Planning a 2/3 day trip through Missouri to Arkansas.

rebel brit

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I'm in the early stages of planning a 2/3 day October trip through Missouri and I'm hoping for some idea's and suggestions .
Here's where I'm at so far, travelling down from South Dakota on the I-29 I'm detouring across Iowa to visit the birthplace of John Wayne in Winterset before entering Missouri on the I-35 probably staying the 1st night near St Joseph .
Is it feasible to do the following all on day one, the Jessie James house where he was shot (St Joseph) , Kearney to visit the Jessie James Farm/museum and maybe a self guided tour of Lawrence.
Just noticed this on the map, is the Lone Jack Battlefield museum worth a visit?
Day 2 and 3 places on my wish list , Arrow Rock, Boonville , Centralia, Carthage , Wilsons Creek and the Bushwacker museum in Nevada, plus any other suggestions you might have.
 

Booner

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Part 1. One very long and exhausting day.........

This is tough, you would like to possibly see all these spots in two or three days? I guess you could if you did a drive-by, but if you stop for a look, it ain't a going to happen. For example, you want to go to Boonville, which thrills me, as Patrick H, Boonslick, and I all live here. Do you really think we would you can get into and out of town in an hour or so if we know you're coming to visit? Lunch alone will take at least two hours, (it'll be at Magies, a local bar/restaurant, and I'll have the shrimp Po Boy--yes, shrimp in central MO! fried of course).

So with time not a factor, I'll give my suggestions and you can decide for yourself if the place makes your "gotta see" list.

From Winterset IO.
Take I-35 down to Bethany, MO and get on hwy 136, headed west.
A little west of Albany, MO Hwy 169 merges with Hwy 136 for awhile, At Stanberry, Hwy 136 leaves Hwy 169, stay on Hwy 169 all the way into St. Joseph. this trip through the country will save you some time.

personal stuff---
Once you pass through Union Star, your in my ancestral homeland. If you have car problems or need to use the bathroom, stop anywhere, tell them you know the Heath family, and you'll be treated like a cousin! My cousin farms around 3500 acres in this area and I go up there in the spring and fall to help with planting and harvesting. South of Union Star you'll pass through a little town (whats left of it, anyway) called Rochester. A country road, Hwy V, is on your left, and the little town of Helena is two miles down the road. My father was born there, my sister and I inherited two farms there and I have 5 generation of family buried in the cemetery there. About 300 yards south of hwy V there is a country road also on the left. My gggrandparents are buried there, they moved to Mo and Rochester in the 1840's.
You'll pass over the Platte River. Look to your right real quick and you may see the Rochester falls. until 1861 there was a water powered grist mill there but was burned by a pro-secession person, but he was caught and hung. In the mid to later 1950's, my grandfather took me to the falls and I caught my first fish there.

Back to the trip----
Hwy 169 takes into St. Joseph (every calls it St. Joe). it goes over I-29 and if you get on to I-29 and go south and get off at the next exit, there's motels there. turn right at the top of the exit and this road will take you into downtown St. Joe. St. Joe is famous for three things; the starting point for the Pony Express, and it's where Jesse James came to an end, so you'll want to see both places. (btw, I'm very distantly related to the James family). The other thing it's famous for is that from the 1850's to the end of the CW, it was the end point of the eastern railroad, and it was a very fast-growing city. Many people who were moving further west took the rail road into the town and then took the ferry across the river. And it was a center for the cattle business; cattle were driven into town, slaughtered, and then shipped either east on the rails, or west to army posts. It's what brought my Ullman ancestors to St. Joe in the early 1850's. (They became a wealthy and prominent St. Joe family, one of the farms my sister and I own outside of Helena came through them).
After the war, the citizen of St. Joe thought their economic boom would start up again, but the railroad built a bridge across the MO farther south (at Weston?) so the growth didn't occur.

Kearney, MO- the James Farm- Battle of Lexington
Take I-29 south towards Kansas City. Take Hwy 92 east at Platte City (towards Smithville). Stay on Hwy 92 through Kearney (you'll pass under I-35) for a few miles until you see the Jesse James Road/Summer Hills road on the left. The James farm is north and east of Kearney. After you visit the farm, get back on Hwy 92 and head east Hwy 69 to Excelsior Springs. Go into town and get on Hwy 10 East to Richmond. At Richmond get on Hwy 13 south, over the MO river and go into Lexington, another old MO river town and the site of the Battle of Lexington, aka the "Battle of the Hemp Bales." It's a small Battlefield, but well preserved.

