Most People Don’t Know These 12 Castles Are Hiding In Missouri (Part 2)
Dictionary.com defines a castle as “a large and stately residence, especially one with high walls and towers, that imitates the form of a medieval castle.” Another definition is simply, “any place providing security and privacy.” Way back in June 2015, we brought you six
castles in Missouri. Turns out, we missed quite a few! Some of these are castles in the traditional sense, some are more modern, and some are even just in ruins or were never completed. If you’re looking for castles for sale in Missouri, you have come to the right place. What they have in common is that they are architectural wonders and a sight to see. There is nothing quite as unique as having your own castle, right? Who else will you know who has such interesting real estate? It’s got to be one of the coolest things you can own. Here are 12 more wonderful places you can find in our great state.
1. Kennett’s castle AKA Selma Hall
Selma Hall (Selma Castle), Festus, MO 63028, USA
or "Kennett's Castle." is located four miles south of Festus and one mile east of Highway 61. Designed by George I. Barnett, it is patterned after North Italian Renaissance country houses. Built in 1854 for $125,000, it’s probably the finest antebellum home in Missouri. It earned the name Kennett's Castle from river men who persisted in calling it a castle due to its gray limestone walls and square, four-story gun tower. Terraces provided views of the Mississippi River to the east, and to the west, landscaped grounds including a formal garden. The castle was occupied by the Kennett family until the Civil War, when the castle was frequently fired upon from boats on the Mississippi. As a result, the family fled to St. Louis for safety. Union forces stabled their horses in the stone mansion, and eventually, the magnificent structure was left in ruin. Sadly, it was also gutted by fire in 1939. However, luckily, the home was eventually restored to its original impressive elegance.
2. Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins
Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins, Natural Bridge Rd, Camdenton, MO 65020, USA
A man named Robert McClure Snyder started building the Ha Ha Tonka castle in 1905. The name comes from the local Native Americans, who referred to the area as "ha ha tonka", meaning "laughing waters," for the springs that would be located below the castle. Sadly, Snyder was killed in an auto accident in 1906. The castle was completed by his sons Robert Jr., LeRoy, and Kenneth in the late 1920s. It was used as a hotel until it was destroyed by fire in 1942. In 1978, the State of Missouri purchased the castle and grounds and opened it to the public as Ha Ha Tonka State Park. The water tower was repaired in 2004, a new roof was installed, and the castle walls have been stabilized. The
Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins
can best be seen from an observation point across from the post office.
3. Pensmore Mansion - Highlandville
Chateau Pensmore, 2700 Woods Fork Rd, Highlandville, MO 65669, USA
The 72,000-square-foot all-concrete Pensmore Mansion is being constructed in the hills south of
near Highlandville. When complete, the house is designed to withstand an earthquake, bomb blast, and a direct hit from an F-5 tornado. In addition, there are rumors and conspiracy theories that believe the site is being built as some sort of bunker for the Illuminati. Supposedly, the new government, after surviving some sort of Armageddon but having been safe in Pensmore, will use the place as a new American White House from which they will rule.
Check out this video!
4. Sky High Castle - Near Joplin
Sky High Castle in
has long enchanted local admirers. The European-style stone castle was built high on the cliffs of southwest Missouri, just south of Joplin and right off of Shoal Creek. It has a large turret and battlements along the top, with adjacent terraced hillsides, stone patios, fish ponds, and surrounding forest, creating a unique atmosphere. There is a spectacular view of the Shoal Creek Valley that extends ten miles eastward. It is said that they used to have big parties there in the castle's prime. Around Christmas time they used to put a huge star above the top tower, lit up so you could see it from a distance.
5. Elmwood - Cape Girardeau
The families of Alexander Giboney and Andrew Ramsay settled in the area now known as
with land granted to them from the King of Spain in 1797. Giboney and his wife Rebecca Ramsey settled on the land now known as Elmwood. Around 1808, plans were drawn up for a permanent home, which was built by slaves. The house was modeled after the Ramsay family castle in Scotland, Dalhousie.
