Zanoni Mill by Tim Layton
Zanoni Mill is located nine miles northeast of Gainesville on Hwy. 181 only 9 miles northeast of Gainesville, Missouri and 30 miles from West Plains.
The drive to Zanoni is one of the most beautiful and peaceful drives that you will likely experience just about anywhere.
If you plan on visiting Zanoni Mill, you are only about 5 miles from he historic Hodgson Mill, the most photographed mill in the Ozarks.
Zanoni got its name from the first postmaster, George W. Shoemaker who reportedly liked a book called Va Zanoni by Bulwer-Lytton.
There are many beautiful places to visit and enjoy in the Missouri Ozarks, from beautiful landscapes, to clear water springs and streams, to over 50 historic mills.
Zanoni Mill boasts the only overshot water wheel operation in the Ozark County mills area.
Milling began at Zanoni during Civil War days in a little mud-built cabin built by John Cody. After the first mill burned, George Shoemaker built a new mill and added a sawmill. The mill burned again in 1905. That same year, A.P. Morrison built the third mill at Zanoni, sending to France for a new set of 18-inch, flint burhstones at a cost of $125.
The mill was powered by a spring that flows from the hillside at 226,000 gallons a day. The spring furnished Zanoni with modern utilities, running water and electricity. Zanoni also was the site of an overall factory in the 1920’s. Ownership of the mill and village passed back into the hands of the Morrison family when it was purchased in 1974 by David Morrison (grandson of A.P. Morrison) and his wife Mary. The Morrisons built a beautiful home on the site, leaving the old mill, general store and family home standing.
A lake in front of the home receives the spring water from the mill. The water then runs over the lake’s spillway into Pine Creek.
Zanoni Mill and home has been purchased in 2002 from the Morrisons and is no longer a bed and breakfast, but it is an event venue (Zanoni Mill Ranch) where weddings and other events are held from time to time. You can contact the owners via the telephone at (417) 679-0401 or email them at [email protected] for more information.
1880's STYLE SILVER GELATIN GLASS PLATE NEGATIVES
Based on the history of the mill, I decided to photograph the mill using handmade silver gelatin dry plate glass negatives in my 4x5 large format camera that are from the same late 19th century period when the mill was first built. The plates are developed in the darkroom under red safelight and then they can either be printed in the darkroom or a digital scan can be done to make a wide range of contemporary type prints.
The handmade silver gelatin dry plates are remnants of an era gone by, just like the grist mills and I think this is why this medium is the perfect choice to tell the story of this amazing mill. The look and feel of a silver gelatin dry plate cannot be duplicated with modern day digital cameras because the silver gelatin emulsion is a chemical-based process that responds to light much differently than digital cameras.
ZANONI MILL BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS