A Historical Visit to St. Joseph, Missouri

On a chilly Saturday morning we loaded into the car for a day-trip to St. Joseph, Missouri. Since it is only about an hour drive from our location, we had time for breakfast. After a quick bite we stopped for coffee, which would keep us warm on our travels. Traffic was light, but steady, and soon we found ourselves coasting in for our historical visit to this Midwestern town.

St. Joseph

St. Joseph, like many Midwest cities, is located on a river. In this case it is the Missouri River. Started as a frontier town, it was the jumping off point for travelers heading west. Pioneers would purchase their supplies, and load their wagons for the hard journey ahead. Standing on the banks overlooking the river, one wonders how they were able to navigate the crossing in the days before a ferry was built. Our fist stop was at the Pony Express Museum located at 914 Penn Street. Much of St. Joe’s history revolves around it’s past as one of the two end points of this famous route. The riders carried mail from St. Joseph to Sacramento, California. The museum is well laid out, and quite educational.

Our next stop was the Glore Psychiatric Museum, which is located at  3406 Frederick Avenue. This mental hospital turned museum showcases the treatment of mental disturbances through the centuries. The exhibits are eye opening, and cover four floors.

A separate wing on the second floor showcases a variety of smaller displays. Here you will find a doll museum, black archives, and the St. Joseph Historical displays. While not nearly as robust, they do hold lots of informative exhibits. There is an extensive section on the Civil War, with more displays being added.

By now we had worked up quite an appetite, so we headed downtown for lunch. We had preselected Boudreaux’s Louisiana Seafood & Steakhouse for this visit. The atmosphere was light, and the food was delicious. We even had desserts, because we knew we would be walking off some of the calories. With our bellies full, we took a few minutes to check out a Mod Podge Boutique.

Our final stop on this visit was at the Patee House Museum located at 1202 Penn Street. This four story hotel has the first two floors dedicated as a museum. The exhibits cover a lot of areas in the city’s history. Modes of transportation covering many decades can be found, as well as a working carousel. Behind the museum is the house that Jesse James lived in during the time of his death. Soon our time was up, and we were ready to call it a day. The trip home was spent discussing some of the interesting things we had discovered that day. There was still more to explore in St. Joseph, Missouri, but that will have to wait for another day. What are some of your favorite spots in this city?

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14 thoughts on “A Historical Visit to St. Joseph, Missouri”

  1. I am interested in Civil War history (in Missouri, I’ve been to the birthplace of George Washington Carver, born a slave in Missouri, and also to the Wilson Creek battlefield). I was immediately interested in the mural at the top of your post. I live in New York State, so not sure when I will be next in Missouri, but sounds like this city is well worth a visit.

  2. OMG! I love this place, Couple of years back I went there with my family from then I am so in love with this place, Thanks for sharing some things which I didn’t know of in this article, Your photos are amazing,too. Cheers ūüôā

  3. Museums are always interesting and give you a lot of learning. I enjoy seeing the artifacts and the history. You too seem to had a good time. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love history and this seems like a good day trip. There are many hidden historical gems thanks for sharing this. Civil war history of US attracts me a lot.

  5. My teenage son loved the museums. Going up to the Cathedral area was a great place to look back over downtown. Museum hill was filled with pre-1900s homes. I hear there’s a craft beer walk this weekend if you need another stop or two for refreshments.

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