In 2011, Gail’s sister, CJ Garriott wrote this:
I’ve been having the most fun sorting a box of old photos! Found this shot of a teenaged Carol, posing in the ruins of something. I vaguely remembered going on a trip with the folks, “to the Southeast,” which in my today mindset, would be something like Alabama or Georgia. Got to thinking, with my view of the world at the age of 16 or so, the “southeast” could be Missouri or Arkansas! So, I set to googling “ruins” in Arkansas or Missouri and found Ha Ha Tonka Castle ruins in Missouri, much more likely a trip destination for us in the late 1940s.
Here is what I found, and this could very well be the “ruins” Daddy photographed me standing in, with a nice juxtaposition of my summery white polka-dotted dress amidst rocky ruins.
Lots of photos of the park on that site and also on this article.
Imposing architecture and breathtaking scenery combine to make Ha Ha Tonka State Park one of Missouri’s most treasured spots. Located on the Lake of the Ozarks, the park features the stone ruins of a turn-of-the-20th-century castle built by a prominent Kansas City businessman high atop a bluff.
The Ha Ha Tonka Castle was started by Robert McClure Snyder Sr in 1905. He was killed in an auto accident in 1906 and the castle was completed by his sons Robert Jr., LeRoy, and Kenneth in the late 20s. The master architect, Adrian Van Brunt from Kansas City, designed the three-and-a-half story masterpiece. A central hallway rose to the height of the building. An enormous 80-foot-tall water tower, a stone stable, and nine greenhouses were ultimately constructed on the estate. The stone and timber originated locally.In 1942 disaster struck – sparks from a fireplace ignited the roof and within hours the huge castle was completely gutted. 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.
Maybe I can inspire a niece or two to accompany me on a trip to this area some crisply cool autumn!