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See American History Unfold

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Discover the Springfield, Missouri region and its imprint on America’s past through this interactive museum experience. Step back in time at The History Museum on the Square.

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History Museum on the Square

Sharing Stories of the Crossroads

As a city at the crossroads of our nation, Springfield, Missouri played a role in many significant events throughout American history. Step back in time, and see these stories come to life through hands-on experiences, world-class exhibits, and activities for all ages. You’ll become part of the story as you ride on our passenger train, encounter a Wild Bill Hickok shootout, and immerse yourself in the Birthplace of Route 66.

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    Illuminating Stories of the Past

    The Museum

    Journey through eight interactive galleries to see how Springfield, Missouri and its region shaped American history. Each gallery brings unique stories to life through world-class exhibits designed by Explus and videos and interactives created by Richard Lewis Media Group. Our rich and vast collection of artifacts, photographs, and “voices of history” are combined, using innovative technologies that are fun for all ages. You’re sure to discover something new with every visit.

    Admissions
    Adults $16
    Seniors, Military & Students $13
    Children (4-12) $10
    Children Age 3 & Under FREE
    Group Adult Rate with 10+*
    *3 days’ notice is required
    $13

    For FREE parking location click here

    Welcome Center

    Enjoy interactive displays and stories of the past as you enter.

    Native Crossroads at the Spring

    Explore the Native American experience in and around Springfield.

    Trains, Trolleys, and Transportation

    Take a ride back in time through Springfield’s transportation history.

    Pioneers and Founders at the Crossroads

    Peek into the lives of Springfield’s founding families.

    The Civil War In Springfield

    Discover Springfield’s significant role in the Civil War.

    Wild Bill Hickok and the American West

    Experience America’s first recorded Wild West shoot-out.

    Birthplace of Route 66

    Travel to the place where it all started.

    Voices of History

    Hear more stories of the crossroads in our temporary exhibit gallery.

    Get Your Kicks Where Route 66 Got Its Name

    BIRTHPLACE OF ROUTE 66

    From neon signs to classic cars to drive-ins, Route 66 represents a time in American history that captivates nostalgia lovers everywhere. With one of the largest Route 66 timelines and maps in the country, this gallery is a must-see for any Americana enthusiast.

    Hop into the turquoise blue '57 Chevy Bel Air convertible at the John T. Woodruff Theater and learn about the local man who gave Route 66 its name.

    After that, enjoy your stroll through numerous interactive neon sign exhibits and take photos of your favorite spots along the historic Mother Road.

    • Visit the John T. Woodruff Theater complete with a ’57 Chevy Bel Air convertible, and learn about the man behind the Birthplace of Route 66.
    • See a plethora of interactive neon sign exhibits featuring local Route 66 icons like Red’s Giant Hamburg, Rail Haven motel, Sanders’ Standard Oil gas station and Sunset Drive-in Theatre.
    • Hear the story about John Wilkinson, a local boy who met Elvis Presley at the Shrine Mosque and later became his rhythm guitar player.
    • See a restored Martin & Schwartz Model 80 Series 4B Cyclops gas pump, view stunning Route 66 paintings by artist Jerry L. Rice, and discover more iconic pieces throughout the gallery.
    Route-66-Gas
    Route-66-Wall

    Making History in the Present

    Upcoming Events

    Stay informed of the latest events and traveling exhibits happening in and around the museum. Make memories today and celebrate the past in the present.

    Traveling Exhibit Deeply Rooted: Stories of Missouri Farming

    03/09/2022 - 00:00

    Deeply Rooted: Stories of Missouri Farming celebrates Missouri’s agricultural heritage and the people – past and present – who bring food to our tables. The exhibit covers a wide range of topics from prehistoric agriculture to modern roof-top gardens and the joys and heartbreak of the industry.

    A local component with illustrations, artifacts, multimedia, and text panels is planned to share the Southwest Missouri region’s stories.

    This original display was produced by the Missouri State Museum in Jefferson City, Missouri. This exhibit was funded by the parks, soils, and water sales tax. The Missouri State Museum is part of Missouri State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. 

    Thank you to our generous sponsors:

    Early Bird Feed and Fertilizer Missouri

    Old Missouri Bank

    Gordon’s Feed and Pet

    Greene County Farm Bureau

    MFA Incorporated

    Race Brothers Farm & Home Supply

    James D Tucker II

    03/09/2022
    Host: History Museum
    Location:

    History Museum Book Club

    05/25/2022 - 06:00 p.m.

    Reading: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.

    Meet in person Wednesday, May 25, 2022 6:00 pm at Tie and Timber Beer Company.

     

    05/25/2022
    Host: History Museum
    Location:

    Downtown Walking Tour

    05/27/2022 - 05:30 p.m.

    Explore Springfield’s founding, growth, and most notable history where it took place.  Learn about the Wild Bill Hickok shootout on the square, Route 66, and more!
    Tour Dates:

    Friday, May 27 at 5:30pm*

    Friday, June 24 at 5:30pm

    Friday, July 22 at 5:30pm

    Friday, August 26 at 5:30pm

    With limited space available, reserve your spot today!
    * Tour ends at Lost Signal Brewing Co. with a discounted drink offer!

     

    05/27/2022
    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square - History Museum on the Square

    Commercial Street Walking Tour

    05/28/2022 - 10:30 a.m.

    Learn about the impact of the railroad, the relationship between North and South Springfield, and the society and culture of C-Street. Presented in partnership with the Commercial Club of Springfield, MO.

    Tour Dates:

    Saturday, May 28 at 10:30am

    Saturday, June 25 at 10:30am

    Saturday, July 23 at 10:30am

    Saturday, August 27 at 10:30am

    With limited space available, reserve your spot today!

     

    05/28/2022
    Host: History Museum
    Location: Commercial Street - Meet at Jefferson Avenue Footbridge

    Sensory Friendly Morning

    06/11/2022 - 10:00 a.m.

    General Admission applies – No registration needed.

    06/11/2022
    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square

    Truly a Jewel

    Fantastic collaboration of the history of Springfield MO. and the surrounding area. Excellent presentations. Truly a jewel in the queen city’s crown. Interactive stations throughout. A must see.

    Wille E

    Hands down the best Route 66 museum

    Hands down the best Route 66 museum in Missouri and one of the top ten museums on ALL of Route 66! There’s so much to see and interact with while you’re visiting here. There are multiple floors that have a great deal of Springfield history on display. Be sure to try the virtual shoot out!!!…

    Roamin’ Rich

    Quick drop in did not disappoint!

    I had just a few moments after my lunch to stop into the new history museum. First impression: “wow.” They have done an amazing job of utilizing a compact space to relate an amazing amount of information! The exhibits are top notch and first rate—and truly transport the visitor to another place and time! My…

    Jaimie T.

    A definite MUST SEE!

    This place was AWESOME! If you can, sign up for a walking tour!!! Yes, it will cost you extra, but it’s SO worth it if you get Katie. Not sure about other docents, but Katie was just WONDERFUL! Our group learned SO much and really enjoyed ourselves! The museum itself is really great too… I…

    Wanda H.

    Latest News

    Our Stories

    Take a deeper dive into the rich history of the Springfield region and its impact on American history through our stories.

    Rabbi Karl Richter

    Rabbi Karl Richter was born and grew up in Stuttgart, Germany. He received his higher education at the University and Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau. He was ordained in 1935 and served two major congregations in Germany until the destruction of his temple in Mannheim during the infamous “Kristallnacht” in November, 1938.   As the Nazis…

    Read More

    The Sarah Gorham Graham Case

    Springfield, Missouri has a history of sensational true crime cases, but one of the oldest is the tale of Sarah Gorham Graham.  Sarah was born in December of 1851, and little is known about her until her marriage to George Graham in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1871.  George spent most of the first years of…

    Read More

    Illuminating Stories of the Past

    Places To Visit

    The museum is located at the heart of downtown Springfield, Missouri. You’ll find parking and restaurants within walking distance. Our interactive map shows places of rich history in and around the Springfield area, from Civil War sites to the iconic Rail Haven motel on historic Route 66.