Arcadia Valley’s Lake Killarney

Lake Killarney 09-16-2014On our ramble through the Arcadia Valley, we came around a curve on Hwy 72 just outside of Ironton and saw a beautiful lake set off by a WPA or CCC-era stone wall.

There was a tiny pull-off, but a tailgater kept me from driving into it. I had to go about half a mile until I could turn around in what looked like a church camp parking lot.

Google wasn’t much help. I found a smattering of factoids here and there, but nothing really good. The lake was formed by the 29-foot high Lake Killarney Dam, built in 1911. It’s listed as a private lake with public fishing not permitted, said the Hookandbullet website. The first ironworks in Missouri and west of the Mississippi was erected long Stout’s Creek, near Lake Killarney.

Property values are pretty high, if asking prices are any indication. A 756-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath cabin on .18 acres of lakefront was offered for $73,900. The place didn’t look like anything special, but the view was nice.

Other Arcadia Valley stories

Lake Killarney photo gallery

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31 Replies to “Arcadia Valley’s Lake Killarney”

  1. Ken,

    I remember going up to Lake Killarney with my parents sometime in the late 40s or early 50s. At that time for some reason the lake had developed a leak and drained all or most of the water out. We “walked” out into the lake a long way on dry ground-like crossing the Red Sea.


    1. Would you happen to have any photos of the hotel built around 1951-1952? My great Aunt Lottie Trotter was recently telling us about Grandpa Elmer Campbell building the hotel Straka and working there as a teenager after it was completed.

  2. For many years I attended a Methodist Youth Camp in Arcadia Valley. The beauty of the area and the many good times at camp were fond memories. Thanks for jolting my memory bank.

  3. Lake Killarney is where my mom took her high school graduation trip from Tanner, Missouri High School. Ralph Ford, one of my math (Geometry) teachers at Central was classmate of hers. Even then when I saw the lake I wondered, big deal, 12 years of school and you get this as a trip? Then I remembered that after 12 years in Cape schools we got no trip, so maybe it was not too bad after all. As a side note the guy that sat behind me in Mr. Ford’s class circa 1964 was one Kenny Steinhoff, I wonder what happened to him after all these years. May be Bill Hopkins will know, they were friends in those by gone years.

  4. I went to that Methodist camp around 1959 and it was wonderful. We also took a side trip to Pilot Knob and climbed to the top. What a view.

  5. My Dad and I drove by the lake one day en route to a fishing trip somewhere. He mentioned that he and my Mom honeymooned there and she got such a sunburn on the first day. I often wondered if, well, it affected the … er, ah, you know…I didn’t ask, so still don’t know.

  6. Property values are high?! Are you kidding me…I talked to a guy yesterday who bought two cabins just off the lake on three lots for only $17,000!

  7. Had a house on the lake when I was growing up.. the water bikes were hilarious… it sure don’t look like it used to

  8. When I was 5-6 years old my grandpa fished that lake. It was one of his favorite places to fish. He spent a lot of days there. We lost him in 1967. I had almost forgotten that lake until I saw the name and pictured in Pinterest. If it was allowed, I would go there and fish just to relive some old memories.

  9. I went to that camp met many wonderful kids there. The man head
    of the camp was Will Brock (may be misspelled) it was a fun place.

    Walked down to the dam elephant rock , pilot knob and ect. I moved to California but during the summer we came back and I took my kids there. Will was still there and the kids loved it.
    The Chapel and the cabins was a time I loved. I have been there many times since those were happy times.

    Patti Collinsville ill

    1. His name was Wil Brunk. They were friends of my parents. We used to visit them at their camp. Mrs. Brunk did all of the cooking for the camp.
      Good memories.
      They had a very handsome son I remember well.

  10. My husband & I were there in a boat fishing in the 60’s – I cast out & caught his hat in my lure -He yelled & grab his head; I calmly reeled his hat back in – That was a beautiful place & holds fond memories of our early marriage days – We pastored a small church in Parma, Mo – Just newly weds.

  11. just a note from a current resident…..I remember driving past the lake on my way college at SEMO back in the 80’s. It was a highlight of my trip. Never could have guessed that I’d live there 20-some years later.

