Day Trip Includes a Fascinating Look Back in Time
June 28, 2012
Are you looking for an inexpensive local getaway where you can relax for the weekend, maybe do some camping, hang out by the lake, and enjoy a trip back in time? Then, Watkins Woolen Mill State Park may be just the place for you!
Located northeast of Kearney, MO, the historic park is operated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and includes a lake, beach, paved walking/biking trail, campground, visitor’s center/museum, and various sites to explore either by self or guided tour.
The visitor’s center and museum are open daily, now through the end of October, and feature exhibits on Watkins family, Watkins' Bethany farm, the woolen mill, and the impact of industrialization on everyday life in the 19th century. The mill itself contains what is probably the finest collection of mid-19th century textile machinery in North America. Not only have these artifacts never been moved from their original working places, they are some of the most significant textile artifacts known to have survived the ages, and we have them right here in Missouri!
The visitor center and museum are open 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday with guided tours provided throughout the day. These tours feature the woolen mill, gristmill, Watkins family home, and various outbuildings including the summer kitchen, smokehouse, icehouse, and fruit dry house. In addition, The Living History Program features an heirloom garden and livestock for viewing.
While the regular tours are really neat, the park also hosts special events throughout the year including: Spring on the Farm, Living History Weekends, the Family Music Fest, Fall On the Farm, and Christmas on the Farm. You can visit the Watkins Mill website and search the events section for more details about each of those fun events as well as the park itself.
Blue Springs North Branch