Exploring Missouri’s Rich History at the Missouri History Museum

Welcome to the Missouri History Museum, where you can take a journey through Missouri’s past and explore its diverse and rich history. The museum is located in Forest Park, St. Louis, and houses exhibits covering the state’s history, from its early beginnings to the present day. Visitors can wander through the galleries and discover the stories of the Indigenous peoples and early settlers, the Civil War and slavery, and the impact of transportation and industry on the state’s growth. The Missouri History Museum offers a fascinating experience for history buffs and casual visitors alike.

The Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum is an institution with a rich history and a remarkable collection of artifacts related to Missouri. It is considered one of the leading history museums in the United States and has been devoted to collecting, preserving, and presenting Missouri’s proud past since its inception in 1866.

A Brief History

The founding of the Missouri History Museum was initiated by a group of prominent St. Louis citizens, including businessmen, lawyers, and politicians, who recognized the need for an organization that would preserve the state’s history. They established the Missouri Historical Society, which has since grown to be the largest historical society west of the Mississippi River.

The Missouri History Museum has had several homes over the years, including the Jefferson Memorial Building, the Palace of Fine Arts, and the Missouri History Library and Research Center. In 1988, a new building was constructed in Forest Park, which is the museum’s present-day location.


The museum has an extensive collection of over 190,000 artifacts related to Missouri’s history. These artifacts include paintings, photographs, documents, furniture, clothing, and many other historical objects. The museum’s collection is particularly notable for its emphasis on St. Louis and the role the city has played in American history.

One of the most iconic artifacts in the museum’s collection is the Spirit of St. Louis, the plane flown by Charles Lindbergh on his historic transatlantic flight in 1927. The museum also has a comprehensive collection of Civil War artifacts, which includes weapons, uniforms, and equipment used by soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

Another highlight of the museum’s collection is the paintings of George Caleb Bingham, who documented life on the Missouri frontier in the mid-1800s. The Missouri History Museum has the largest collection of Bingham’s works in the world, with over 20 paintings on display.


The Missouri History Museum offers visitors a wide range of exhibits that explore Missouri’s history and its impact on the world. The museum’s permanent exhibits include “Seeking St. Louis,” which traces the city’s history from its founding to the present day, and “The 1904 World’s Fair,” which showcases artifacts from the famous event held in St. Louis over a century ago.

The museum also hosts rotating exhibits that explore different aspects of Missouri’s history, culture, and art. Recent temporary exhibits have included “Mighty Mississippi,” which examines the impact of the Mississippi River on the state, and “Panoramas of the City,” which showcases historical panoramic photographs of St. Louis.

One of the most popular exhibits at the Missouri History Museum is “Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis,” which tells the story of the famous highway that once connected Chicago to Los Angeles and passed through St. Louis. The exhibit features classic cars, roadside architecture, and other artifacts from the heyday of Route 66.

In conclusion, the Missouri History Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring Missouri’s rich history and culture. With a vast collection of artifacts and a variety of exhibits, there is something for everyone at this fascinating institution.

Visiting the Missouri History Museum

Planning a visit to the Missouri History Museum? Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a fun and educational activity, the museum has plenty to offer.

Location and Hours

The Missouri History Museum is located in the heart of Forest Park, one of St. Louis’s most popular attractions. The museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm, with free admission. This makes the Missouri History Museum an affordable option for tourists and locals alike.

Once you arrive at the museum, you’ll find that it’s conveniently located near several other popular places to visit in Forest Park. Some of these attractions include the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Saint Louis Science Center, and the Saint Louis Zoo. Be sure to plan enough time to explore everything the park has to offer!

Parking and Transportation

Visitors to the Missouri History Museum have several options for parking and transportation. If you’re driving, you can park in the museum’s lot for a fee. However, if you prefer to save some money, there are several public transportation options available.

One of the most popular ways to get to the museum is by using St. Louis’s MetroLink system. The Skinker Station is located just a short walk from the museum’s front doors. Additionally, several bus lines stop at or near the museum, making it easy for visitors to get to and from the museum.

