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See American History Unfold


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.


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.

    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

    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


    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.

    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.

    Holiday Window Raffle- Jellycat Teddy Bear Train Conductor

    11/19/2022 - 00:00

    All aboard for imagination and fun with this one of a kind Teddy Bear Train Conductor!  This unique collectible Jellycat bear has been magically transformed into a train conductor complete with a uniform and hat.  This bear, along with his specialty uniform, is a $100 value but can be yours for a steal!

    Visitors can have one free entry in the drawing per admission ticket purchased.

    If you’re not able to visit the museum or want additional entries, you can purchase them for $5/entry.

    The winner will be drawn on Wednesday, December 21st.  The winner will need to pick up the bear.  It cannot be shipped.

    Proceeds from this raffle support our educational programming and hands-on exhibits.  The History Museum on the Square is a non-profit organization that depends on contributions to strengthen our community’s future by learning about our past and our culture.

    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square - History Museum on the Square

    History Museum on the Square Holiday Window Display and Mayor’s Tree Lighting Holiday Show

    11/19/2022 - 05:00 p.m.

    November 19, 2022, from 5-7 pm.

    During the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Holiday event the History Museum on the Square will host free games on the side walk. Shop inside the Voices of History Gallery. This space will be free and open to the public for a special holiday shopping opportunity! The museum will have gift memberships and a variety of limited edition canvas prints of photos from Springfield’s past for sale.

    Want to visit the museum? Special One-Night-Only- Discount Admission, Saturday November 19th from 5-7 pm

    History Museum on the Square Downtown Holiday Window Display Opens

    Coming Home for Christmas”
    Through the years, the way we have traveled home for the holidays may have changed but the
    reasons why have not. Love of family, community, and home keeps bringing people together
    during this special time of year. Come home to Springfield, Missouri, this holiday season.


    Admission is $10.oo per person, and children 12 and under free.

    As always, museum admission is free for our Members and Patrons.

    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square

    History Museum Book Club

    12/01/2022 - 06:00 p.m.

    Our next reading is Circe by Madeline Miller
    The discussion will be held at History Museum on the Square, Thursday, December 1st at 6 pm.

    Host: History Museum
    Location: History Museum on the Square

    Evening Hours on December 2nd 5-7 pm

    12/02/2022 - 05:00 p.m.

    Join the History Museum on the Square during December’s Art Walk from 5-7 pm.

    History Museum on the Square’s Voices of History Gallery will be free and open to the public for a special holiday shopping opportunity!

    The museum will offer gift memberships and a variety of limited-edition canvas prints of photos from Springfield’s past.

    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square - History Museum on the Square

    Sensory Friendly Morning

    12/10/2022 - 10:00 a.m.

    General Admission applies – No registration needed.


    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square

    Downtown Springfield Christmas Parade Watch Party for Museum Patrons and Members

    12/10/2022 - 01:30 p.m.

    Museum Patrons & Members join us for a Parade Watch Party

    Saturday, December 10, 2022 1:30 pm.

    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square

    The Route 66 Series – 5 years – 5 Exhibits- 5 Series Sponsor

    12/31/2022 - 00:00

    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.

    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.

    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square - History Museum on the Square

    Route 66 Bus Tours – Get on the Mother Road!

    12/31/2022 - 00:00 p.m.

    Tour Dates:

    The third Saturday of each month starting March 2023 through September 2023. Reservations can be made online starting in early 2023.

    Tour Ticket Price:

    Route 66 Bus Tour – $30/Museum Members & Patrons, $35/non-members

    Tickets are non-refundable.

    Host: History Museum
    Location: Meet at Kentwood Hall 700 St. Louis St.

    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.

    Thanksgiving: A Holiday with History

    Thanksgiving is a holiday that has changed a great deal over the course of American history. Its origins are wrapped up in the colonial founding story of our country: that of English Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock and the “First Thanksgiving.” The reality, however, is more complicated. Tracing the history of November’s big holiday backward…

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    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

    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.