(photo from US Forest Service)
Markham Springs is off Missouri 49 between Williamsville and Ellsinore (much closer to Williamsville). When I lived in Piedmont, long ago, I visited here occasionally. It has a beautiful mill pond, as you can see, with six different springs that feed around five million gallons of water into it each day. There’s another spring, a “bubble spring” with a constant flow of air bubbles, nearby.
When I visited the spring years ago, the house seen above was a vacant wreck. It had been built in the late ’30s and early ’40s, but when its owner sold the land to the Forest Service in the ’60s, the house was left empty and began to deteriorate. But in 2010, the Forest Service, recognizing the historic value of the house, entered into an agreement with a group of craftspeople. They restored the house at no cost to the government, and in return they get to use it for a vacation home. When they’re not using it, they rent it out.
I have very fond memories of walking the campground loops at Markham Springs. Its remoteness and its lack of developed facilities make it comparatively unfrequented, but it’s a beautiful location along the Black River. And any day I get to dip my feet in the Black River is by definition a good day.