That role can be experienced at the grandly restored Independence mansions and rustic log cabins through the colorful stories that fill their walls.
Three site tickets are available for Vaile, Bingham-Waggoner, and the 1859 Jail for $15. A $20.00 four site ticket, which includes the National Frontier Trails Museum, is also available.
This two-story 1859 Jackson County Jail, with its barred windows, double iron doors and leg chains, once housed Frank James, Jesse James notorious brother. Visitors are amazed to learn how James was treated like a hero and showered with gifts throughout his incarceration. Four feet away is the back wall of the federalist-style marshal’s house which was home for county marshals until the early 1930s. Special exhibits such as a collection of confiscated handmade weapons are available.
217 N. Main, (816) 461-1897 Open: Mon. - Sat.; 10 - 4 p.m. Sun.; 1-4 p.m.April – OctoberAdmission: $6 adults; $5 seniors;$3 Children/Students; $4.50 Group Rates Handicapped Accessible: Limited, get directions. Closed Easter & Mother’s Day, November, January through March Special Christmas tour.www.jchs.org
Built in 1855 along 1846 alignment of Santa Fe Trail, the home was once owned by George C. Bingham, famed Civil War artist. It was also home to the Waggoner family from 1879-1978, founders of Waggoner Gates Mill. Group meals may be reserved in advance in the cozy carriage house. Holiday tours available between Thanksgiving and December 30.
313 W. Pacific, (816) 461-3491Open: Mon. - Sat.; 10 - 4 p.m. Sun.: 1 - 4p.m. April – October Admission: $6 adults; $5 seniors;$3 Children/Students; $4.50 Group Rates Handicapped Accessible: Limited, get directions.Closed Easter & Mother’s Day, November, January through Marchwww.bwestate.org
Built in 1879, the depot is believed to be the oldest two-story frame depot remaining in Missouri. It was moved to the National Frontier Trails Museum Campus in 1996.On the second floor are a kitchen, dining room, bedroom and parlor where the stationmaster resided.
318 W. Pacific, (816) 325-7955Open: April - OctoberHours: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mon.,Thurs. - Sat. and 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Sun. Other times by appointment.Donations welcomed.Partially Wheelchair Accessible.www.chicagoalton1879depot.org
The austere two-room log cabin offers a sharp contrast to Independence’s opulent Victorian estates. Originally constructed in an Irish community known as “Brady Town,” the Pioneer Spring Cabin was moved to its present location in 1971. A spring outside the Cabin has been recreated to represent the abundant natural springs that served weary trail riders, pioneers and livestock.SE corner of Noland and Truman Roads, (816) 325-7111 Hours: Closed for this season.Admission:
The Truman Home, located at 219 N. Delaware, offers a glimpse at the personal life of the 33rd President of the US. Beautiful in its uncluttered simplicity, the Truman Home showcases the simple life Truman and his beloved Bess enjoyed in Independence before and after his presidency. Tours run every 15 minutes 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets must be purchased at the Truman Home Ticket Center on the day of the tour. No advance reservations. Groups are limited to 8 people. Visitors also enjoy a visit to the Truman Home Ticket Center with free audio visual show depicting the President’s life and the interior of his stately home.
Ticket Center Main & Truman Roads (223 N. Main, (816) 254-9929) Open: Tuesday-Saturday, 8:30-5:00Closed: Federal holidaysTour of home: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (8 people every 15 minutes)$4 adults; 15 and under freeHandicapped Accessible: Limited, get directions.www.nps.gov/hstr
Built in 1881 by local entrepreneur and U.S. mail contractor Harvey Merrick Vaile, according to Architect magazine, this ornate 30-room mansion is one of the finest examples of Second-Empire Victorian architecture in the country. Colorful ceiling murals, lavish furnishings, hand-painted murals and whimsical detailing make this home a “must see.“ Holiday tours with special decorations run between Thanksgiving and December 30.
1500 N. Liberty, (816) 325-7430 Open: Mon. - Sat.; 10 - 4 p.m. Sun.; 1-4 p.m.April – October 10Admission: $6 adults; $5 seniors;$3 Children/Students; $4.50 Group Rates Not Handicapped Accessible.Closed Easter & Mother’s Day, November, January through March Special Holiday tours.www.vailemansion.org
City of Independence Department of Tourism