Day 2 @ Watkins Mill, discovering the Mill.

Lawson Travel Blog

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Cobble stone lane to the mill.

We woke up early this morning and decided to go to the mill and browse around a bit. Here's some brief history of the mill:

Waltus Watkins & his wife Mary Ann Watkins built a whole plantation after marrying in the mid 1830's. After returning to Waltus' home town of Liberty, MO the happy couple soon started having children and decided to sell the mill and relocate 16 miles north of Liberty to what he named Bethany. His family moved to a 80-acre farm and quickly decided to start a cotton farm, but the winters were too cold for cotton. So Waltus turned to woolens. By 1850, Bethany had grown to 3,400 acres. With the success of its livestock, crops and orchards, Waltus constructed a brick kiln, a gristmill, a saw mill, a new family home and a new woolen mill.

Field near the lake.
Also during this time, Waltus contributed to the establishment of a community school, The Franklin Academy, which was built adjacent to his land. In 1871, a final structure joined the area surrounding Bethany---A Baptist Church for which Waltus donated the land and much of the building costs.

In 1884 Waltus died and the land was divided among his 2 sons, who continued with its daily operations until 1931. The property exchanged hands until 1964, when it became a state historic site and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966. The most amazing thing about the Mill is that it has ALL of its original machines.

We headed back to camp to get the stuff we needed to go swimming. After swimming we went back to camp and that's when the day went bad. First I had a flat tire, no one around us would help.

Watkins home.
They were to busy camping I suppose. So I called my father and he came out and helped us change it. My mom happened to be sitting in her car behind mine and saw a scratch on my 2 week old car. After looking at it I saw that someone had keyed my car. Ugh. I know. I was mad. Furious. But I didn't let it spoil my weekend. My dad told me I needed to file a report with the park rangers, so after they left I went and found the camp host and asked her to get a park ranger for me. She was very nice and helpful and I think she was madder than I was about someone keying my car. I think it was some people camping about 4 sites down from us, b/c earlier that day they were acting stupid at the lake and I think they thought I was someone else. Any who, we went back and swam some more and had dinner early that night. It was another fun filled night of marshmallows and girl talk ;) Although we had a few bad experiences the park and it's staff are wonderful!

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Cobble stone lane to the mill.
Cobble stone lane to the mill.
Field near the lake.
Field near the lake.
Watkins home.
Watkins home.
Barn and lane near the mill.
Barn and lane near the mill.
Woolen Mill.
Woolen Mill.
Side shot of Mill and utility shed.
Side shot of Mill and utility shed.
Another side shot of the mill.
Another side shot of the mill.
Marker in the Watkins Cemetary.
Marker in the Watkins Cemetary.
Road to the lake.
Road to the lake.
View over the lake at dusk.
View over the lake at dusk.
Moon and field near the lake.
Moon and field near the lake.
Tool near the mill.
Tool near the mill.
Lawson
photo by: ladybuglover_01