Willmore Lodge was once one of the most luxurious accommodations of its time in the Lake of the Ozarks.

Completed in 1930 northeast of Bagnell Dam, the lodge was built to house executives of the Union Electric Co. (now known as AmerenUE).

The managers and their guests were working on the Osage River Project, which finally became the well-known Lake of the Ozarks.

Nowadays, the rooms in the Willmore Lodge no longer take guests, but they do shelter the history of the Bagnell Dam and the lake.

Instead of beds and dressers, visitors who walk through the lodge find of the history of the place.

Willmore Lodge is now home to the Bagnell Dam Historical Museum, full of geological artifacts of the area, telling the story of how the dam helped originate the now popular Lake of the Ozarks from the waters of the Osage River.

The 29 rooms also tell the story of the dam’s construction and of the wealthy guests who spent their time there.

The place has been refurbished but has kept its historical architecture and valuable memorabilia.

Some of the rooms also educate visitors about how the dam works, the wildlife of the Ozarks and the Native American history of the area.

For those who are less than fans of history, Willmore Lodge is also a great sightseeing opportunity.

Paths that lead to the property’s gazebo and gardens offer scenic views of the lake and are open to the public. The Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is also located on the lodge property.

Space in the lodge can also be reserved for private events after hours with a reservation.

  • Community reporter, fall 2019. Studying print / digital news writing. Reach me at mariana.labbate@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700 .

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