Do you like history? Then you’ll love the city of St. Joseph. Founded in 1843, this small town north of Kansas City was one of the most important sites for trade and commerce in early America—and the site of the original Pony Express. Today, this city boasts 13 different museums, plus lots of other sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
Learn about Jesse James’ final days.
Did you know that Jesse James spent his last days in St. Joseph? You can tour his modest house where he lived with his wife and children—and was ultimately confronted by Robert Ford, a former member of his gang. This museum features many artifacts from his family home and final burial.
See the Pony Express National Museum.
The Pony Express began in St. Joseph in April, 1860—and these unique exhibits show the amazing lives of the Pony Express riders, who traveled 2,000 miles by horseback to deliver mail quickly to Sacramento, California. When you finish, visit the nearby Patee House Museum to see the headquarters for the original Pony Express operations, housed in the Patee House Hotel.
Experience the Glore Psychiatric Museum.
Considered one of the top 50 most unusual museums in America, the Glore Psychiatric Museum illustrates the bizarre history of mental illness cures and the 130-year history of “State Lunatic Asylum No. 2.” Don’t miss the exhibit of 453 nails swallowed by a patient in 1874. This museum has been featured on The Learning Channel, The Discovery Channel, PBS, and The Science Channel.
Walk with wine and art.
Every first Saturday of the month, downtown St. Joseph First Saturdays features different local musical and visual artists. Don’t forget to stop in and shop and the local businesses while you are enjoying the scene. You can also join in on the Sculpture Walk and take in the beautiful outdoor art around downtown St Joseph.
Sample classic Cajun food.
Boudreaux’s Louisiana Seafood & Steaks serves up traditional Cajun food, such as jambalaya, gumbo, and crawfish etouffe (open daily for lunch and dinner, Monday-Saturday). But more daring diners should definitely start with the fried alligator and freshly shucked oysters on the half shell, served in an historic brick building on the main square.
Looking for a home in St. Joseph? We have all your listings—right here.
Photo courtesy of the Allied Arts Council of St. Joseph, MO Inc.