About an hour's drive south of St. Louis, Missouri, is The Offsets - also called
Mine La Motte - a spring-fed quarry that has a long history of use as a mine.
The first prominent white man to set foot on the
in the early 1700s, was the Sieur Antoine de la Motte Cadillac, governor-general
of the colony of Louisiana under the Royal Company of the Indies. During the
Civil War, Southerners raided the mines about the time of the Battle of
Fredericktown. The Southerners captured 18,000 pounds (8,100 kg) of lead and
took it back to Arkansas. The Northern army then destroyed several furnaces at
Mine La Motte to keep the South from getting any more lead. Today, Mine La Motte
is simply a place for the locals to come and swim or dive. The site is popular
not only as a swimming hole and a recreational dive, but cave divers can explore
several overhead environments. A C-card is required for recreational divers, and
cave divers, too, must show proof of their specialty education.
Depths to: 50 feet (15 m)
Visibility: 5-30 feet (1.5 to 9 m)
Water temperature: In the summer, 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) at
the surface and 50 F (10 C) at the bottom.
Fees: $20 but call in advance for seasonal adjustments.
Air is available.
or call (573) 756-8300.
Open: Seasonal but in the winter months can be accessed by calling the owner in
Getting there: From Farmington, Missouri, south of St. Louis, take Missouri
Highway OO for 13 miles (21 km). The Offsets is on your left.