I’ve known about living history museums like Missouri Town 1855 for years, but it was not until I started this museum project up that I noticed there were actually quite a few places like this around (that’s just the most known one around here). Some are obviously more publicized than others, but if one really wanted to get a real feel for what life was like in Missouri or Kansas back in the nineteenth century, your opens are quite open. Take for example, Shoal Creek Living History Museum, nestled just slightly outside of Liberty, Missouri into Kansas City. Had I not actually talked to somebody that volunteered there WAY back when I visited Lecompton, Kansas, I would likely skipped over it. That would have been a shame, as Shoal Creek Living History Museum is pretty good, and is a solid alternative to something like Missouri Town. Yes, it lacks the animals (aside from a Buffalo preserve) that that one has, but it makes up for it by being absolutely FREE.
Shoal Creek Living History Museum; Kansas City, MO
I would have liked to have visited during an event as there were not any costumed volunteers when we went, however getting a chance to explore on our own was pretty cool. Perhaps next time I will keep an eye out for something and do an update!
From their website:
“Nestled quietly on 80 acres out of the 1,000 acres that makes up Hodge Park.
The museum has twenty-one structures with seventeen authentic 19th century buildings dating from 1807-1885. Our historic log cabins and homes were relocated from surrounding counties to create a village setting.
The grounds are open daily, dawn until dusk, and free of charge unless during a special event for admission or donation. The buildings are open during special events. Enjoy self guided tours by using our Walking Tour Guide Brochure which has building details and dates. Brochures are located at the front entrance information box, kiosk and the mercantile front porch. Picnic under the large shade trees or venture out on the walking trails throughout Hodge Park. Catch a glimpse of the bison and visit the chickens (Spring, Summer, and Fall months only) in the coop behind the Stollings House.”
I have used this book for other articles like Missouri Town in the past, and I still feel like it’s the perfect book to depict what town life would have been like in the early antebellum period in Missouri. As previously stated: “In this book there are depictions of town life including visits to blacksmiths, churches, getting supplies at the market, tending livestock etc. Pretty much anything that Missouri Town stands for. As I stated before, I prefer this book a little bit more then something like Little House on the Prairie because I’m a sucker for unknown underground stuff and I can’t say I’ve ever heard of the book prior to me starting this project. If you plan to do something like this with your kids, I would definitely recommend some sort of a book like this, as it will help your child get into the mindset of someone living in this time period. I have a review up if you’re interested.”
This is pretty easy to get to if you are in the Greater Kansas City area. It’s located off of a number of major highways, and signs mark the way to the park. For the most part, the museum is comprised of numerous historical buildings, many of which were moved to the site for the sake of preservation, while others were built on-site.
This was a cool little place that I feel doesn’t get the love it deserves around here. It’s comparable in size and nature to Missouri Town 1855 or the Mahaffie Stagecoach Museum just minus the “petting zoo” aspect of both of those. If you live in the general area, the park is easy to find and fun to explore and as I stated before, you can’t beat the price of it being absolutely free. Keep an eye on their schedule and try to make it out for a special event, I may have to go back in the fall since there appears to be a “harvest festival” of some sort that sounds cool.
The Website for Shoal Creek
For more local history excursions, click HERE