As long as I am writing about National Trails this week, I might as well finish off the week with our visit to the Frontier Trails Museum. We visited the Frontier Trails in Independence during the time we were “stuck” in Kansas City in October. We were actually in Independence to visit the Truman National Historic Park. But we saw the signs for the museum and couldn’t resist.
The National Frontier Trails Museum is a small, independent museum run by the City of Independence and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The museum interprets the story of America’s westward expansion during the 1800’s. There are covered wagons, diaries written by people who traveled in covered wagons, and a film.
The film covers the history of the five westward expansion trails: Lewis and Clark, Santa Fe, Oregon, California, and Mormon Pioneer. These are all National Historic Trails, as I mentioned on Tuesday. The museum has a section the Oregon, California, and Mormon Pioneer Trails, which intersected and covered much of the same ground. The stories of these trails are similar. Then it also has a section for Lewis and Clark’s exploration, and another section for the Santa Fe Trail.
Although the Frontier Trails Museum was small, it was well organized and contained a wealth of displays and information. Independence was the outfitter for many people making the arduous journey west. There is even a sign that says that the five trails begin at this particular point. Every spring thousands of covered wagons would converge on Independence as the emigrants began their journeys west.
We spent about an hour at the Frontier Trails Museum and enjoyed it very much. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it, but it is an interesting place to stop if you are in Independence. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children.