If you've been able to do all of this in one day, you've done well, but you probably haven't spent a lot of time at the various sites.

From Lexington get back on Hwy 13 headed south/east and head towards Higgensville. outside of Higgensville is the Confederate Memorial State Historic Site. If you've done all of the above (St. Joe to this point), by now it's dark so no need to stop. Just know that Higgensville was the site of the Confederate nursing home and cemetery; parts of Wm. Quantrill are buried here. Also, since Platte City to the James farm, and especially since you've left Lexington, you've been travelling through the most contest ground in MO during the Civil War. This is the home ground of Quantrill's men, and the area south of Lexington, known as the Sni Hills, is where they took refuge. Stay on Hwy 13 past Higgensville until you hit I-70 and head east. You'll sleep in Boonville tonight, but you've got an hour's drive yet.

When I started this I didn't realize I'd be writing so much. So I'll call this Part 1 and end it here and come back to it later. Is this the type of thing your looking for?
 
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Pop over the border at Fort Scott Kansas, the fort is in good shape. Just a bit away is Marais des Cygnes massacre site.

When you get a chance come on down to Oklahoma, for Honey Springs and 1st and 2nd Cabin Creek, Fort Gibson (Fort Blunt during the war), Fort Towson and Doaksville, where the war ends. Not to mention all the cowboys, indians, oil barons and just plain odd stuff in the state. (Marland Mansion for one in Ponca City for one).
 

mofederal

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There is a lot to see of the Civil War in Missouri. You listed some great stops and Booner suggested some more. I think the James' sites are a very good and Liberty has the first bank robbery building preserved. Yes Lone Jack is a good site. KC does a good job with it's parks. The West Port Battlefield sites are near, but you are seeing a lot, but near Fort Scott is Baxter Springs and the whole Mine Creek Battlefield. I hope you see Pea Ridge.
 

rebel brit

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Cheers for that @Booner just what I'm looking for . I hadn't thought of the Battle of Lexington and thanks for the tip about the Pony Express.
Plenty of info for me to look into , I've just printed off your message so I'll have a copy of the directions.

Just know that Higgensville was the site of the Confederate nursing home and cemetery; parts of Wm. Quantrill are buried here.
Parts of Wm Quantrill???:unsure:
 

rebel brit

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There is a lot to see of the Civil War in Missouri. You listed some great stops and Booner suggested some more. I think the James' sites are a very good and Liberty has the first bank robbery building preserved. Yes Lone Jack is a good site. KC does a good job with it's parks. The West Port Battlefield sites are near, but you are seeing a lot, but near Fort Scott is Baxter Springs and the whole Mine Creek Battlefield. I hope you see Pea Ridge.
@mofederal thanks for the suggestions , looks like I'll be calling at the Lone Jack museum .:thumbsup:
We came through Oklahoma and visited Pea Ridge and Wilsons Creek in 2016 so might give them a miss this time so that I can fit in Baxter Springs and Mine Creek Battlefield. It'll also fit in with the planned visit to the Bushwacker museum.
 

rebel brit

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Pop over the border at Fort Scott Kansas, the fort is in good shape. Just a bit away is Marais des Cygnes massacre site.

When you get a chance come on down to Oklahoma, for Honey Springs and 1st and 2nd Cabin Creek, Fort Gibson (Fort Blunt during the war), Fort Towson and Doaksville, where the war ends. Not to mention all the cowboys, indians, oil barons and just plain odd stuff in the state. (Marland Mansion for one in Ponca City for one).

@Russell Martin We did come through Oklahoma in 2016 and as we were on a tight schedule looks like we missed a lot ( but did manage to see Geronimo and Quannah Parker's graves at Ft Sill). Again, being on a tight schedule to arrive in time for this years get together at Chickamauga looks like we'll miss out again,but will save your suggestions for next time .:thumbsup:
 
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We did come through Oklahoma in 2016 and as we were on a tight schedule looks like we missed a lot ( but did manage to see Geronimo and Quannah Parker's graves at Ft Sill). Again, being on a tight schedule to arrive in time for this years get together at Chickamauga looks like we'll miss out again,but will save your suggestions for next time .:thumbsup:

Honey Springs in July or August are miserable. The gullies are brutal. Try for November.
 

