SHARING STORIES OF THE CROSSROADS

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We have created an amazing regional history museum and expanded educational destination for Springfield and its visitors. Located on Route 66, our historic Park Central Square buildings have been restored to preserve the rich history of our city. The expanded museum space allows guests to explore the past using interactive learning features.

RESTORING THE PAST
The History Museum on the Square is dedicated to revitalizing and preserving the great history of the Springfield, MO community. We have restored our buildings to bring the past, present and future together in a dynamic cultural and historical experience- telling the stories that illuminate our past.
WELCOME CENTER
Step into our front door and find yourself immersed in history. From our touchscreen table featuring Springfield then and now to our gallery introductory videos featured on large screens, our Welcome Center provides interactive experiences as you begin your visit.
SIX MAIN GALLERIES
History Museum on the Square features six main galleries highlighting the rich history of Springfield using innovative technologies and traditional approaches to engage visitors.
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
History Museum on the Square offers guided tours, step-up bus tours, Calaboose/Police Museum tours, and our Traveling Trunk Program.

GALLERIES

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Our six permanent galleries tell the stories of significant events in Springfield and create distinct and intentional dialogues about objects, individuals, and history– dialogues that will foster examinations of unique aspects of Springfield, Greene County and its people. A rich and vast collection of artifacts, photographs, and the “voices of history” are combined using innovative technologies.

EDUCATIONAL TRUNK SHOWS

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The History Museum on the Square’s Traveling Trunk Program provides local students and community groups an opportunity to experience Springfield and Greene County history through hands-on artifacts and reproductions, primary source material, and other learning aids. This program can be presented by the teacher renting the trunk or scheduled with a designated volunteer from the History Museum on the Square.

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 These programs are presented in a “show and tell” format with items passed among participants or set out for a hands-on “pass by”. Specific points of Springfield and Greene County history are interspersed with a general social or cultural history of the time and are interpreted with the help of reproduction photographs and objects, and actual artifacts (may include clothing, household items, school items, toys, etc.), maps and primary source material are available. All of these aids help the interpreter make history “come alive” for the participants. Staff will consult with the teacher or group leader to customize the presentation.

Presentations generally last 45-60 minutes. Occasionally, two presentations at the same site may be scheduled back-to-back when space for a large group is not available. Groups are requested to give two weeks advance notice when scheduling a trunk presentation. If a designated volunteer from the History Museum on the Square is not presenting the program, the individual renting the trunk is responsible for transportation of the trunk to and from the presentation site.

Learn about the Osage Nation in Missouri, Lewis & Clark’s travels, living conditions during WWII, and more. For more information or to schedule a Traveling Trunk Program, please contact Palmer at palmer@historymuseumonthesquare.org or 417-831-1976.

Interested in bringing a trunk show to your classroom?

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UPCOMING EVENTS

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Field Trip Friday

Sharing Stories at the Crossroads is what the History Museum on the Square does best.

 

We have an exciting new program to assist parents with learning pods, virtual learning, and homeschooling. Every Friday at 2 pm, homeschool and pod learning elementary students can join the History Museum on the Square for a history program and gallery tour that supports Missouri Learning Standards. Each Friday from now until May 2021, the Museum will have a rotating program topic. 

 

Each program is geared toward the 2nd – 5th-grade level. This program is free to both adults and children with a generous gift from the Darr Family Foundation. This includes admission to the museum and the program. Pre-registration required. One adult must accompany children. Each program is limited to 10 total people due to COVID restrictions.

Field Trip Friday Program Topics Include:

The Pioneers and Founding of Springfield, MO.
Examine Springfield’s origins and incorporation in this journey through time. We will discuss the causes of westward expansion, the lives of Springfield’s first settlers, the former city of North Springfield, and the significance of the Frisco railroad to our city’s rise in stature. Grades 3-5.

The Civil War in Southwest Missouri
Take a look at southwest Missouri’s role in the Civil War. We will discuss the conflict’s causes and consequences, the specific battles that took place in the area, and the daily life of soldiers and civilians during wartime. Grades 3-5.

Native American History
Learn the history of the local Native American presence spanning hundreds of years. We will discuss the local tribes, the importance of the buffalo in daily life, the practical relevance of arts and crafts, and the impact of westward expansion. Grades 2-5.

The Lewis & Clark Expedition
Join us as we probe the adventures of the Corps of Discovery. We will discuss the events that led to the Louisiana Purchase, the daily life of an explorer on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the consequences of their journey for the United States and beyond. Grades 3-5.

Events and News

Ozarks Coca-Cola Bottling Company: From Our Family to Yours
April 14 to May 23

Ozarks Coca-Cola Bottling Company is proud to celebrate a century as a family-owned business. The History Museum on the Square is honored to be able to share this story with the community. This exhibit will be on display from April 14th to May 23rd during public business hours. General admission applies.

The Rice family purchased the Coca-Cola bottling franchise in 1920 and moved from Fulton, Kentucky to Springfield, Missouri, where the bottling franchise was first established in 1905 by the Electric Bottling Company/Farmer’s Beverages.

Over the last 100 years, Ozarks Coca-Cola Bottling Company has resided in four plant headquarters, expanded to territories in Missouri, northern Arkansas, and southeast Kansas, witnessed four generations of family business leaders, and made tremendous impacts on its community in countless ways. As the company enters its second century, we remember the milestones of the first with artifacts, photographs, and stories from the Rice family.

This exhibit was created in collaboration with the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. This special exhibit is free with museum admission.

Downtown Walking Tours

Starting Friday, May 7th thru May 30th

Fridays at 3:30 pm or Sunday at 2:00 pm

Join us for a walk around Springfield’s downtown and discover some of Springfield’s most notable stories and where they took place. Stops include the original site of the founding of Springfield, historic Walnut Street, Wild Bill Hickok’s first wild west shootout and a look inside the historic Fox Theatre. This one-mile, one-hour walking tour begins and ends at the History Museum on the Square.

Capacity will not exceed 15 people. Your guide will be wearing a mask and encouraging social distancing, but masks are not required while outdoors on the tour. We do ask that you wear a mask while in the Museum and Fox Theater.

The cost is $15/person for Museum Members and $20/person for Non-Members. Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance. Limited space available, reserve your spot today!

Reservations need to be made 24 hrs in advance. Limited space available, reserve your spot today!

Springfield History Walking tour

The Great Cobra Breakout Game
Play as a group virtually May 21st – May 30th
$30.00 includes puzzle link and party kit

Do you love puzzles? Have you tried a virtual escape room?

History Museum on the Square has developed an entertaining and educational virtual puzzle game. The year is 1953 and the city of Springfield is enjoying the summer heat. Little did citizens know, cobras would be released into the streets putting a quick end to all summer fun. The unexpected and accidental release of cobras from a local pet shop struck fear into residents as they began to search cautiously for the escaped serpents.

You can help us find all the cobras by unlocking the puzzles and using clues that can all be found on the game link. This immersive puzzle game is good for either date night or family game night, from the comfort of your home.

This virtual experience includes the online puzzle game, a party kit with your choice of themed beer (2) or soda (2), sweet treats, and a playlist of 1953 hits to set the tone. Party Kits can be picked up at the museum starting May 21st – May 30th during regular business hours. This game will be available to play online and is best played with a group.

Tickets available now, register here!

May 21st from 6-8 pm, History Museum staff will be online and available to help if you have any questions.

Bicentennial Exhibit: Struggle for Statehood
History Museum on the Square celebrates Missouri Bicentennial
June 9 – July 4, 2021

Struggle for Statehood exhibit will be on display at the History Museum on the Square June 9th – July 4, 2021. This exhibit was developed by the Missouri State Historical Society and will be on display throughout the state of Missouri until December. This exhibit traces the history of Missouri towards American Statehood and explores why its application for admission sparked a national crisis that almost destroyed the very Union Missouri sought to join. You will learn about the significance of the controversy and its’s lasting implication on our state and nation.

Struggle for Statehood – Pioneers and Founding of Springfield Presentation
Friday, June 11, 2021, at 10:00 am

Historic Fox Theatre located at 157 Park Central Square
Join us in person or virtually to examine the struggles of early Springfield. We will examine Springfield’s origins and incorporation, causes of the westward expansion, get a glimpse of the lives of Springfield’s first settlers. Learn more about North Springfield and the significance of the Frisco Railroad to our city’s rise in stature. This free event is part of the programming associated with the Bicentennial Exhibit: Struggle for Statehood on display at the History Museum June 9th – July 4, 2021. This program is free but registration is required. Register here.

Struggle for Statehood – African American Heritage Presentation
Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Historic Fox Theatre located at 157 Park Central Square
Join us in person or virtually to explore Springfield’s African American heritage through a variety of topics including sports, music, education, and the importance of community. This free event is part of the programming associated with the Bicentennial Exhibit: Struggle for Statehood on display at the History Museum June 9th – July 4, 2021. This program is free but registration is required.  Register Here.

Frozen Custard Social
Tuesday, August 10, 2021, 4:00 – 7:00 pm

Park Central Square
History Museum on the Square, the City of Springfield, and the Downtown Springfield Association will celebrate the State of Missouri’s Bicentennial with a frozen custard social on August 10th from 4 pm to 7 pm. At this family-friendly event, 1500 servings of frozen custard donated by Andy’s Frozen Custard will be distributed while supplies last. Entertainment will be provided by The Detectives, Shaun Munday, and Central High School’s a cappella group the Brotones.

The Missouri Struggle For Statehood Exhibit

Field Trip Friday Sponsored by Darr Family Foundation
now through May 2021,
2 pm on Fridays

This program will assist parents with learning pods, virtual learning, and homeschooling. Pre-registration is free for adults and children, thanks to the Darr Family Foundation. Reservation includes a history program that supports Missouri Learning Standards and museum admission. This educational programming is geared toward 2nd-5th grade students. These programs will be offered each Friday now until May 2021.

Civil War
Lewis & Clark Expedition
Native American
Pioneers and Founding of Springfield

Pre-registration is required for both adults and children. We monitor capacity and will hold programming in the Historic Fox Theatre if registration is over 10 people. Reserve your spot here.

VISIT THE MUSEUM

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HOURS

Wednesday – Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm

Sunday: 1 pm to 5 pm

ADMISSION

$16 Adult
$13 Seniors – 65 and older
$13 Students with ID – Any age
$13 Military & Families with ID
$10 Child (age 4-12)
Free – (age 3 & under)

***$13 Group Adult Rate with 10 or more. 48 hours notice is requested.

PARKING

There a several free parking options in walking distance from the museum. The closest free parking option is located at the corner of Olive St. and Boonville Ave.

PHOTO ARCHIVES

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Browse through hundreds of historic photos of Springfield, Missouri and its surrounding areas.

CONTACT US

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OUR TEAM

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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

John Sellars

DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

Krista Adams

BUSINESS MANAGER

Charlotte McCoy

CURATOR

Joan Hampton-Porter

ARCHIVIST

Lindsey Young

MUSEUM EDUCATOR

Palmer Johnson

GUEST EXPERIENCE MANAGER

Katie Schoorl