From Big Spring, we headed over towards Turners Mill and Spring. The Spring is actually located in the Mark Twain National Forest, not very far from the Eleven Point River. Along the way, we drove down a few bumpy dirt roads. The fall colors were a little past peak there, but the trees still made for a pretty drive.
We drove to the parking area, and then made the short walk to Turners Mill. The mill is all but gone now, the only thing remaining is a huge 25 foot tall metal waterwheel. The wheel sits in the creek, as the clear waters from the nearby spring rush past.
Although there is no trace of it now (besides the huge wheel), the mill here used to be four stories tall. From what I could find online, the mill dates back to the 1880s. The metal water wheel was added later, in 1915. The wheel (which must weigh tons) was shipped in pieces, with oxen bringing it to this spot along the creek. The mill supported the small town of Surprise, which is also gone now. The only building left is an old school that sits along a short trail not too far away.
The mill used the waters of Turners Spring, which flows out from a bluff just upstream from the waterwheel. Around 1.5 million gallons of water flow out from the stream every day, flowing down hill and past the waterwheel before emptying into the Eleven Point River.
We then walked back to the car and continued on towards a few more Springs...