NOTE: I know it’s no longer Summer (LOL), I was behind on compiling these for whatever reason. This is the last one, and will be followed by a final ending article.
There are a couple of old mansions in Independence, Missouri and prior to this summer I had never visited any of them. I still need to go to the Vaile Mansion and do some research on whether some of the other ones offer tours. I would say that The Bingham-Waggoner Estate is perhaps the most well-known and well-loved of all of them from what I can gather. I bundled this with my trip to the other two museums it sits next to, which is what I would recommend for you as well, as I am always trying to bundle these excursions together to maximize your time.
The Bingham-Waggoner Estate; Independence, Missouri
At time of posting, it is actually around Christmas time, and I really should have made plans to visit then, as they apparently have gorgeous Christmas decorations. Perhaps next year. Be sure to walk the nature trail before you head to the gift shop, and see a series of ruts in the ground made over 100 years ago by wagons heading west on the numerous trails running through Independence.
From their website:
“The Bingham-Waggoner Mansion & Estate, sitting on over 19 acres near the Independence Square is truly a one-of-a-kind gem in Independence, Missouri. Near the Truman Presidential Library, Harry and Bess Truman’s home, the 1859 Jail & Marshall’s home, the National Frontier Museum, the Chicago & Alton Depot and the Vaile Mansion, the Bingham-Waggoner Mansion & Estate offers its own special look into an earlier era. This well preserved museum home, with more than 90% original furnishings, carpets and paintings, provides insights into the lifestyle of its wealthy 19th century residents.”
This was a souvenir booklet from the sites giftshop that I purchased. A lot of sites around here have books like this, and they are pretty solid despite being very short.
From my review:
“There isn’t a ton to say about this item that hasn’t been said basically. This book is basically all of the stuff my tour guide told me on the tour, including a general rundown of the family histories of occupants of the mansion, as well as information on basically every room of the house. I would not be surprised if volunteers use this book to prepare for their tours. All-in-all it’s well done for a cheap booklet and has quite a bit of information as well as pictures. If you happen to be at this museum, I’d easily recommend picking a copy up.”
My recommendation for this trip is to bundle it with two other museums. The Chicago & Alton Depot and The National Frontier Trails Museum. The latter is devoted to the three trails that make Independence so famous. The former is a museum devoted to turn of the century railroad operations in this area. All three should take a total of four hours and will be a great idea for kids and are located right next to each other with the mansion across the street from the other two.
This site has an amazing guided tour that I loved. The lady that did it was VERY knowledgeable and loved answering questions. If I had more free time, something like that would be a dream job for me, I just need to win the lottery or something! The site can be rented for events like weddings, and other functions which would also be an amazing experience.
This is part of my series for 2021, History Boy Summer, to read more click HERE.
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