Nov 212012

 Real photo postcard. Penciled on back: “Fairfield Mill in July 1910”

There was a mill and a small manufacturing complex at the hamlet of Fairfield, Missouri on the Pomme de Terre River built, it is said, by Judge George Alexander. He – or rather, his numerous slaves – built a long covered bridge at this spot. Before the Kaysinger Bluff Dam and Reservoir project got underway, the bridge had fallen in, but the stone piers remained. They’re now under the murky waters of Truman Reservoir.

When crossing Truman Reservoir on the Highway 83 bridge, south of Warsaw, look northwest. The town of Fairfield was just up the river from today’s bridge.  .

The history of bridging the Osage River and its tributaries is covered in the new book, DAMMING THE OSAGE by Leland and Crystal Payton, available December 1.

Every week we will post an unpublished image that relates to the Osage River, its ecology, history and development. None of these have been used in Damming the Osage, but they relate to the themes of the book. A brief caption identifies the location and our thoughts on its significance and meaning. Feel free to use these images for personal use if you credit “Collection of Leland and Crystal Payton.”  For commercial use, email us for details and a modest fee for a higher resolution image. We have thousands of historic photographs and brochures as well as our own contemporary photos.

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  1. I have a screen capture from Humminbird Side Imaging Sonar I captured today of the current state of the mill and bridge foundation it’s still there and now home to alot of fish swimming around it. If you’d like to see I can email a copy. Your image confirms what I found and looks exactly like it just missing all the wood. Link to Image:

    • Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’ve been deployed to New York by FEMA for the Hurricane Sandy response. We’ve looked at the image and find it rather enigmatic … please educate us on what we’re looking at!

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