Have you ever tried to imagine life as an early American settler? Or wondered about the people for whom our parks and streets are named? Discover the world of pioneers and founders who worked to make a home on the Ozarks' frontier.
Step inside the famous General Smith’s Tavern where our Pioneer Theatre features a reenactment of local figures filmed in a nearby historic home.
Throughout this gallery, you’ll learn about the unique individuals who first set out to explore the land and make the Springfield region what it is today.
- Discover the stories of notable pioneers such as John Polk and Louisa Campbell, the Fulbright family and Nathan & Olive Boone
- Find out why early settlers and families came to the Springfield region
- View the antique gun case displaying original guns by Jacob Painter, a famous western gunmaker and blacksmith whose shop was located on the Springfield square
- Enjoy amazing artifacts that tell stories of building a new life, medicine and religion, early education, and family treasures brought by pioneers to Springfield
- Play in the interactive creek and watch fish swim through the creek and frogs jump around your feet
Illuminating Stories of the Past
Places To Visit
The museum is located at the heart of historic downtown Springfield, MO. 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.