    Thought it was beautiful then, still do. My view is not the lake, but the valley east to Fredericktown. On a clear winter’s night, we can see the lights of fredericktown.

  12. We just purchased a home on the lake.
    I hope our retirement there will be memorable,and pass it to my family. So they can enjoy,,,,

  13. I own the very top of the hill down at lake Kilarney a house built in the 1800s and burnt down in I believe the 1960s is on my property only thing left is foundation and chimney

  14. Lake Killarney was a resort where people rented cabins, there was a gift shop, a great hall where dances were held. A man made beach, horses, etc. this is what I remembered from what my parents told me and from my childhood. I was born 1950. Please if anyone has any history or pictures I would greatly appreciate hearing from you.

    1. It hasn’t changed much. I wonder how many of the guys who built that under one of FDR’s alphabet soup stimulus plans ever dreamed their work would still be there today?

  15. I attended The Arcadia Bible Camp in the 50’s Will Brock and his wife Edna ran it. Met many wonderful kid’s there . Have visited many times . Then it was sold to a private firm to be used as a vacation spot for them. It joined Lake Killarney I still miss it, there is no other place like it. If anyone went to the camp please let me know. Wills kids live somewhere there he had 5 or 6 children
    Rev. Ray was the Pastor that went with us at the time.

    Patti Cunningham then , now Patti Brown

    1. in the 1950,s I attended a Bible camp there run at that time by Pastor Means,I was middle teens when I attended and my first witness for the Lord to a girl who I did not know simply asking her if she was saved and she did get saved that night,she said that preachers boy asked me if I knew for sure I was saved which got me thinking.M y father was pastor of Patterson,mo Baptist church at that time.

    2. Lake Killarney is home to Camp Penuel. As stouts creek flows over the dam, the creek flows by Dayspring Bible Camp. It was operated by Seth Means in the late 40’s until it was purchased by Will and Edna Brunk and Don and Gwen McCurdy. It was previously called Arcadia Valley Bible Camp. It was owned by Will and Edna Brunk from the 50’s until the middle of the 80’s until Edna got sick. It was sold to Bert and Marian Stevens, and then to Dayspring Ministries of St. Louis after Bert passed away in 1987. Since Mr. Means operated the camp until now, it has always operated as a bible camp.

    3. Hi Patti –
      I am Will & Edna Brunk’s granddaughter! My mom is Jan (one of their 8 kids!).

      I love seeing your post! Arcadia Valley Bible Camp was my summer home, and it holds some of my most cherished childhood memories.

      I would love to hear your camp stories!

      The camp is now called Dayspring Bible camp. I have cousins who are actively involved in the camp to this day.

      There really is no other place like AVBC. My life has been the better for being part of it with my family.

  16. 10/30/2o22 Ralph Henson.I attended Bible camp on the lake in the 40’s with my dad who w3as pastor of Patterson baptist church.Pastor Means was doing the camp at that time and the evening service invitation I asked a girl next to me if she was sure she was saved ans it bothered her so she went forward and was saved.later she told someone that preachers boy made her think

  17. Hello, that stone wall and many other walls and stone buildings throughout the Valley were built by members of the Louis Reichert family and DeMand Family. Louis Reichert is my 2nd Great-grandfather, he was a very fine stonemason from Baden.

  18. Back in the 50s our family went on vacation to a place called Arcadia lodge it was on lake Killarney. There were cabins to rent. We ate in the lodge dining room. There was a dock on the lake. We swam In the lake. The buildings were log. I was very young but do remember this. I have some pictures of the place that were in my parents albums. I just wondered if it’s closed,when did it close, and about where it was located. If you have any information please let me know. Thanks Charlene grills

  19. I was at Lake Kilarney in the mid 1950’s but cannot remember the name of the place where we stayed. It was our first (and only) family vacation. We took a bus there. I know it was a type of lodge. Seeing the movie Dirty Dancing reminded me of it. The shows , eating all together. I must have been 9. If anyone knows what I am talking about, please let me know. My time there was magical! It was my First time outdoors with nature.

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