Brice, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 37° 43.568 W 092° 51.400
15S E 512630 N 4175439
Marker in front of the Dinning lodge...
Waymark Code: WM13FTV
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 12/04/2020
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 0

County of site: Laclede County
Location of park: MO-64 & BSSP 1 Road, west of Lebanon
Marker Erected by: Bennett Springs State Park, Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Marker Text:

The cool spring water, sterile valley, and abundant wildlife were natural attractions for pioneers who homesteaded this valley in the 1830s. Among the first settlers in the area were James and Ann Brice, who came from Illinois around 1837. In 1840, Brice built the first mill on the spring branch and eventually bought more than 400 acres of surrounding land. Within a few years, other settlers established households in the area, which became known as Brice.

Another early homesteader, Peter Bennet and his son Peter Manard Bennet, Jr., built another mill at the confluence of the spring branch and the Niangua River. Brice reached the peak of prosperity after 1900 when a new mill replaced the Bennett family mill, which had burned in 1895.

Brice attracted leisure-time travelers as well as patrons of the mill. Farmers came with wagons full of wheat and corn for grinding at the mill. Sightseers drove out to the picturesque valley near the natural wonder known as Bennett's Spring in automobiles and buggies. Local [unreadable] and tourists visited the secluded spot known as Poker Hollow. Boys raced horses on Sunday afternoons. A black man named Charlie Topp gave boxing lessons to the local boys.

Even though Brice had no church building before 1917, religion was an important part of community life. Local residents held church services in the front of the hardware store. Ministers set up a tent for frequent revival meetings.

The Bennett family donated land Brice's first permanent church building. The old frame church, sheathed with stone in the 1950s, still stands north of the present day dinning lodge as the only surviving structure of the original town of Brice.

If you had visited this area in 1910 and stood on the spot where you are now standing you would have been looking at the main and only street of the original town of Brice. Use the cedar tree post in front of you as a focal point and look beyond it. Walnut trees [unreadable] the old town. To the right of the far end of the hatchery posts, sycamore trees ring the remnants of the foundation of the three story mill. Looking beyond and to the left of the cedar tree, you would have seen the white frame hotel building, and next to the general store. A large barn stood near the mill. Beyond the bend of the opposite side of the street, you would have seen tow other stores, a blacksmith shop, and the telephone office.

If you could have visited this area in 1910, you also would have seen the people who brought life to the town of Brice. Fishermen might have been buying supplies at one of the stores. In the summertime, children might be picking blackberries and raspberries on the hillsides. Families might be strolling or picnicking along the spring branch. A few buggies and maybe even an early automobile might have brought tourists to the spring. The growing number of tourists [unreadable] might change the character of Brice.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
Brice Springs is now called Bennett Springs

Additional point: Not Listed

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