History

The chateau at Pensmore rests atop one of three prominent ridges on the 550 acre estate. This location was chosen to grant its inhabitants and guests ideal views of the beautiful Missouri Ozark surrounds, views most recently enjoyed only by its livestock inhabitants.

Remnants left behind by previous owners prove that others once enjoyed these vistas themselves. Indian artificats have been reported near the creek. Gravestones from the early pioneer families that resided here further uncover the land’s history. Childhood mortality was all too common in the 1800s, and Woods Fork was no exception. Five infant graves are marked by two headstones, revealing a time when people had harder struggles than today. From the sadness we learn the more recent history of who was here. The Hayes family lost three children, and the Gibbs Bodwell family lost two in the 1890s. Hayes was one of the original men to live here, and we envision him gazing from among the green ridges and trees in solitude, or perhaps working down in the barn by the creek.

Later, the green forested tops of several ridges were logged and sawn into railroad ties. The remains of the original sawmill can still be seen. Some wood will be reclaimed from the ruins and incorporated into the interior of Pensmore chateau as a testament to the hard working folk that labored here and a visible symbol of their history.

We hope to compile a more complete history of the estate soon and welcome any information that the reader might provide.