After years of work and anticipation, a new history museum is open in Springfield featuring the permanent gallery of the birthplace of Route 66.
Visitors to the new History Museum on the Square are transported into the rich tapestry of southwest Missouri’s history told through interactive exhibits, video and photography and a treasure trove of artifacts.
The museum that opened Aug. 8 has more than 18,000-square-feet of space. There are three floors with eight dedicated spaces including a Welcome Center, six permanent galleries and traveling exhibit space.
The 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
— Birthplace of Route 66
Highlights of the museum include a transportation gallery with a time machine built into a replica of a trolley car, an immersive reenactment chamber of the Hickok-Tutt confrontation, interactive touchscreen maps of Springfield comparing vintage photos to contemporary depictions, and a 66-foot-long timeline and map of the Iconic Mother Road. One of the most dramatic features is a Frisco locomotive engine that emerges through the upper mezzanine wall.
Admission rates for the museum are $16 for adults; $13 for seniors (65-plus), students of any age with a valid ID, and members of the military and families; $10 for children ages 4-12; and free to those under the age of three. Groups of ten or more can be accommodated with 48-hours’ notice.