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.
The Route 66 Series – Year 2 Service with a Smile!
Route 66 Series culminating with The Mother Road’s 100th birthday in 2026.
Service with a Smile: Route 66 Service Stations celebrates the service stations and people who ran them along Route 66 in Springfield, Missouri.
Service with a Smile! is the second of five annual exhibits featuring the history, culture, and impact of Route 66.
The Route 66 Series will culminate with The Mother Road’s 100th birthday in 2026.
General Admission applies.
Thank you Series Sponsor:
MSU Libraries – Ozarks Studies Institute
History Museum on the Square is a 501c3 nonprofit organization; all donations are tax-deductible as prescribed by law.
General Admission Applies – You can purchase tickets at Guest Services.
Haunted History Walking/Bus Tours
Unveiling the history behind downtown’s haunts.
Join us for one of our Haunted History Walking or Bus Tours this year.
The Haunted Walking Tours start at the History Museum on the Square and travel about a mile between Campbell Street, Walnut Street and Jefferson Street. Some of the stops include a visit to the Historic Fox Theatre, the Calaboose, South Avenue, Woodruff Building and more.
The Bus Tour includes downtown Springfield Commercial Street and Drury University, expanding on stories beyond the walking tour route.
These fundraising dates are on Friday and Saturday 5:30 pm, starting Friday, September 15th through Saturday, October 28th.
Walking Tour prices for Non-members $25.00, Members $20.00
Bus Tour prices for Non-members $40.00, Members $35.00
Haunted History Tours are a yearly fundraiser for the History Museum on the Square. Tickets are non-refundable.
Thank you to our sponsors:
BPJ Insurance, Fisk Transporation and Associated Theatrical Contractors
By reserving your spot, you have agreed to the Terms of Release. Terms of Release are attached for you and your minors to read and agree to. There will also be copies at Guest Services when you arrive for the tour. Haunted Release, Indem, HH, Photo Consent 2023.docx
Sensory Friendly Saturdays
History Museum Book Club
Commercial Street Walking Tour
Join the History Museum as we explore the history of Commercial Street!
This tour is presented in partnership with the Commercial Club of Springfield, MO.
These walking tours will start again in the Spring of 2024. If you are interested in scheduling a private tour, call us for details.
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.
Route 66 Bus Tours – Get on the Mother Road!
Check back in 2024 for new dates.
Downtown Walking Tour
These tours will start again in the Spring 2024. If you are interested in scheduling a private tour for your group, call us for details.
Take a deeper dive into the rich history of the Springfield region and its impact on American history through our stories.
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…
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…
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.