The building, modeled after 16th century European castles, was begun in 1905 by Robert McClure Snyder of Kansas City. He died the next year in a car crash, so his sons â?? Robert Jr., Leroy and Kenneth â?? took over, finishing construction in the late 1920s.
Before being destroyed by a fire in 1942, the castle operated as a hotel after the Snyder family leased it.Thirty-six years later, the State of Missouri bought the ruins and accompanying land, then opened the property as a state park.
In the years since, the castle and water tower, which was burned by vandals in 1976, have been partially restored. The castle's stone walls have been stabilized to prevent further deterioration, and a new roof was put on the water tower in 2004.