Booner

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Part two of possible trip plans-----

When we last left our intrepid traveller, they had just passed Higginsville, MO and was wondering why only a part of Captain Quantrill's was buried there. From memory, after the war Q's mother and one of his boyhood friends go down to Louisville, KY to get his body. Q's mother doesn't have the funds for her hotel, much less the cost to bring his body back to Ohio, so the boyhood friend is left paying the bills. How to get reimbursed for this trip when momma doesn't have the money? Try and sell the scull and a few other bones to interested parties!!!!! The State Historical Society of KS might be interested! So a few bits and pieces of poor Capt. Quantrill's ended up in various collections, with most of him being buried in Dover, Ohio. (And the good folks of Dover weren't too happy with what they got either). A few years ago the Captains wandering remains were collected and I think his scull went back to the rest of him in Ohio, but an arm and leg bone was buried at Higginsville. This may not be the exact story, but it's probably close enough for this travelog.

We by-passed Kansas City. We may to take a look there, it's certainly worth a day of vacation time.

Kansas City is known as the "city city of fountains" and is sister city to Seville, Spain, thus the Spanish/mediterrean architecture of the "Plaza" district, along with the many fountains.

When Kansas City was first founded, it was nothing more than a spot where the river traffic unloaded it's cargo. The major city at that time was Westport, which was the last civilized area where travellers could fit themselves out before going on the Santa Fe and Oregon Trail. So instead of going east on I-70 after you left Higginsville, you turned west headed to what the locals call " KC" (Kansas City). You drive past the town of Blue Springs and if you happened to have looked north you might have seen a hill that's just a little higher than the he others. That's "Pink Hill" and while nothing remains of the little settlement now, back during the CW, there were dozens of skirmishes in and around this area, and one guerrila wedding at the Babtist church that was there. This whole area from this point on to KC was the major battleground of Quantrill's boys.

As you approach KC, you may want to take a detour north to the City of Independence, site of two battles and the home of President Harry Truman and his presidential library. On I-70 you'll pass under Noland road. If you had taken that exit and turned north you would go past a large cemetery on your right, called Woodlawn, The Noland family had three sons and many cousin's that rode with Quantrill. They also had a mulatto slave by the name of John that was a scout for Quantrill, and was probably a cousin to the Noland brothers. John Noland was so we'll thought of that after the war when he died, his pallbearers were former Quantrill men, and they had engraved " A Man Amoung Men" engraved on his gravestone. Noland road will also take you into Independence.

Your on I-70 and it goes right through downtown KC. Get off on the Independence Avenue exit and head north to the "City Market/River Market" area. You're going to the Arabia Museum. The "Arabia" was a river boat that hit a snag in the MO river in 1854 and sunk while carrying cargo to settlements along the upper MO river. It sunk just north of KC, was discovered 20-30 years ago and dug up with it's cargo intact. On the trip just previous to when it was sunk, the boat was stopped at Lexington, MO by border ruffians and abolishionist settlers headed to KS were removed along with a shipment of Sharps rifles were taken off.

Once you leave the museum, go south on Grand boulavard and after you go over I-70 take any cross street to the west and get on Main Street heading South. In this area around 14th Street is where Gen. Ewing had imprisioned the sisters of some of Quatrills men. The building collaped killing 5 of them and that was part of the reason for the Lawerence Raid.

Ok, you're on Main Street and heading for the Crown Center area and the National WWI museum. The memorial is a very large and tall collum on the north side of a hill. Drive past it and look for the entry road to it called "memorial drive." To my shame, I've never been there. When I lived in KC it was closed for repairs, it's back in service now since we've just celebrated WWI (can you celebrate a war?) I understand it is exceptional.
You can go up into the tower, and if you do, notice the old rail road terminal to the east. In the 1930's gangsters had a shoot out in the far end of the parking lot and it was called "The Kansas City Massacre" as four police officers were killed in the fight. "Pretty Boy" Floyed may or may not have taken part in the shoot out.

Get back on Main Street and head south. Once you pass 39th Steet, you may want to take the next left ( Old Westport Road) and go into Westport. KC, despite it's modest beginings soon swallowed up all the little towns that predate it, and that's what happened to Westport. It's now known as a drinking spot for the younger crowd, and I suspect it was know for that to, back in the day. A lot of the old buildings were there during the CW, and now they are eating establishments and craft breweries. Before the CW, the buildings in Westport, the one that were not bars, were wharehouses for cargo going on the Santa Fe Trail.

