|The origins of this state park begin with a prominent businessman in Kansas City, Robert McClure Snyder, around the turn of the century. He learned of the beauty of what is now The Lake of the Ozarks region and, after journeying to see it, decided to purchase land and build a private home reminiscent of European-style castles. He went to great lengths to bring in European experts in stone masonry and construction techniques, and began construction in 1905. Sadly, his dream of Ha Ha Tonka did not materialize for him. He was killed in an automobile accident in 1906. His sons began completion of the project in 1922. After years of adversity, Ha Ha Tonka was leased as a hotel. Then, in 1942, a fire started from one the many fireplaces and the entire structure was destroyed. The remains we see today are the stone outside walls that stand alone on the cliff.
The State of Missouri purchased this land in 1978 and opened it to the public. It comprises about 3,500 acres on the Niangua Arm of The Lake of the Ozarks, about 5 miles south of Camdenton. The topography of the area is consistent with the Ozarks in general and is an excellent example of "Karst" with caves, sink holes, underground streams and natural bridges. One of the state`s largest springs is located here. Ha Ha Tonka is an excellent day trip and has places to spread out a picnic lunch.
It is not hard to understand why Robert Snyder would want to enjoy living in this place. The beauty that he saw in Ha Ha Tonka is still here for all to see.