Bennett Spring State Park Shelter House and Water Gauge Station – Bennett Spring, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 37° 43.031 W 092° 51.466
15S E 512535 N 4174446
Quick Description: Two historic structures constructed by the CCC at Bennett Spring State Park.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 3/28/2015 1:34:43 PM
Waymark Code: WMNKD7
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 3

Long Description:
"The water gauge station near the entrance to Bennett Spring State Park is a small (8' x 8') two-story tower of random cut stone construction with a pyramidal roof and round-arched window openings, from which the original windows are gone. Irregularly placed small stones in rough rounded shapes add a decorative textural element to this rustic tower That suggests the Romanesque and rises from the edge of a beautiful clear stream. In a wooded area southeast of the water gauge station stands an open picnic shelter of wood and random ashlar construction with an enclosed alcove on the east end that houses a stone fireplace. Two arched windows on either side of the chimney echo the arched window openings of the water gauge station. The segmental arches above the window openings are reflected in the stonework of the hearth. The small (26' x 26' ) shelter follows a modified T, or truncated cruciform, plan with three open sides sheltered by a pitched cross-gabled roof. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1933 and 1936, the shelter and water gauge station remain outstanding features of a small picnic area in this popular state park...

The water gauge station and open shelter at Bennett Spring State Park have exceptional significance ... in that they represent early and successful construction projects of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was largely responsible for developing this and several other state parks for public use in the years before World War II, and also in that they exemplify the type of rustic architecture promoted by the National Park Service during the 1930's. Located in southern Missouri at the western edge of the Ozark Highland, Bennett Spring was one of Missouri's first state parks and continues to have great significance for its marvelous spring and trout hatchery. Although the park was established in 1925, development of its recreational potential did not get underway until CCC Company 1772 was stationed there in the fall of 1933. Company 1772 was a veteran company, manned by World War I veterans, who were older than the majority of CCC enrollees. The Bonus marches of the early 1930's brought attention to the plight of these men, who had served their country in the First World War and found themselves unable to make a living during the Depression. During its four years at Bennett Spring, Company 1772 gave new hope to many of these men, while building such notable structures as the water gauge station and the nearby shelter. In their nearly pristine condition, these small rustic buildings movingly recall the devotion to craftsmanship and attention to detail of these hard-pressed, but hard-working men." National Register Nomination

Both structures are in excellent condition. The park shelter continues to be used for picnics. The function of the water gauge station has now been replaced with a new modern gauging station located adjacent to it. The coordinates listed are for the park shelter, the water gauge station is located nearby at the river's edge (N37° 43.024 W92° 51.452)
Street address:
Off MO A64
Bennett Spring, Missouri

County / Borough / Parish: Dallas

Year listed: 1985

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture/Engineering, Event

Periods of significance: 1925 - 1949

Historic function: Landscape, Recreation And Culture

Current function: Landscape, Recreation And Culture

Privately owned?: no

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
kJfishman visited Bennett Spring State Park Shelter House and Water Gauge Station – Bennett Spring, Missouri 9/4/2007 kJfishman visited it