The History Museum on the Square, which is up for USA Today’s 2019 Best New Attraction award, is one of the most popular attractions in Downtown Springfield. It may be found in Springfield, Missouri, at 154 Park Central Square.
Robert Neumann served as the institution’s curator and director when it originally opened its doors as the Bicentennial Historical Museum in September 1975 at 311 College Street. The Museum of the Ozarks was established in 1977 after the institution relocated to Bentley House at Drury University. In 1993, it relocated once more to the third floor of Old City Hall, where the city of Springfield gave the museum free exhibit space.
In 2014, the museum relocated from Old City Hall to Park Central Square in the heart of Springfield due to a lack of space. While two nearby buildings were being restored to expand the museum’s capacity, the History Museum on the Square offered temporary exhibits in the Historic Fox Theatre.
The full museum at 154 Park Central Square finally opened its doors in August 2019 following several years of refurbishment. The museum now boasts 18,000 square feet for both temporary and permanent displays, as well as staff office.
The History Museum on the Square preserves and exhibits the unique and rich past of Springfield and Greene County through narrating tales of the crossroads. Some of the exhibitions in the six permanent galleries include Native Crossroads at the Spring, Trains, Trolleys and Transportation: Children’s Education Area, Pioneers and Founders at the Crossroads, The Civil War in Springfield, Wild Bill Hickok and the American West, and Birthplace of Route 66.
The museum’s highlights are as follows:
1.An interactive touchscreen that features a map of Springfield and allows visitors to touch a specific area to view a comparison between a current photo and a vintage photo of that location;
2.The transportation gallery, which chronicles the development of the trolley system, steam trains, and the railroad network. It has a time machine incorporated within a trolley car-like facsimile. More than 40 film vignettes of notable Springfield residents and important historical occasions are contained in the time machine;
3.A shooting between Davis Tutt and Wild Bill Hickok may be experienced in an immersive reenactment chamber;
4.A 66-foot chronology and map of the renowned Mother Road.
Through interactive learning tools, visitors may engage with the past. A variety of activities are offered, including cutting-edge displays, local and international touring exhibits, walking tours of Springfield’s historic downtown, an engaging store with regional goods and publications, and distinctive community rental spaces.
The display was assembled with assistance from the director, curator, and a number of volunteers. With the aid of loans from the Missouri State University museum and items from private collections, they were able to put together the Deeply Rooted exhibition. The appropriate authority has met with a number of donors and loaners to arrange for the loan of various items to the museum, either from other organisations or from private parties who are willing to lend us their agricultural history-related artefacts.
You can read some related articles here to find out more about springfield’s historic sites.