Watkins farm still grows a heritage garden each year using seeds collected year after year just the way The Watkin's family did. We enjoyed walking around the garden and enjoying seeing many varieties of fruits, veggies, and herbs. Not since my Grandma Cooper's garden have I seen such a wonderful garden!


Not only are there plants at the Watkins family farm but there is also animals. The kids enjoyed talking to the turkey and chickens. There are beehives on property but they are replica's of the ones used by the Watkin's family. 


Many artifacts have been replicated or maintained. It really is a very pretty place to walk through.

Besides the farm house, the Woolen Mill has been restored. The windows were very unique and looked wavy. We were able to walk around and peek into the windows. Our friend Allen told us his family actually has some blankets that were made at this very mill a long time ago. 



Of course a woolen mill needs wool. On grounds of the property are sheep. 



The camping at Watkins Mill is actually very nice. We highly recommend making your reservations early and camping in the cul de sac. Take a ride around the lake.  Then go explore the farm and mill.



Missouri Miles Completed This Year: 98.
State Parks Visited this year:  6 (We have spent the night at 3. This one does not count as it is a repeat)
Miles of Biking This Year:  89.75

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