You may have heard stories of "lost mines" in the Ozarks, but it might surprise you how close some of them are to urban centers. I recently obtained clues to the location of the lost town of Melva, Missouri (destroyed by a tornado in 1920) and the nearby ruins of the Silver Moon Mine and realized that the mine was only about two miles from the Branson Airport!
After contacting area residents I was able to find a trail leading to a rugged ravine containing the rubble of the old sluice works. A short climb revealed the main mine shaft with a vertical drop of over 70 feet. As curious as I was as to what fauna might be residing in the tunnels, I refrained from doing any subterranean snooping.
Coincidentally, while I was visiting the site I heard mention of a creature referred to as a "wontchuck". Hopefully I'll be able to find more information on this rarely seen beast.