Watkins Mill Association’s Story

In 1958, The Watkins Mill Association (WMA) was founded to preserve and support the living history of the Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site, the last textile mill with its original machinery still intact in the United States. Watkins Mill flourished from 1860 until 1886 when the cloth shear broke; they continued portions of their manufacturing until 1898. WMA has cultivated an 1870’s venue that highlights quality cultural, artistic and historic education and healthy outdoor activities for all ages. WMA efforts assist in bringing over five hundred thousand visitors from all over the nation to Watkins Mill each year. Missouri State’s budget cuts, coupled with the rising utility costs, directly challenge operations.  Attempts are being made to offset some of these challenges by increasing visitors, members and volunteers by providing the necessary monetary support, directly funding cultural initiatives, brick/mortar priorities and healthy outdoor events when State funds fall short. Last year WMA funded a $25,000 renovation and restoration of the Watkins home’s front porch. The goal is to help generate more funds to close the gap, allowing WMA to continue to support and restore this historic one of a kind gem of days long gone for future generations.

When Watkins donated land for this building and suggested a floor plan, he was put in charge of its construction.


Watkins Woolen Mill
Northeast of Kearney, MO 64060
Main Entrance at
NE 161st Street and County Road RA

[email protected]

Watkins Mill Association 6k GO6K. Register today.

Due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic we have postponed our Watkins Mill Get Outdoors 6K to Sep 19th. We are hoping that we are able to have our 6K as planned on thIS day. However, we are monitoring the current COVID-19 situation closely and will abide by any public gathering restrictions as implemented by the state of Missouri, and Clay County, MO.

Should we be forced to cancel the event, registrants will be able to take advantage of one of two options: participate in a virtual race, or donate your registration fee. Please don't hesitate to email us with any questions. Please register today at

In the meantime, stay positive, be safe and take care of each other. We hope to see you out on the trail on September 19th.

Thank you,
Watkins Mill Association

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GO 2021 6K

Special Thanks to Our Silver Sponsor

Special Thanks to Our Bronze Sponsor