In November 2005, about 900 acres of the original land grant were sold to create the Dalhousie Golf Club. At that time, Pat Evans, a descendant of Rebecca Ramsey, still lived in the mansion and maintained about 70 acres of the property.
6. Chateau Charmant - Fordland
Chateau Charmant, 1700 Martins Branch Rd, Fordland, MO 65652, USA
Unlike many of these castles, Chateau Charmant is relatively new. It was and continues to be a labor of love for Bob and Bonnie Palmer and their daughter Brittany. After moving to Fordland from Southern California near the end of 2003, Robert sent Bonnie a drawing of a castle-like home, with the words "I want to build you a castle" written across the bottom. Although Bonnie objected at first, she eventually acquiesced. From that original sketch, Chateau Charmant became a reality, inspired by a magnificent 14th-century French Chateau. Almost all of the work was done by the Palmers. It is believed to be the largest castle built by the smallest crew in the world. Up until recently, the castle was rented out for Fairy Tale weddings. You can check out
Chateau Charmant's official website.
7. Stuart Castle - Eureka
Meramec River, Missouri, USA
The castle is located off of Lewis Road on the
in St. Louis County. It was built when Dr. Stuart, a dermatologist, acquired the estate, which overlooked a picturesque bend of the Meramec River. An old house built in the early 1900s was located on the property. Dr. Stuart essentially had a castle built around this old structure, completely enveloping it. Supposedly, the castle was a shrine to his wife, and when she left him, he was devastated and he basically disappeared. When he finally resurfaced, his broken heart could not permit him to return to the estate. He put it up for sale with one stipulation in the deed: whoever bought the property could not tear down the castle, but instead would have to restore it. The building stood vacant for over 20 years.
When it was finally purchased, it was in an advanced state of disrepair, but the buyers were ready to rehabilitate the castle. Much of it was dilapidated, trees grew in strange places, and other strange things were found. Pressure-sensitive strips were discovered under the carpet to show where a person was walking. There were secret passages throughout the entire living area with inconspicuous peepholes into the rooms. On the top floor, surrounded by windows, was what appeared to be a command center with heavily secured doors. The kitchen area had granite stones in the walls with bizarre phrases inscribed. The basement resembled a dungeon with two-foot-thick concrete walls.
Another interesting feature was a bookcase that would swing out to reveal a set of stairs leading to the working basement. The castle is privately owned.
Check out this video!
8. T.R. Goulding Castle - Ironton
The T.R. Goulding Castle is located in
on 3.89 acres at the base of Shepherd Mountain. This grandly designed, yet practically sized (approx. 2,270 sqft) historic property is one of the truly unique and marvelous landmarks of Iron County. It borders the city-owned 640-acre tract of wilderness atop the mountain, creating tranquil forest surroundings. It was put up for auction in 2012 after being home to the Misselhorn family since 1999. They did significant work on the property, including aesthetic improvements, a new hot water heater and furnace, and a new rubber roof.
9. Miller Mausoleum/Little Castle of the Dead - Holden
Miller Mausoleum, 300 MO-131, Holden, MO 64040, USA
Just outside of Holden is a mini-castle that is actually a huge mausoleum. It is known as
Check out this video:
10. Wood-Smith Castle - Arnold
St. Louis County, St Louis County, MO, USA
features ruins located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi. They were meant to be a part of a magnificent castle but were never finished.
Check out this video:
11. Iron Hill Castle - St. Clair
Saint Clair, St Clair, MO 63077, USA
This castle in
was built by a man named Frank DeClue. He built it himself by hand, having drug every stone home on a trailer bed from some creek, river, or quarry. When his wife died in the early '80s, he quit working on the house and never completely finished the interior. The castle is possibly currently up for sale.
These castles you can visit in Missouri are so beautiful, we would all be tempted to buy one if we could! Have you seen any of these places? We would love to hear all about your experiences in the comments section. Do you have any interesting facts to add? Did we still miss some castles? Please share your stories and photos with us. If you decide to take a road trip to see several of these exciting castles, make sure you pack the
best road trip snacks you can find!
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