Bennett Spring State Park

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Bennett Spring State Park
Missouri State Park
Bennett Spring SP 1-by rjones0.jpg
Country United States
State Missouri
Counties Dallas, Laclede
Elevation 1,076 ft (328 m) [1]
Coordinates 37°43′32″N92°51′45″W / 37.72556°N 92.86250°W / 37.72556; -92.86250 Coordinates: 37°43′32″N92°51′45″W / 37.72556°N 92.86250°W / 37.72556; -92.86250   [1]
Area 3,216.74 acres (1,302 ha) [2]
Established 1924 [3]
Management Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Missouri Locator Map with US.PNG
Red pog.svg
Location in Missouri
Website: Bennett Spring State Park
Bennett Spring State Park Shelter House and Water Gauge Station

Shelter House and Water Gauge Station.jpg

Historic water gauge station and shelter house
Location Dallas / Laclede counties, Missouri, USA, near Bennett Springs, Missouri
Area Less than one acre
Built 1933
Built by CCC; NPS
MPS ECW Architecture in Missouri State Parks 1933-1942 TR
NRHP reference # 85000527
Added to NRHP February 28, 1985
Bennett Spring State Park Hatchery-Lodge Area Historic District
Location MO A64, Bennett Spring, Missouri
Area 20 acres (8.1 ha)
Built 1933 (1933)
Architect CCC
MPS ECW Architecture in Missouri State Parks 1933-1942 TR
NRHP reference # 85000504
Added to NRHP March 4, 1985

Bennett Spring State Park is a public recreation area located in Bennett Springs, Missouri, twelve miles (19 km) west of Lebanon on Highway 64 in Dallas and Laclede counties. It is centered on the spring that flows into the Niangua River and gives the park its name. The spring averages 100 million gallons (380,000 m3) of daily flow. [4] The park offers fly fishing, camping, canoeing, hiking, and other activities. [5]

Bennett Springs is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Dallas and Laclede counties, Missouri, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 130. It lies 12 miles (19 km) west of Lebanon on Missouri Route 64. The community is named after a spring that is reported variously as the third or fourth largest in the state, with an average daily flow of about one hundred million gallons, and which is the centerpiece of Bennett Spring State Park.

Lebanon, Missouri City in Missouri, United States

Lebanon is a city in Laclede County, Missouri, United States. The population was 14,474 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Laclede County. The Lebanon Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Laclede County.

Route 64 is a highway in central Missouri with endpoints of Route 254 south of Hermitage and Route 5 in Lebanon.



In 1837, the James Brice family built a mill at the stream and the spring became known as Brice Spring. The town that built up was known as Brice. The family of Peter Bennett soon settled near the spring and started their own mill. Originally, the families were rivals, but they soon intermarried. Both of these mills were eventually destroyed in a flood.

During the Civil War years, another mill was constructed by Peter Bennett. This Bennett Mill was larger and more successful than the Brice mill. The spring soon took on the Bennett name. Peter died in 1882 and his son William Sherman Bennett took over. The Bennett Mill burned in 1895.

The state purchased the spring and some surrounding area in 1924-1925 to create a state park. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) made various improvements to the park. The CCC built the dining lodge, cabins, trails, roads, shelters, gauge station, and the arched stone bridge across the spring branch. [6] The bridge has 3 distinctive sideways “C’s” to memorialize the men of the CCC who built it. The CCC also channelized the spring branch and constructed the dam just upstream of the stone bridge to make the spring more habitable to the non-native trout. The dam is used to divert water through the fish hatchery and to maintain a constant water level at Bennett Spring to this day.

Civilian Conservation Corps public work relief program

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men. Originally for young men ages 18–25, it was eventually expanded to ages 17–28. Robert Fechner was the first director of the agency, succeeded by James McEntee following Fechner's death. The CCC was a major part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal that provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state, and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men and to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States. Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000. Through the course of its nine years in operation, 3 million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a wage of $30 per month.

Historic sites

The park includes two resources that were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985:

National Register of Historic Places federal list of historic sites in the United States

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property.

Concrete Composite construction material

Concrete, usually Portland cement concrete, is a composite material composed of fine and coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement that hardens over time—most frequently a lime-based cement binder, such as Portland cement, but sometimes with other hydraulic cements, such as a calcium aluminate cement. It is distinguished from other, non-cementitious types of concrete all binding some form of aggregate together, including asphalt concrete with a bitumen binder, which is frequently used for road surfaces, and polymer concretes that use polymers as a binder.

Arch bridge bridge with abutments at each end shaped as a curved arch

An arch bridge is a bridge with abutments at each end shaped as a curved arch. Arch bridges work by transferring the weight of the bridge and its loads partially into a horizontal thrust restrained by the abutments at either side. A viaduct may be made from a series of arches, although other more economical structures are typically used today.

Activities and amenities

The park offers trout fishing for rainbow and brown trout in the natural spring that is the namesake of the park. The fishing area is divided into three zones, each with its own set of regulations. [9] During the regular season, fish may be caught and kept. Catch and release regulations are in effect during the winter months. Daily fishing begins and ends with a whistle or siren. The opening march of the angler can sometimes resemble a Civil War–style battle line as the anglers progress into the water with rod in hand.

Rainbow trout species of trout

The rainbow trout is a trout and species of salmonid native to cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America. The steelhead is an anadromous (sea-run) form of the coastal rainbow trout(O. m. irideus) or Columbia River redband trout (O. m. gairdneri) that usually returns to fresh water to spawn after living two to three years in the ocean. Freshwater forms that have been introduced into the Great Lakes and migrate into tributaries to spawn are also called steelhead.

Brown trout species of brown trout

The brown trout is a European species of salmonid fish that has been widely introduced into suitable environments globally. It includes both purely freshwater populations, referred to as the riverine ecotype, Salmo trutta morpha fario, and a lacustrine ecotype, S. trutta morpha lacustris, also called the lake trout, as well as anadromous forms known as the sea trout, S. trutta morpha trutta. The latter migrates to the oceans for much of its life and returns to fresh water only to spawn. Sea trout in the Ireland and Britain have many regional names: sewin in Wales, finnock in Scotland, peal in the West Country, mort in North West England, and white trout in Ireland.

Catch and release method of fishing

Catch and release is a practice within recreational fishing intended as a technique of conservation. After capture, the fish are unhooked and returned to the water. Often, a fast measurement and weighing of the fish is worthwhile. Using barbless hooks, it is often possible to release the fish without removing it from the water.

The park also offers 12 miles (19 km) of hiking trails, canoeing on the Niangua River, camping, cabins, swimming pool, nature center, dining lodge, and park store. [5]

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  1. 1 2 "Bennett Spring State Park". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey.
  2. "Bennett Spring State Park: Data Sheet" (PDF). Missouri Department of Natural Resources. November 2017. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  3. "State Park Land Acquisition Summary". Missouri State Parks. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  4. "Current Conditions for USGS 06923500 Bennett Spring at Bennett Springs, MO". U.S. Geological Survey . Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  5. 1 2 "Bennett Spring State Park". Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  6. "Bennett Spring State Park: History". Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  7. Bonnie Wright (n.d.). "Bennett Spring State Park Hatchery-Lodge Area Historic District" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved December 1, 2016. (includes 11 photos)
  8. Bonnie Wright (n.d.). "Bennett Spring State Park Shelter House and Water Gauge Station" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved December 1, 2016. (includes 3 photos)
  9. "Bennett Spring State Park: Fishing". Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved October 1, 2014.