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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.

    Beyond the Camouflage: Global Uniforms | Local Stories – Honor a Veteran

    05/24/2023 - 00:00

    Celebrate Springfield’s heroes by submitting images of veterans and military service members for the the History Museum on the Square’s upcoming exhibit, Beyond the Camouflage: Global Uniforms | Local Stories

    You still have time to honor a veteran from May 24 – July 23, 2023.

    With your donation of $100 to the History Museum on the Square, you can recognize a local veteran or active member. These images and messages will be showcased within Beyond the Camouflage: Global Uniforms | Local Stories. This temporary exhibit showcases uniforms from across the globe and throughout time to tell stories of Springfield, MO’s community.

    Host: History Museum

    Downtown Walking Tour

    05/26/2023 - 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 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

    With limited space available, reserve your spot today!


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

    Commercial Street Walking Tour

    05/27/2023 - 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:

    Tour Dates:

    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!


    Host: History Museum
    Location: Commercial Street - Meet at Jefferson Avenue Footbridge

    Sensory Friendly Saturdays

    06/10/2023 - 10:00 a.m.

    General Admission applies – No registration needed.


    Host: History Museum
    Location: 154 Park Central Square

    Route 66 Bus Tours – Get on the Mother Road!

    06/17/2023 - 01:00 p.m.

    Tour Dates:

    The third Saturday of each month starting March 2023 through September 2023.

    Saturday, June 17, 2023 1:00 pm

    Saturday, July 15, 2023 1:00 pm

    Saturday, August 19, 2023 1:00 pm

    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.

    History Museum Book Club

    06/26/2023 - 07:00 p.m.

    Book Club next read is The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.
    Monday, June 26, 2023 at 7 pm at Tie & Timber, pending any large special events there.

    Host: History Museum
    Location: History Museum on the Square

    Meet The Museum: Educators’ Evening

    07/27/2023 - 05:00 p.m.

    History Museum on the Square invites you to…

    Meet the Museum: Educators’ Evening

    When: July 27, 2023 at 5-7 PM

    Where: 154 Park Central, Springfield, MO 65806

    Cost: FREE

    All regional K-12 and homeschool educators are invited for a free evening at the museum to learn about our education programming and resources for educators. Get to know more about our field trips, educational trunks, Meet Missouri program and more!

    This is an educator-only event (no additional guests). All attendees should be prepared to share contact information at the door for free admission.

    For more information, contact or call (417) 831-1976 ext. 1006.

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

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

    08/03/2023 - 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

    Sharing Stories of the Crossroads – Hosted by John Sellars

    12/31/2023 - 04:00 p.m.

    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.

    Host: History Museum

    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.

    The Possum Plague of 1929

    It’s September of 1929, and apple harvest season is nearly upon us.  The local orchard owners are sure their yields will be high, but the nearby marsupials have other plans.  Opossums descended on the fruit trees in droves, devouring apples from the ground, baskets, and straight from the branches.  As word began to spread from…

    Read More

    Adah Fulbright: The Heart of Education and Community

    Adah Fulbright was born in 1873 in Springfield. Her ancestors arrived enslaved in Springfield with the white Fulbright family and they built the first log cabin in the area. Fulbright received her secondary education and graduated from the original Lincoln School in 1891. After she graduated from high school, she went on to attend Lincoln…

    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.