From Westport, you want to head east to get on Broadway Boulavard, and head south again. Broadway runs north and south on the Eastern edge of Westport and you went across it when you previously got off Main to go into Westport.

So your now on Broadway heading south. You'll pass over a street called Wornel Road or Wornell Lane. Along this road sometime in July of 1863 some of Quantrill's men, led by Todd, killed 15 members of the 9th KS Cavalry. Two members of Q's men were killed in the Skirmish, a Fernando Scott, a close friend of Frank James, and a Daniel Boone Scroll, the great grandson of Daniel Boone.

Ok, you're on Broadway heading south. Pretty soon Broadway turns into J.C.Nichols Parkway. Look to your right and pretty soon you'll see the architecture turn to a southern Mediterranean style. This is "The Plaza District" home to KC's upscale shopping and dinner district. Turn right on Emmanuel Clever Boulavard and go into the plaza. ( If you had turned left on Em. Clever in two blocks you would g past the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art). This is the first professionally designed shopping district in the U.S. Turn left on Wornall Road. Go across Brush Creek. This was the Union line of battle during the Battle of Westport

Go south 3 or 4 blocks and Jacob Loose Park is on your right. Go to the South end of the park and turn right on West 55th Street. In the park, along the line of the street are a number of cannon placed there to note the position of Prices troops during the battle. Get out and read the signage. Get back in the car and turn around, going east on West 55th street. Joseph O. Shelby had his big cavalry battle in this area and further south along Wornel Road as the right flank of the Confederates was turned and collapsed. Shelby was able to hold his position long enough to allow Price to escape.

Possible side trip--- if you continue down 55th for a few blocks and turn left on Oak, and go north two blocks, you'll be behind the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Antique toys, and doll house furniture for sure, but perhaps some miniature figures. I don't know, I've never been there.

Ok you're at the corner of 55th and Wornell road. Turn right on Wornell road and go down to 59th street and turn left. Take 59th street all the way to where it ends at the Blue River. It was at this crossing where Marmaduke got his flank turned by the Federals and the battle of Westport was lost for Price. If you want to go to the Big Blue Battlefield park on the other side, you'll have to turn around and go back a couple of blocks to Denver Avenue, turn left go two blocks where Denver Ave. turns into Manchester Trafficway and follow it around to East 63rd street where you'll turn left, going over the Blue River then turn left on Hardesty Avenue and go into the park. I don't know anything about the park; it wasn't there when I lived in KC. -or-.........when you were at the corner of 55th and Wornell road, and had you turned south (right) on Wornell Road and continued down Wornell Road, between West 61st. Street and 61st Steet Terrace is the Wornell House, built in the late 1850's and open for tours. Wornell road is also the road Prices troops made their retreat down. And also somewhere on this road in 1862, Cole Youngers father was killed by MO Militia in what was a robbery. The death of his father was the impidous that Cole needed to join up with Quantrill.

At 63rd street turn left and stay on 63rd until you come to I-435.
If you're at the The Big Blue Battlefield park, get back on 63rd and heading east until you reach I-435. Head north on I-435 until you come to I-70 and turn east, you're going to Boonville!!!!!

You'll notice I haven't mentioned anything about going to Lawrence, KS.
If you really, really feel the need to go there, instead of going north on I-435 go South (west) take it south and west of KC and when your out in Lenexa, KS, look for hiway 10. It goes straight over to Lawrence. To the easteof Lawrence youll pass over the Walkarusa river, it was here that the Border Rufians had their camp during the Walkarusa War during the "Bleeding KS" days. As you approach Lawrence look on your right for the East 23rd exit/ road and stay on that until you come to Massachusetts street, turn right (north) and that will take you to downtown Lawrence. Most of the buildings were burnt by Quatrill, and Mount Oread is now the campus of the University of KS.

Part 3 to come:
 

mofederal

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The Steamboat Arabia Museum is well worth the trip I have seen it several times. I enjoyed it every time. The Liberty Memorial is a great place if you are into WWI. @Booner mentioned a lot of great places to see. I have been to a lot of the same places. The Frontier National Trails Museum in Independence is a great place, but only if one has the time. A lot of great stuff to see in the area. I know you will enjoy it.
 

