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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.

The_Crossroads

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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.

    Order Up! The Restaurants of Route 66

    08/03/2022 - 00:00

    Order Up! The Restaurants of Route 66 is the first in a five-year Route 66 Series culminating with The Mother Road’s 100th birthday in 2026.

    Once, not so very long ago, Route 66 was the best way to travel between Chicago and Los Angeles. All manner of restaurants were dotted along its two thousand miles, featuring many types of food to satisfy hungry and road-weary travelers.

    Order Up! celebrates some of the most popular places to grab a bite to eat in Greene County, Missouri, during the heyday of Route 66. A few of these restaurants are still open while others, such as the elegant dining at the Colonial Hotel, have long since passed into history.

    Click Learn more to find out the different levels of support. We hope you will come along for the ride. Consider supporting this exhibit with many levels of sponsorship.

    History Museum on the Square is a 501c3 nonprofit organization; all donations are tax-deductible as prescribed by law.

    08/03/2022
    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square - History Museum on the Square

    Haunted History Walking/Bus Tours

    10/07/2022 - 05:30 p.m.

    Haunted History Walking Tours balances telling historical stories in the places they occurred and some of the more prevalent ghost sightings and creepy stories in downtown Springfield.

    Tour Dates:

    Haunted History Walking Tours will run on Fridays and Saturdays at 5:30 pm starting September 16th through October 29th.  The History Museum will limit participants to 15 on the walking tour. Friday, September 30th and Saturday, October 1st will be our only Bus Tours.

    Tour Ticket Price:

    History Museum Members get a discount on tour tickets.

    Haunted History Walking Tour – Non-Members $20.00, Members $15.00 per person.

    Haunted History Bus Tour – Non-Members $25.00, Members $20.00 per person.

    Haunted History Tours are a yearly fundraiser for the History Museum on the Square.  Tickets are non-refundable.

     

     

     

    10/07/2022
    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square - History Museum on the Square

    Sensory Friendly Morning

    10/08/2022 - 10:00 a.m.

    General Admission applies – No registration needed.

     

    10/08/2022
    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square

    Route 66 Bus Tours – Get on the Mother Road!

    10/22/2022 - 01:00 p.m.

    Learn why Springfield, MO is the birthplace of Route 66 and hear the stories of many of the businesses on the Route.

    Tour Dates:

    Saturday, October 22 at 1:00 pm

    With limited space available, reserve your spot today!

     

    10/22/2022
    Host: History Museum
    Location: Meet at Kentwood Hall 700 St. Louis St.

    History Museum Book Club

    10/29/2022 - 06:00 p.m.

    October’s book club pick is all about witches!
    We’re doing things a little differently this month. Select your own book about witches (historical fiction, non-fiction, children’s, etc.), and we’ll talk about our books and share our thoughts at the Mudlounge on Thursday, October 20th at 6 PM.
    Our recommended read is: “The Story of Witches: Ancient Origins, A Modern Movement” by Kelvin C. Bias. (Available on the Walgreens magazine rack through October.)

    10/29/2022
    Host: History Museum
    Location: Mudlounge

    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.

    Bonnie and Clyde in Springfield: Kidnapping, Robbery, and Tangible History

    The Depression Era of the early nineteen-thirties is home to many enduring American stories. One of the most famous is that of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the infamous criminal couple who robbed, kidnapped, and murdered their way across the central United States for several consecutive years before their eventual death at the hands of…

    Read More

    Bob Barker: Springfield Citizen, Television Legend

    Bob Barker was born in Darrington, Washington on December 12th, 1923.  He spent most of his childhood on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Mission, South Dakota, where he was listed as an enrolled member of the Sioux tribe. His family moved to Springfield, where Barker graduated Central High School and attended Drury University on a…

    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.