The Missouri State Park is a very fun and exciting place to take the whole family, especially children of all ages. There are 36 historical sites through out the Missouri State Park, you can see where Harry S. Truman and Mark Twain were born, The Battle of Lexington, The Dillard Mill site, and Arrow Rock. There is also camping, fishing, hiking, picnic area’s, rivers and springs, and bicycling, swimming and so many treasure shops. There is so much to explore such as natural and wild areas, it’s unreal.
However, today I want to focus on one area in the Lake of the Ozarks that is a very treasured spot here.
HA HA Tonka State Park
Our elders say that HA HA Tonka is a phrase meaning “Laughing Waters” , I am not sure how true that is but it has always sounded cool.
This park features sinkholes, 15 miles of trails, natural bridges, Caves, natural springs and a spring feed lake. Also, the best feature of them all is the “Castle Ruins”. The Castle was built in the 20th century by a Kansas City Businessman Robert McClure Snyder. Snyder bought HA HA Tonka Lake and Spring along with 5,000 acres in Camden County Missouri in 1904. He began constructing roads and making improvements to his new estate right away.
Mr. Snyder once said, “Here I will spend my leisure, secure from worries of business and the excitement of City life. I will fish and loaf and explore the caves of these hills, with no fear of intrusion.”
Long story short, Mr. Snyder died before the construction of the estate was finished, he was in one of the first fatal car accidents in existence. After he died in 1906 his sons took over construction on the England-Style Home, in honor of this wonderful man his dream home was finished. Sadly, all of his hard work was wiped out. In 1942, his castle house and the carriage house went up in flames burning everything down except the rock walls of the exterior. It is now left as a beautiful rock sculpture.
Photos below are the Carriage house where the cars, horses, buggies were kept as well as the sleeping chamber for some servants.
The water tower was burned by vandals in 1976. The ruins then joined the park system in 1978.
This place is absolutely breath taking, I encourage all my viewers to take your entire family to HA HA Tonka State Park in Camdenton, Missouri. I only took photos of the castle ruins to show today but there is so much more worth photographing.
Camden County’s first post office, it is just miles from the Castle Ruins in the State Park. It shut down shortly after the fire.
You can view everything the park offers at: