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Deep in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri runs a clear water spring fed stream appropriately called Spring Creek. In 1868, one of the early explorers to the area, B.V. Morris, built a dam across the creek in order to power a grist mill. From this simple beginning grew the village of Rockbridge. In a short while this became a bustling hub of Ozark County. People came from miles around to bring their grain to be milled. They also came to Rockbridge to visit the general store as well as the bank and church. The center of activity, though, was always the grist mill.
Business was so good that the grist mill needed to be enlarged. This expansion took place in 1894 and created one of the finest buildings in the area. This is the building we see today.
The Rockbridge Grist Mill was in business for over 65 years. Morris and the subsequent operators, including his son and son-in-law, sold everything from food to hardware. Coffins were also available for sale. The village of Rockbridge also became the first political hub of the county, becoming the original County Seat of Ozark County.
The Great Depression brought the end to the village of Rockbridge. The general store and bank closed in 1933. The mill, though, carried on for a few more years. It eventually closed its doors in the 1940s.
Today, the grist mill has been fully restored and is now a thriving restaurant. The business of the Rockbridge Grist Mill may have changed but the views over the crystal clear waters of Spring Creek are still the same.
The image for this post has been finished to look like an old postcard from the days when the Rockbridge Grist Mill was still a thriving business.
In the next post we will take a look at the rest of Rockbridge.