Booner

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The Steamboat Arabia Museum is well worth the trip I have seen it several times. I enjoyed it every time. The Liberty Memorial is a great place if you are into WWI. @Booner mentioned a lot of great places to see. I have been to a lot of the same places. The Frontier National Trails Museum in Independence is a great place, but only if one has the time. A lot of great stuff to see in the area. I know you will enjoy it.

I just can't recommend them going to Lawrence......am I too much of a Missourian? When I meet Rebel Brit I'll try and explain the unusual relationship between out two states,,,,,,,over an adult beverage.

What about Ft. Levenworth? It's been years since I was there and if I remember correctly that had a cavalry museum.
 

mofederal

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I have been to Riley and Leavenworth. Both have great museums. I am not much on Kansas. The trips were on the Army. I was at an attack helicopter unit, they were trying to interest me in being a pilot. A friend of mine was stationed at Leavenworth.
 

rebel brit

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Wow !!! many thanks @Booner , @mofederal all this info and directions are spot on and just what we need.
Looks like we're gonna be busy on Google street maps for the next few hours .
Very much appreciated and can't wait for part 3. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

Booner

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I have been to Riley and Leavenworth. Both have great museums. I am not much on Kansas. The trips were on the Army. I was at an attack helicopter unit, they were trying to interest me in being a pilot. A friend of mine was stationed at Leavenworth.

That would explain your visit to Ft. Riley.
A year ago I tried to take of tour of the Ft. Riley museum. I guess due to 9/11 the security a civilian has to go through to get on an active army base is pretty intense. Background check, possible search of your car, etc. In my case their computer was down and after waiting over an hour for it to get back online I grew tired and left. Still have seen their museum. Maybe I'll try again on my next trip out to Colorado.
 

rebel brit

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I've only ever been on two military bases, Ft Lee Virginia to visit the U.S Army Quartermasters Museum and Ft Sill Oklahoma to see Geronimo and Quannah Parkers burial sites. On both occasions we had to show our passports and complete a questionaire and have the car searched. Once on the base we were surprised just how must freedom we had to drive around without being questioned, unlike in the U.K where you're not allowed on any bases ( then again we don't tend to have museums affixed on them).
 

Booner

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We interrupt today's travelogue due to important developments:

Nevada, MO "Bushwhacker Days" June 9, 2018
To my shame, I've never been to the museum in Nevada, and how can I recommend it as trip stop if I've never been? So today I went on their site and found out that tomorrow is Nevada's annual "Buschwhacker Days"!!!!!! So that's where I'm going tomorrow. I'll check out the museum and the living history exhibits. It'll be a twofer! (maybe pick up some artwork- I think I have most of the books they offer).
their website--> https://bushwhacker.org

Perhaps I have too many books, as I forgot completely about this one, which is exactly what Rebel Brit needs--"Friend and Foe Alike; A tour Guide to Missouri's Civil War" by Gregory Wolk. It covers the whole state, divided into sections, concentrating on the state's CW history, with point-by-point driving instructions, pictures, etc.

Rebel Brit--you need this--you can read through it and decide where you want to go. Send me a PM with your address and I'll send it to you asap. You can return it to me at Chichamaugua, or, perhaps we can work out a trade?
---Our fellow member, Rebel Brit , makes a series of high quality miniature figures; he is also an accomplished miniature painter. His avatar is one of his figures which he painted, which not only demonstrates his talent as a sculpturer, but as a painter of miniatures as well. I came to know him when I posted one of his figures I painted on this forum, (which I need to make my aviatar). He is too modest to promote his figures on this forum. I, however, do not suffer from that affliction.

His website-->http://www.milmartminiatures.com
 
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Booner

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I've only ever been on two military bases, Ft Lee Virginia to visit the U.S Army Quartermasters Museum and Ft Sill Oklahoma to see Geronimo and Quannah Parkers burial sites. On both occasions we had to show our passports and complete a questionaire and have the car searched. Once on the base we were surprised just how must freedom we had to drive around without being questioned, unlike in the U.K where you're not allowed on any bases ( then again we don't tend to have museums affixed on them).

I spent Memorial Day this year in Washington, DC. we went to the Marine Corp Museum at Quantico, VA. Not a problem getting to the museum as it's either right next to their base, or on the base before you get to the main gates.
 
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