Lime Kiln

The answer to my “What is that?” outburst was, “It is a Lime Kiln.”

surprise in the woods, lime kilnForest and ferns all around and this tall chimney-ish whatever in the woods.  Missouri is full of surprises.

beautiful trees - beautiful forestI traveled out towards Wildwood, which used to seem far away, and used to be one of my favorite places.  Now the road is store after store all the way out to a new college and shopping center.  I saw a sign directing me to some woods and decided it would be a refreshing view.

forest viewI wondered if this was what the land looked like to early settlers, or maybe natives.  It sure seemed a good setting for a movie.

more lime kilns along the trailTurns out there was more to find than my performing arts fantasy.  This place is called Rockwoods Reservation.  Trying to find out what, exactly the name means is fun.  The land is cared for by the Missouri Department of Conservation.  I sent them a question, they were kind enough to respond, but it was the same information on the print outs posted on the rules, regulation and information sign.

“Rockwoods” must have come from the trees and limestone rocks found everywhere you step.  “Reservation” is a bit challenging, no natives live there, perhaps it’s being held for some other purpose, someday.

lime kiln remains in the forestThis beautiful land was a place trappers walked through in the 1700’s to get to the new settlement of Saint Louis to sell fur.  In the 1800’s Ninian Hamilton received a Spanish Land Grant and built a home for his family.  Eventually mineral resources were discovered on the land and  Glencoe Mining Company took ownership in the 1850’s.  It took massive amounts of wood to burn limestone rock – into powder.  There is a list of things limestone powder is used for, the one I remember best was mortar in brick homes.  The land was stripped bare before the company went broke.

There are several Lime Kilns to be found along the trail.  They are 40 feet high.  The thick walls have bolts in them to allow expansion when rocks became super hot.  Fires burned every day, and men would come to pull the powder out from the mouth of these huge structures.

In 1938 St. Louis County began taking care of the land.  It took 70 years for the beautiful forest I admired to grow.  Speaks highly of Nature’s Design, hm?

lime kiln hidden in the forestthere’s fencing to encourage people to be safe

a place to sit and consider nature's besthere’s a bench – a little place to rest – and consider

City Museum

City Museum is so spectacular, even a watery deluge, the necessity of raincoats and staying indoors can not diminish the joy of our First Adventure.

City Museum in the rain

 This photo was taken through the window, looking outside.  We will want to revisit and try to take this stellar place in.  It’s completely wild.  I explored a cave, climbed stairs of all sorts, listened to a restored pipe organ, admired limitless mosaics (made by Sharon Von Senden – but that’s anther story)

City Museum Mosaics

There are free circus performances, shoelace factory items, early 20th Century ceramic works saved from old buildings,  places to climb, slide, hang out, rest, there is an unusual aquarium, and the rooftop, which does not open until June.

citywall

I climbed through a small door and found people spinning around in peculiar chairs, statues from Bob’s Big Boy Restaurant Chain, this awesome wall, then climbed a teeny spiral staircase and found:

citysurprise

There is so much to see, I suspect we’ll enjoy plenty of good times here.  I need to remind you to bring your inner calm, not only is the place pure sensory overload,  young people find delight here and the cacophony is remarkable.

I look forward to our next City Museum Experience.

City Museum –  750 N 16th St, St. Louis, MO 63103

We’ll Be Back 🙂