Missouri’s Historic Sites and Landmarks

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Article Tags:

historic , Historic Sites , Historic Sites / Civil War , National Historic Site , State Historic Site
Experiencing History
Author: Barb Brueggeman
From major cities to small towns, Missouri's history is fascinating and unique. Explore historic sites and landmarks to discover what life was like “way back then,” when the west was really wild and Missouri was the edge of the frontier.

Some people like their history more first-person, to really experience another time. If you’re that kind of person, Fort Osage National Historic Site in Sibley is your kind of place. Step into history and find yourself on the frontier of 1812, when Missouri was the far west. Authentically attired interpreters draw you into the daily life of the military, civilian and American Indian populations. Numerous special events and reenactments are scheduled throughout the year.

Less than 30 miles south of Fort Osage, enjoy a more peaceful look at the past at Missouri Town 1855 in Lee’s Summit. Interpreters in period clothing are delighted to share what life was like in a prosperous farming community in the early 1800s. Explore more than 25 buildings from that era, in a community complete with traditional crops and livestock.

Venture back even further in time at Fort Charrette Historic Village and Museum, 10 minutes east of Washington, Missouri. The restored 1790s French and American Indian trading post and village showcases five log houses, including what is thought to be the oldest log home west of the Mississippi, furnished with 1700s American antiques. The trading post is a treasure trove of artifacts from the era. A historian gives a one-hour tour, by appointment only.

Four forts were built to defend Cape Girardeau in the summer of 1861, and were placed under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant. When the Civil War swept into Cape in 1863, Fort D, with its five cannons, was never attacked. Self-guided tours of the Fort D Historic Site may be taken at any time. Guided tours for adults, groups and students are available for a small fee, but must be scheduled in advance. On select holidays and special occasions, reenactors demonstrate Civil War military life, including rifle and cannon fire.

The Maclay Home in Tipton was used as a headquarters by General John Fremont during his 1861 Civil War stay. It was built in 1858 as a seminary for girls, but closed with the start of the war. The house contains 17 rooms of original furnishings from the 1800s. The home is open for public tours, for a small fee.

Among Missouri’s historic sites, Kendrick Place in Carthage falls into the “visit if you dare” category. It’s said to be haunted. The 1849 house was used as a command center by both sides during the Civil War and weathered the burning of Carthage. It is now a living history museum offering tours with authentically-costumed guides, by appointment only. Haunted history tours are scheduled during October. Visit the Paranormal Science Lab's website for details.


 Fort Osage National Historic Landmark
Journey to a time when Missouri was way out West, in the wilderness. Experience the lives of the men ...

 Missouri Town 1855
This circa 1820-1860 living history village and museum includes 25 original structures. Interpreters ...

 Fort Charrette Historic Village and Museum
This restored 1790s French and American Indian trading post and village includes five log houses, all ...

 Fort D Historic Site
In the summer of 1861, four forts were built around the strategic city of Cape Girardeau. Fort D was ...

 The Maclay Home
The Maclay Home contains 17 rooms of original furnishings from the 1800s. Built in 1858 as Rose Hill ...

 Kendrick Place
This stately, two-story brick house was built in 1849. The building was used as a command center by ...