Towering columns, magnificent caverns, battered Civil War-era mining equipment – there truly is no other place like the Bonne Terre Mines in Missouri.
The Bonne Terre lead mine was the first in the St. Joe Minerals lead mine network, and was a key supplier of lead during the Civil War. The town and the vast mine underneath it was a target of Price’s Raid in 1864. Ultimately the mine was active for over 100 years, getting shut down in the 1960’s after a century of digging deeper into the Earth.
When the mine was abandoned the pumps that kept it dry were turned off, resulting in massive flooding that filled the entire tunnel network. Today, the pumps are used occasionally to maintain the water level where it is – leaving much of the first floor dry and creating a shoreline of sorts. Tours are offered via foot and boat, giving visitors an opportunity to explore the