Tours and Activities

When you visit the Missouri History Museum, you’ll find that there’s no shortage of things to do and see. The museum offers several guided tours and various activities, including family-friendly events, lectures, and workshops for all ages.

One of the best ways to explore the museum is by taking a guided tour. These tours are led by knowledgeable museum staff and cover a wide range of topics. Some of the most popular tours include “Shoes, Jails, and Utopias,” “Forest Park: A Walk Through History,” and “From Missouri to the Moon.”

If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity, be sure to check out the museum’s events calendar. The Missouri History Museum hosts several events each month that are designed for children and families. Some of these events include craft workshops, story times, and scavenger hunts.

Finally, the museum also offers a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages. These programs cover a wide range of topics and can help visitors explore the museum’s exhibits in a deeper and more meaningful way.


Overall, the Missouri History Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning more about the history of St. Louis and the state of Missouri. With its convenient location, free admission, and wide range of tours and activities, it’s the perfect place to spend a day exploring with friends and family. So why not plan your visit to the Missouri History Museum today?

Supporting the Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum is a non-profit organization that strives to preserve and recount the history of the state of Missouri. It is home to over 18 million artifacts and documents that have a direct connection to the region’s past.

The museum is dedicated to providing educational resources that serve the public, educators, and students alike. In order to maintain its mission and continue providing quality programming and exhibits, the museum relies heavily on the support of its patrons.


Donations to the Missouri History Museum can be made online or in person. As a 501(c)(3) organization, all contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Your generous donation can help the museum create new exhibits, conserve artifacts, and provide educational programming to visitors of all ages.

The Missouri History Museum offers several giving options, including unrestricted donations, matching gifts, planned giving, and sponsorship opportunities. Sponsors can support a particular exhibit or event and receive recognition in return.

Donors can also choose to contribute to the Annual Fund, which helps support general operations, technology upgrades, and building maintenance. The Annual Fund also supports the museum’s outreach programs that aim to take its exhibits and programs beyond the walls of the museum and into the community.

Your contribution, no matter how large or small, can help make a significant difference in preserving Missouri’s history for future generations.


Becoming a member of the Missouri History Museum offers several benefits, including free admission, invitations to special events, and discounts on museum store purchases. Members also receive regular updates about new exhibits, programs, and events.

Membership to the museum is available at varying levels to accommodate different needs and interests. Memberships make great gifts for any history buff, or even those just looking to support the preservation of local history.

Moreover, the museum’s membership program is also an excellent way to support the museum’s mission. Your membership fees go towards funding exhibits, preserving artifacts and documents, and creating educational programming for the public.

Becoming a member of the Missouri History Museum offers a unique opportunity to play an active role in supporting the museum’s mission to preserve and share the history of Missouri.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Missouri History Museum has an active volunteer program that allows individuals to contribute their time and talents to various areas of the museum. Volunteers play a vital role in fulfilling the museum’s mission by helping to organize events, lead tours, and assist with clerical tasks as needed.

The museum’s volunteer program is open to people of all ages and backgrounds. The program offers flexible scheduling and provides valuable training and support to all volunteers. Volunteering at the Missouri History Museum not only allows individuals to make a significant contribution to local history but also provides an opportunity to meet new people with similar interests.

Volunteers can choose to participate in various museum activities, including docent programs, special events, and behind-the-scenes work. Docents are trained to lead tours and interpret exhibits for visitors, providing a unique opportunity to share Missouri’s history with visitors from all over the world.

Volunteering at the Missouri History Museum offers a chance to give back to the community, share knowledge, and gain valuable experience in the museum field.

The Missouri History Museum is an essential resource for studying and understanding the history of Missouri. The museum’s mission of preserving and promoting history is vital to educating future generations and keeping the stories of Missouri’s past alive. There are several ways for individuals to support the museum’s mission, including making a donation, becoming a member, and volunteering their time and talents. By supporting the Missouri History Museum, you can help ensure that Missouri’s rich history is preserved and passed on to future generations.

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