Shepherd Sawmill – Jolly Mill Park – Pierce City, Missouri
The Shepherd family built this sawmill which still operates and uses a 1918 Case to power the operation. The sawmill provides much of the lumber the Park needs to use.
The 1918 Case is the same type of steam tractor that provided the power for the threshing teams that used to move through this area serving the farmers. The tractor is 20′ long and 10′ tall. The rear wheels are 6′ tall and two feet wide. It has a top speed of 2 1/5 miles per hour.
The office of the sawmill is furnished much as it would have been when the family first started operation. There are many historical items and information in the office/museum.
There is a shop adjoining the office that is also equipped to maintain the tractor and the sawmill equipment. This shop is also visible from the walkway.
The building on the north end of the sawmill houses old machinery, a White truck, and a Model T Ford truck that is very similar to the trucks used in operating the original mill.
Jolly Mill Park is a privately supported recreational and historical park. The purpose of the Park is to restore and preserve the history of the Capps Creek valley to be enjoyed by the people who live in the area and for those who have an interest in the valley.
The 1848 mill containing Isbell’s Distillery and Jolly Mill has been a landmark in Southwest Missouri for over 150 years, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built with slave labor by Thomas Isbell and his son, John, the three floor structure still retains the original hand-hewn and pegged framing timbers and limestone slab foundations. A village named Jollification quickly developed around the distillery/mill to serve as a rest stop and re-supply point for wagon trains and stagecoaches. Because of new taxes on whiskey which owner George Isbell refused to pay, the distillery was closed in the 1870s. Isbell turned his attention to the milling of flour
The mill was restored to servicable function in 1983 by a group of interested citizens. It is now available for special functions.
The mill pond is again a beautiful and useful element and is stocked with rainbow trout.
Other features at Jolly Mill Park include:
RUSSELL COX GAZEBO
WOOTEN PLAZA MOORE BANDSTAND
CHAPMAN SCHOOL – 1884
DOLL QUILT COLLECTION
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Location: 11262 Jolly Mill Lane