Did you know the folklore of America’s Wild West got its start in Springfield, Missouri? Take a trip back to 1865 on Springfield’s public square where a duel between Wild Bill Hickok and Davis Tutt became the first documented shoot-out of the Old West. Strategically designed with an expansive view of today’s square, this gallery gives you a dynamic then-and-now experience.
Explore the stories behind this fateful event and see how the romanticism of the American West unfolded through the media of that day.
While you’re here, be sure to try your hand at a few target practice shots with the Navy Colt revolver in our simulated shoot-out chamber.
- Step into the shoot-out chamber with a 360-degree depiction of the square as it was in 1865 by Missouri artist Andy Thomas—fun for all ages!
- View the giant timeline wall featuring Andy Thomas’ famous “Wild Bill vs. Davis Tutt” oil painting with photos of James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok during different periods of his life
- See original playing cards, poker chips and guns from the era
- Explore rare images of early dime novels and other media that promoted the legend of Hickok and his friends
- Learn about Hickok influencers such as Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, Buffalo Bill, and Calamity Jane and discover how Wild Bill may have influenced Wyatt Earp’s legend
Illuminating Stories of the Past
Places To Visit
The museum is located at the heart of historic 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.