On Saturday, Sept. 19, we will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the building of Loggers Lake by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

Bill and Judi Aaron, who operate the campground at Loggers Lake, said this event will start at 1 p.m. The Aarons also said the day use fee of $2 will be waived to honor the hard work and accomplishments of young men who built Loggers Lake.

The campgrounds and lake dam were constructed by CCC Local 1730, which was made up mostly of residents from Dent and Reynolds counties. In the 1960s, a monument was placed on the grounds of the camp commemorating the CCC Local 1730.

The Aarons, with the expert advice and assistance from Susan Kellems, master gardener, have created a natural wildflower garden around this monument.

The Aarons also want to invite anyone who worked in the construction of Loggers Lake or had family members who did, to contact them. They would love the Corpsmen and family members to take this opportunity share their stories.

Another idea the Aarons have is to have friends and family members of the Corpsmen who participated in the construction of Loggers Lake to make up a “photo board” of their family members and friends. These photo boards can be displayed at this event for all of us to better appreciate the times and conditions these young men worked in.

The museum in Bunker and the music department from Bunker High school will also be taking part in this celebration along with Dave Murphy of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

If you would like to participate in this celebration, you can contact the Aarons at (573) 561-5069 or email them at billnjudiaaron@gmail.com. Or, you can just come down to Loggers Lake on Sept. 19 and enjoy the fruits of the labor of these young Americans who built this lake that we are still enjoying today.

This past month I had the opportunity to be with Mr. Jason Stotler to show some visitors from New York some of the sights in the Doniphan/Eleven Point Ranger District. The visitors were staying just one hour south of Salem in Winona, Mo.

Our first stop was a 3/4-mile hike downhill to Greer Spring, located in Oregon County, Mo. Greer Spring is a first magnitude spring and is the second largest spring in Missouri. It has an average daily flow of 222 million gallons of water per day.

It more than doubles the size of the Eleven Point River as it flows on into the Ozark National Scenic Riverways National Park. There are two outlets to this spring that are about 250 feet apart. The first outlet gushes out of a small cave opening. The second outlet bubbles out of the bottom spring branch like a giant cauldron on high boil.

Our second stop was a place called Turner Mill North Spring. This place is located on the edge of the Irish Wilderness area near Alton, Mo. The first thing we saw was the 25 feet high metal mill wheel that uses to power the mill that was located on this site.

Turner Spring is just upstream from the mill wheel and has an average daily flow of 1.5 million gallons. This spring falls out of another small cave in the face of a rocky bluff. You can still see the remnants of the stone that carried water to the metal mill wheel.

Our last stop for the day was Falling Springs. This is one of the most photographed spots in the Mark Twain National Forest. This spring falls out of the face of a rock bluff and used to power a mill. The mill, built in the 1920s, is still on site and is one of the reasons this site is so photographed.

Back in the day this mill provided electricity, ground corn, and even sawed lumber and shingles for the folks who lived in the surrounding area.

Thank you to Jason, who took time out of his day to show us these beautiful sites. These sites are just an hour-and-a-half drive from Salem, just off Highway 19.

For more information about the Mark Twain National Forest, or the Salem Ranger District in particular, you can contact us at (573) 729-6656.

Get out and enjoy your National Forest!

By Thomas Haines

(Thomas E. Haines is the district ranger for Mark Twain National Forest, Salem Ranger District.)