A Castle on the Mountain
"In 1902, a man moved to this area...well kind of...and bought 5,000 acres to build a castle!"
This is the part of the story that gets everyone's attention.
"He even imported stone all the way from Europe for an authentic feel!"
The eyebrows go up and a smile appears.
"Then he died in one of the first car accidents in Missouri."
Their whole body sinks at the news and we talk for a sec of that crazy probability.
"But his son finished it!"
Eyebrows lift and they perk back up.
"Then he lost all of his money in land disputes over legal fees and had to abandon it."
That "son of gun" look crosses over their faces.
"So, someone bought it and turned into a hotel."
A look of "well, that's not so bad" emerges.
"Then in the 1940's it had a fire and burnt down, all that is left are the ruins."
The last look of disbelief crosses over briefly.
"It's a state park now. Wanna go see it?"
I had this same conversation with the same responses four different times with each one of our family members. If I had been a little more thrifty with time management, I would have done it all at once. But now I can say that each one responded with the same look and the same excitement at the end. I love my family.
So, on Father's Day weekend we headed out to a castle on a mountain!
The drive was about 2 hours, and took us way into the country and for a long while on an bumpy dirt road. I tried to drive the whole way because it was Father's Day weekend after all, but decided to switch out for the last bit which worked out really well because parking had been tricky! There were two parking lots, one was for the majority of traffic, but required an uphill walk, the other was labeled "Limited and Handicap Parking". We gave it a gamble that pulled off! A big truck was leaving right as we pulled up to the top of the hill. The hubs expertly navigated our big red beauty in...slick at a whistle!
We only had to walk just a bit to the first part that was labeled the "Carriage House" and when the kids asked what that meant, we told them it was the garage, haha.
As we made our way up, it was so much bigger than what we thought it would be! The architecture was amazing. We couldn't believe how much thought and care had to go into building such a large structure.
We could also tell a difference between the two types of stone. On the outside appeared to be a lighter color and each stone was roughly the same size. On the inside walls, the stones were different shades of gray and purple that resembled rock from this area. Our guess was that it would impossible to get all the stone from Europe, so that was why the outer most layer was constructed from that, while the inside was collected locally.
The outside was fenced off due to the structure being considered unstable. That was a little bit of a bummer, but it was still so cool to be that close.
We guessed what everything was, the function of the different looking rooms. My instincts led me to what was probably the kitchen...and no body could prove me wrong, so I was definitely right, haha.
After we got our fill, we took advantage of the lake it was on and went magnet fishing! This was the first time we were really successful! We pulled out two bottle caps, fishing lures and...wait for it...a chair!
It was beautiful.
It was definitely wonderful experience and I hope we go back again. I would love to see the castle again, maybe in a different season!