Blue Mills

Centennial Hotel

Centennial Hotel

Positioned approximately halfway between Fort Osage and the town of Independence, Blue Mills was an important center for provisioning traders and settlers on the Santa Fe Trail between 1835 and the mid 1860s.

The mills were constructed in 1834-1835 along the Little Blue River at a Santa Fe Trail river crossing.

The development of the Blue Mills area was closely tied to several prominent local businessmen

Original impetus for the mills derived from the prospect of securing contracts with Fort Leavenworth.

“Going to mill” was part of frontier life, but very dangerous

The commercial and transportation networks of Blue Mills extended far beyond their local communities

The Blue Mills area was well known for several crossings of the Missouri River.

While we might associate places to cross rivers with modern bridges, river landings were important economic hubs that competed each other.

Relationship to nearby civil war battle

Although now physically degraded, the Blue Mills ruins remains an important monument to the mills’s importance to commercial, communication, and transportation systems.