If you ask anyone who has been coming to the Lake of the Ozarks for several years what some of their favorite memories are, they will likely mention Millstone.
After the completion of Bagnell Dam in 1931, Robert and Catherine Elliot of Kansas City, Missouri purchased land from the Pistol Club, an organization of kansas city businessmen. There they built their dream home, Elliot Lodge, which would later become known as Millstone Lodge. The lake home featured a stone fireplace that incorporated three millstones brought in from the surrounding hills by Catherine, known to the early Lakers as ‘Bagnell Kate’. The millstones reflect the early history of the Ozarks when clear running streams were used as a power source to grind corn.
Shortly after World War II, the Elliots sold the lodge to the Laner family. Mr Laner was killed in an auto accident not long afterwords and the lodge sold again, becoming a commercial venture. In 1989, Dick Walls, owner of Boone Tavern in Columbia, purchased Millstone and refurbished the facilities and grounds. Under Mr. Walls’ ownership, Millstone was Lake of the Ozarks best known resort and marina
With new owners and management, today Millstone Harbor, previousely Millstone Marina, is getting an extensive makeover with new upgraded electrical service, fuel pumps, updated docks, bathrooms, parts & service department. According to Dave Doherty, general manager at Millstone, their service department can handle anything from fishing boats to large yachts and houseboats. Dave grew up spending his summers at Millstone working for his aunt and uncle, Red and Norma Morrison. Red and Norma ran the marina from 1964 to 1979.
Besides, parts and service, Millstone Harbor is also the largest marina at the lake with over 300 boat slips, a fuel dock, a new restaurant, the Tap & Grill, and the premier water taxi and charter service at the lake, Playin Hooky Water Taxi & Charters LLC. Offering water taxi, group and corporate chaters, a bar hop cruise, and their new service, the Aqua Shuttle.
Playin Hooky’s Aqua Shuttle is a water shuttle currently running Friday and Saturday evenings between six bar & grills: the new Tap & Grill Bar, Shady Gators, Lazy Gators, Franky & Louie’s, Pickleheads via Franky & Louie’s, Bobbers and H-Toad’s. For $20 each, guests can purchase a wristband which will allow them to hop on and hop off all evening from 6:00 pm to 1:30 am at the various bar & grills.
Years ago Millstone was the place to go when you came to the lake to have a good time and relax. Its going to be fun watching this great part of Lake history being brought back to life. The best times are yet to come!
If you have a great story or pictures about Millstone let us know, we would love to share them!
For more information on boat slip rental and service, contact:
Dave Doherty (573) 372-6272
Historical information obtained from;
Marina KB says
Excellent post! It’s really a great blog.
Captain Jim says
Thanks, Glad you enjoyed it!
David Micetic says
Thank you for the walk down Memory Lane. I worked at the patio of Millstone in 1986 & 87 and have fond memories of the time there, the customers, staff and, of course, the band Riverroad. I also worked on the Millstone Estates condos installing the pre-construction water lines for the project. I’ll be visiting from Phoenix in June, staying on the 10mm and hope to make it over that way.
Connie Beene says
Love this picture – I used to live there. My parents leased the restaurant and bar, and I knew Red Morrison. We lived in the apartment above the restaurant, and also on a cruiser on our private dock.
I recently scattered my parents ashes at the site where the hotel is, as that was they’re favorite place to be. I also floated a biodegradable wreath on the lake in their honor; was a great day. Thanks for the story and pic!
Captain Jim says
Thanks for the comments Connie. A lot of people have great memories of the area and it sounds like you were a part of it.
Joe Huser says
Connie, do you remember the bartenders Mark & Scott? They were brothers & their family owned a farm in the lake area back in the mid 70’s I use to help them bail hay for gas money for my little GW Invader boat I had back in the day.
Dawn Swope says
47.5 yrs ago,my now husband of 45 years proposed marriage to me at Millstones swimming pool. We were guests of Dwight and Patricia Smith of Independence, MO. They had their stunning Chris-Craft roamer “Calypso II” docked at the marina. Pat wrote books on antique doll collecting. My husband and I bought our retirement home 3 yrs ago at Lake of the Ozarks August 2015. Our daughter is currently in search of a starter lake front, year around home. “Loving The Lake Life!”
Bryant Callaway says
Does anybody have some good pictures of the Fireplace at Millstone Lodge?
Can’t seem to find any. I do remember it well, with the three Millstones in it.
Bill Miller says
My family and friends used to go to the Lake from KC when I was supposedly growing up. I had some adventures at and around Millstone later before marrying and moving to the “Left Coast” for a decade. Upon our return to the Midwest I decided my kids needed some of the same exposure so we rented different houses and boats for a week over three summers during which time I typically was in trouble for “not acting my age” and “bad ideas.”
By our last trip around 2009 I had grown tired of quiet, under-performing rental boats and asked if there was anything outside the norm that was fast and noisy. What was delivered turned out to be an older, “well used” Donzi (I think) with a 454 that was owned “by the guy who sold Millstone Lodge” and then I was told “he had a reputation and so does this boat.” It was all black, had a few scrapes, above water exhaust, and would still push 55 mph. Some locals would laugh and say “I remember THAT boat!” so I assumed it had been involved in various pirate-like activities. There was mention that the original owner had to special order the boat in black. I was also told about various exploits in the cuddy cabin that were well known around the lake area.
So it was great fun racing around with boat sounds just like years before. My two sons, son-in-law, and I even rescued two locals in the channel barely keeping their totally submerged jet-ski from sinking. We were able to tow them back to their cove and house where we celebrated on their dock with a few beers — not unlike various occurrences during trips several years ago. Have fun, help others, and things usually work out.
In closing, does anyone happen to have a picture of that boat from back in the day? It was fun just thinking about it again.
Captain Jim says
Thanks for sharing Bill! Those are some great memories. A boat like that you would think someone would have a picture of it.
Rex Elliott Hearst says
My grandmother was Bagnell Kate. My mother spent summers at the lodge. I have several original photos of the fireplace showing the millstones. Looking for the original bar countertop that guests engraved, including Harry Truman.
Brian Bowman says
I worked at the millstone lodge restaurant the summer of 1971 before going off to college at MU in Columbia.
Toby Slider says
I lived at Millstone Marina from 1964 to 1968. My father was in charge of boat and dock repairs. I met my now wife of 52 years at the lodge pool. I would love to see any pictures of the lodge and marina that anyone may have. I would also love to get a copy of the picture above.