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This was taken at HaHa Tonka Castle in Missouri while there for a visit.
If not for Snyder, Ha Ha Tonka would have been nothing more than a dream. Unfortunately, he was slain in an automobile accident in 1906, and Snyder's sons, Bill , Jr., Leroy, and Kenneth had to complete the project.
Later, the Snyder family had difficulty attempting to keep Ha Ha Tonka in the family. Financial problems forced them to sell off their natural gas supply business to eastern business interests. Legal difficulties with Union Electric ensued over some of the waterfront property. The family eventually leased the mansion to a woman who operated it as a hotel.
In 1942 disaster struck - sparks from a fireplace ignited the roof and within hours the huge castle was completely gutted. The fire spread also to the stable, which was likewise burnt. The remains of the estate now stand stark and lonely at the edge of the cliff, a blackened remnant of one man's great dream.
The State of Missouri purchased the estate in 1978 and opened it to the public as a State Park. Ha Ha Tonka is about five miles southwest of Camdenton and comprises nearly 2400 acres on the Nangua Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks.
Visited by thousands of visitors each year, exploring Ha Ha Tonka is most often considered a personal and memorable experience.
February 21st, 2011
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