Otto's Mill Dam and on to Strong City...Kansas!

April 30, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

After photographing Elk Falls until dark Friday evening, I took off to go get a few hours sleep. I was in driving mode by 4:30 am, heading to Fredonia (Kansas) to find Otto's Mill and Dam. I knew it was near there but didn't have directions so I was going to wing it, a quick drive through town looking for signs and then stopping somewhere to ask for directions. First pass through town with no luck on signs so I stopped at a little store for some coffee, a honeybun...and directions. "You wanna go where? Never heard of it", nicely spoken but second strike for me. The next stop was the same but the lady pointed me to a group of older men drinking coffee at the tables. So I walked up and asked them if they knew where Otto's Mill and Dam was.  Then I heard those words..."you're not from around here are you?" Oh great, I thought. Where was this conversation going? I said "No sir, I'm not." He smiled and gave me the best directions I could get short of him driving me there. I don't care if you're from Arkansas or Kansas, small town people are nice.

Otto's Mill was once a linseed oil mill built in 1891 on the Fall River. It burned seven years later but was rebuilt as an electric mill in 1900. Today, it's a water works plant.

Like the Elk River, the Fall River was up and running very strong. The low water road here was completely underwater. I want to photograph this scene again from farther out on the road but with the water down.  This spot is a definite return trip.

Back to the car and this time headed north to Flint Hills Scenic Highway 177!


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