Hahatonka Collection (KC0310)
Native Sons Archives (NSA)
The Hahatonka mansion was considered one of the most beautiful places in Missouri, located on a cliff overlooking the Niangua River and spring five miles west of Camdenton. The estate, built at a cost of $300,000, comprised of 5,400 acres and included a house called the "castle," a garage, dining hall, mill, and a water tower. It was owned by Robert Snyder, Sr. until his death in 1906, after which it belonged to his sons who turned the castle into a lake resort in 1935.
On October 21, 1942, the castle burned, leaving only the walls of the 37-room hotel standing. The garage was also destroyed by the fire. Damage was estimated at about $150,000 and was partly covered by insurance. In 1931, Union Electric Company constructed Bagnell Dam and the Snyder brothers sued for a million dollars, charging damage to Hahatonka's scenic beauty. The trial and several appeals lasted nearly six years until 1938, when a federal jury awarded the Snyders a $200,000 judgment.
The Hahatonka collection chiefly consists photographs of the estate (interior and exterior) and the surrounding countryside, including the Niangua River, caves, and fish. There is a small amount of correspondence, pamphlets, clippings, and notes for publishing. 1801-1942.
15 folders and 80 negatives.
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri
Friday, July 21, 2006
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu