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.
Illuminating Stories of the Past
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.
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.
Making History in the Present
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.
Community Cornerstones: Springfield’s Black Educators – February 1,- May 7, 2023
February 1, 2023 – May 7, 2023
Community Cornerstones: Springfield’s Black Educators showcases the rich history of Black American education in Springfield through the lens of the educators who
were the cornerstones of the Black community before desegregation.
Experience the enlightening story of Springfield’s Black educational history and its connection to a national conversation.
Sensory Friendly Saturday’s
General Admission applies – No registration needed.
History Museum Book Club
Route 66 Bus Tours – Get on the Mother Road!
The third Saturday of each month starting March 2023 through September 2023.
Saturday, March 18, 2023 1:00 pm
Saturday, April 15, 2023 1:00 pm
Saturday, May 20, 2023 1:00 pm
Saturday, June 17, 2023 1:00 pm
Saturday, July 15, 2023 1:00 pm
Saturday, August 19, 2023 1:00 pm
Saturday, September 16, 2023 1:00 pm
Tour Ticket Price:
Route 66 Bus Tour – $30/Museum Members & Patrons, $35/non-members
Tickets are non-refundable.
Downtown Walking Tour
Friday, March 24, 2023 – 5:30 pm
Friday, April 21, 2023 – 5:30 pm
Friday, May 26, 2023 – 5:30 pm
Friday, June 23, 2023 – 5:30 pm
Friday, July 21, 2023 – 5: 30 pm
Friday, August 25, 2023 – 5:30pm
Commercial Street Walking Tour
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.
Saturday, March 25, 2023 – 10:30 am
Saturday, April 22, 2023 – 10:30 am
Saturday, May 27, 2023 – 10:30 am
Saturday, June 24, 2023 – 10:30 am
Saturday, July 22, 2023 – 10:30 am
Saturday, August 26, 2023 – 10:30 am
With limited space available, reserve your spot today!
Queen City Quest
Join us for the third annual Queen City Quest Presented by Systematic Savings in partnership with Commerical Club and Commerical Merchants Club.
Queen City Quest is a one-day fundraiser scavenger hunt challenge that will be fun for friends, families, and co-workers!
Participation is open to all and carrying out the hunt will be simple and fun. Players will use GooseChase, a free and easy to use an app, to find challenges, complete questions, and track their progress. Teams can also track opponents’ progress with the action feed and automatically updated leaderboard during the game, adding a healthy dose of competition!
Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor
Sponsorship Opportunities are available. For more information, contact Charlotte McCoy.
The Route 66 Series – 5 years – 5 Exhibits- 5 Series Sponsor
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.
Sharing Stories of the Crossroads – Hosted by John Sellars
Join John Sellars, Executive Director Emeritus of the History Museum on the Square and long-time lover of local history every Tuesday at 4:00 pm on KICK 92.3 FM.
The program will focus on History Bits in Springfield, Local Headlines from a Century ago and a variety of guests to share local history and stories of the past.
Check out the link for past podcasts.
Take a deeper dive into the rich history of the Springfield region and its impact on American history through our stories.
Gerald Brooks was born on January 6, 1913 in Quincy, Illinois. After his mother passed away at a young age, he moved to Hannibal, Missouri and attended Douglas High School. While at Douglas, he was greatly influenced by his own band teacher, Martin A. Lewis. Gerald Brooks graduated from Lincoln University in Jefferson City in…
2023 is already shaping up to be a big year for Springfield! This year also happens to be the 70th anniversary of the Great Cobra Scare of 1953. If you haven’t heard the details yet, be prepared to learn your new favorite story from Springfield’s history. In August of 1953, Rio Mowrer owned a…
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.