Visitors Guide to the
Bollinger Mill State Historic Site
113 Bollinger Mill Road
Burfordville, Missouri

Gravel Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Accessible Interpretive Exhibits Accessible Missouri Historic Site Fishing Opportunities Accessible Restrooms


Bollinger Mill State Historic Site is unusual in that it features both a workable mill and a covered bridge, side by side. The Burfordville Covered Bridge is the oldest of the four covered bridges still remaining in Missouri. In early America, the building of water-powered mills usually were followed by the formation of nearby towns. In Missouri, the cool, clear streams of the Ozarks were ideal for water-powered mills and many early communities owe their origin to these mills. After receiving a Spanish land grant, George Frederick Bollinger led a group of families from North Carolina to this area and in 1800 began construction of a mill and dam on the Whitewater River. The mill quickly became a success and by the 1820s a road linked Bollinger Mill with the surrounding communities. Bollinger himself became well known, entered politics, and served as a senator in Missouri's first general assembly.

The mill and dam was originally constructed from logs and was rebuilt in stone in 1825. This limestone foundation and dam are still visible today. After Bollinger died in 1842 his daughter, Sarah Daugherty, and her two sons continued to operate the mill. During the Civil War, Union forces burned the mill to prevent the passing of flour and meal into rebel hands. Only the stone foundation survived. After the war, the family sold the mill and 640 acres to Solomon R. Burford. Burford rebuilt the mill of brick upon the original stone foundation and it is this four-story stone and brick mill that was completed in 1867that visitors can see today.

It was also at this time that the town of Burfordville came into existence. Construction of a covered bridge, begun before the Civil War, was completed in 1868 and linked Burfordville to the main road. Made from nearby yellow poplar trees, the bridge was built by Joseph Lansmon, a well-known builder from Cape Girardeau. He used a Howe truss design, wherein diagonal wooden compression members are used with vertical iron rods in tension to form trusses. Historical records show that there was a toll house on the east end of the 140-foot-long bridge.

From 1897 to 1953, the mill was owned by the Cape County Milling Co. After the milling company went out of business in 1953, the mill was sold to the Vandivort family, relatives of George F. Bollinger. The Vandivorts, interested in seeing the mill preserved, donated it to the Cape Girardeau County Historical Society in 1961, who in turn donated it to the state in 1967. That same year, the Missouri legislature authorized the state park system to maintain all four of Missouri's remaining covered bridges.

Bollinger Mill State Historic Site features a tree-shaded picnic area, a quarter-mile of stream bank, fishing in the Whitewater River, and a historical cemetery where the remains of George Frederick Bollinger and members of his family rest. The first floor is accessible and self guided with interpretive labels. Interpreters are available to provide information and answer questions at the Park Office. Burfordville Covered Bridge is open to pedestrian traffic only. The side-by-side historic structures provide an excellent setting for artists and photographers. Both the Bollinger Mill and the Burfordville Covered Bridge are in the National Register of Historic Places.

Notes on accessibility: At this time, parking is gravel and the mill is accessed over natural turf. A 9.8 percent railed ramp allows access to the front porch and the first floor of the mill. An asphalt path with a 6.5 percent slope leads to the bridge, which has a one-inch threshold. The wooden bridge approaches have up to four-inch discrepancies in height. Note that the far side of the bridge has a three-inch threshold upon contacting the asphalt. The site office has level gravel parking with an adjacent concrete path. A railed ramp takes you to the front entrance.

  The Missouri Audubon Society maintains a checklist for birds that can be seen in this area.  
  Visiting the Bollinger Mill State Historic Site
     Sunrise to 10 pm, year-round (except New Year's, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas days)
     Visit the official site listed below for guided tour information

There is no charge to visit the Bollinger Mill State Historic Site.
Directions: From the intersection of US-61 and MO-34 (south of downtown) in Jackson take MO-34 west approximately 7 miles to County Road 360. Take a left and go south on County Road 360 approximately 2 mile to Bollinger Mill Road. Turn left on Bollinger Mill Road and proceed to the site.
  GPS Coordinates
37 22.089'
W 89 48.207'
  Learn more about the Jackson area.  
  Bollinger Mill State Historic Site
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