This is where it all began. The spot where countless thousands of pioneers and emigrants outfitted themselves for their journey west on the Santa Fe, Oregon or California Trails. It is also the location where President Harry Truman began his political career as Jackson County Presiding Judge.

Today, take a covered wagon tour, see a first-run movie at the Pharoah Theater, or enjoy a game of bowling at the newly renovated boutique bowling alley at Diamond Bowl. During the summer ride the Truman Trolley to historic sites.

Independence Square Shops/Eateries Independence Square Shops/Eateries

Shop in over twenty specialty and antique shops and enjoy fine or causal dining at one of the many restaurants located on the Square. Special events are held throughout the year. Call for a complete shopping guide address, (816) 461-0065. Make it a day on the Square!

(816) 461-0065

Hours Vary

1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home & Museum 1859 Jail & Marshal’s Home Museum

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 include a collection of confiscated handmade weapons.

Independence’s rich Civil War heritage is also interpreted at the 1859 Jail.

217 N. Main, (816) 461-1897

Open: April - October, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mon. - Sat.; 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Sun.
Admission: $6 adults; $5 seniors; $3 ages 6-16; under 6 free
Closed January – March

Truman Home Ticket Center Truman Home Ticket Center

A visit to the Truman Home Ticket Center is a great way to learn more about the personal life of Independence’s favorite son. A free audio-visual show, rotating exhibits and a bookstore make this a popular stop for visitors.

Main & Truman Road (223 North Main St.)
(816) 254-9929
Hours: Daily 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Historic Jackson County Truman Courthouse/Truman Courtroom Historic Jackson County Truman Courthouse/Truman Courtroom

The Independence Square Courthouse, which houses the restored office and courtroom Truman occupied as county judge in 1933, stands at the center of Historic Independence Square. A 25-minute audio-visual show in the courtroom highlights Truman’s rise to power. (The Courthouse will reopen in the Summer of 2013).

Independence Square, (816) 252-7454

Open: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Tues. - Fri.
Open by advance reservation for groups
Admission: $2 adults; $1 students, under 5 free

1827 Log Courthouse 1827 Log Courthouse

Two-room log structure was home to roots of Jackson County where controversial slave state, land disputes and westward expansion issues were dealt with. Once a Mormon mercantile store, this structure has a great significance to members of the LDS church. Harry Truman held court here in the 1930s.

107 W. Kansas, (816) 325-7111

Hours:10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Mon. - Fri. July 5 - October 31.  Closed on ozone alert days and all major holidays.
Open by advance reservation for groups
After 2 p.m. by appointment
Admission: Free

Covered Wagon Rides Covered Wagon Rides

Mule-drawn covered wagon rides are available for groups with advance reservations. Travel 1850s style through the downtown historic district and re-discover the city where the country’s three major westward trails began and America’s most surprising President called home. The wagon tours daily, for a complete price list and/or brochure please call (816) 456-4991.