American Indians, Trappers and Settlers
Ha Ha Tonka State Park
— Missouri State Parks —
The cultural history of the Ha Ha Tonka area is as spectacular as its natural features. The wooded hillsides and abundant wildlife first attracted many American Indians. According to local folklore, Ha Ha Tonka is an Osage Indian word for laughing waters. Many trappers and settlers also explored the beauty of the spring and surrounding valley.
The Post Office
The area once was known as Gunter's Big Spring and its first post office was established in 1872. In 1895, the post office name was changed to Ha Ha Tonka and it continued operation until 1937.
The Old Mill
In 1830, a man named Garland established the first permanent residence in the Ha Ha Tonka area. On the lower end of the spring he constructed a gristmill which was actually a front for a short-lived counterfeiting operation. After this clandestine business was discovered, the mill was burned to the ground. In 1869, Tom Garrison rebuilt a mill that served nearby settlers for many years. That mill, pictured here, stood until 1930.
Erected by Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Communications • Forts and Castles • Native Americans.
Location. 37° 58.517′ N, 92° 46.067′ W. Marker is in Ha Ha Tonka, Missouri, in Camden County. Marker is on Natural Bridge Road half a mile south of State Highway D, on the left when traveling west. The marker is in the parking lot of the Ha Ha Tonka State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Camdenton MO 65020, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. One Man's Dream (here, next to this marker); Snyder's Legacy (here, next to this marker); Water: Sculpting The Landscape (within shouting distance of this marker); The Water Tower (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line).
Credits. This page was last revised on December 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 10, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 31 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 10, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.