Exploring history is a great activity – and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money. Take a break, breathe, recharge your batteries and step back into history.
The Bolduc House Museum in Ste. Genevieve is a National Historic Landmark, built around 1792. This home survived the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes. Explore French Colonial, Shawnee and Delaware Indian cultures through their exhibits. The stained glass window in the church is a don’t-miss. All of the facilities give you a sense of peace appropriate to any season.
From pre-history to the 1950s, the History Museum on the Square in Springfield has it covered. In addition to the main museum space, be sure to enjoy their exhibit at the Fox Theatre on the square.
If you can’t make up your mind whether to indulge in art or history, opt for the Missouri State Museum inside the Capitol in Jefferson City. The museum exhibits include, among other subjects: Missouri’s cultural history; natural resources; westward expansion; the Civil War in Missouri; the hall of governors; and the Missouri Veteran’s Gallery. Visitors are free to roam the museum at their own pace. Free, guided tours of the Capitol are available and may include the amazing Thomas Hart Benton mural, “Social History of Missouri.” On the second floor of the Capitol, wander the Hall of Famous Missourians and be prepared to be surprised and the number of artists, statesmen and dreamers you recognize but perhaps didn’t realize were Show-Me Staters.
Spend some time with the most notable of Missouri’s Hall of Famers when you visit the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence. Whether you’re interested in discovering more about Truman’s years in the White House and his private life with Bess, the museum delivers. Check out the actual Bible upon which Truman took the oath of office following the death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945. Track the events of his first four months, leading to his decision to drop the atomic bomb. You can even visit Truman’s Oval Office.
On a lighter note, go home with Missouri’s most famous author, humorist and character – Samuel Clemens – at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal. The property includes six historically significant buildings. Walk through the two-story frame house where America’s most iconic author spent his childhood; view original manuscripts and first additions of his books and the very desk where he penned his classic novel, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”
A little art and literature, history and culture, a taste of the past nestled right here in the present is the perfect prescription for a break from the demands of the Christmas season. We’d love to hear how your favorite Missouri getaways renew your spirit; share your experiences on our Facebook page.