Our Missouri history studies have taken us to the early 1800's learning about the Louisiana Purchase, the exploration of the Missouri River over to the Pacific Ocean by Lewis and Clark and the subsequent travels of pioneers launching from first, Franklin and then Independence, MO. The National Frontier Trails Museum is located in Independence on the Santa Fe Trail and built on the sight of the former Waggoner Mill. The Waggoner Estate sits just across the street, although we did not tour it on this day.
The museum itself is great. With murals and displays beginning with Lewis and Clark, detailing the city of Independence and then taking the visitor to Santa Fe, Oregon and California it provides an in-depth experience of what it would have been like on the trail including first-hand accounts and replicas from the time period. A short video was also included and although it was produced in 1990 the content was informative.
A visitor could spend all day in the Independence square visiting historical sites, but on this outing we focused our time at the museum. I feel fortunate to live so close to areas that expound on all that we are learning at home about our state and its role as the Gateway to the West.