Alley Springs

Today’s post features more photos of Alley Springs. The picture of the turquoise spring, with the clouds and blue sky reflected in it, vividly shows the unreal color of these springs’ mineral waters. Walking around the Alley Spring’s pool, we encountered two men of about our age. They were both brothers, two of nine children and they grew up around Alley Spring. Their father and many of their uncles went to school in the one-room schoolhouse that is now part of the park. Later, I asked Anne if she thought that she could have been a teacher at this school. She said nope. I asked why and she said because I’m married. The mill is in amazing condition and the park service hopes to make it operational again. Their major concern is a crack in the foundation on the raceway side of the building, because people who remember how it was when the mill was still working told them that when the machinery was first engaged it shook the building terribly. The mill is a three-story affair, where power to operate all the machinery is transmitted from the waterwheel in the basement to the upper floors using leather belts. What I first took to be a horse’s harness belt with silver bells on it is a sample of the conveyor belts that transport the grains from one workstation to another. These little cups travel up and down in the wooden rectangular chutes that can be seen in the photograph with the mill machinery. These cups don’t look like much, but they were capable of moving the raw grain up and the ground flour and corn meal back down to the tune of 10,000 pounds of product a day. Finally, the vegetation around these springs is unique. Year-round the spring’s water temperature is between 40 and 50 °F. As you can see, watercress thrives in these micro-environments.

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