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.
Order Up! The Restaurants of Route 66
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.
History Museum Book Club
Join us as we read Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin.
The discussion will be in person on Thursday, September 29th, 7-8 pm at Wire Road Brewing Company.
Haunted History Walking/Bus Tours
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.
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.
Sensory Friendly Morning
General Admission applies – No registration needed.
Route 66 Bus Tours – Get on the Mother Road!
Learn why Springfield, MO is the birthplace of Route 66 and hear the stories of many of the businesses on the Route.
Saturday, October 22 at 1:00 pm
With limited space available, reserve your spot today!
Take a deeper dive into the rich history of the Springfield region and its impact on American history through our stories.
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…
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…
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.