History of Privately Owned Maramec Spring Park

(Crawford County/Phelps County) If you have visited Maramec Spring Park, you may have thought “what a beautiful state park.”

However, that recreational destination which is located between Steelville and St. James, is privately owned by the James Foundation, a not for profit group.

Wesley Swee is the director of the park and the James Foundation.

He says the park, situated on the Meramec River, has quite the history.

He says the land was first settled in the 1820’s.

Swee says the mining operation hung around for about a half a century.

And not long after that is when the park became a destination for a certain type of fisherman.

Maramec Spring Park, located off Highway 8, contains the fifth largest spring in Missouri.

An average of 100 million gallons of water flows from the spring daily.

The park contains 1,860 acres of forest and fields.

The 200 acre public use area of the park provides a cafe, a store, camping, wildlife viewing, fish feeding, picnicking, shelters, playgrounds and fishing.

Each fall, the park hosts a celebration called Old Iron Works Days.