1859 Jail and Museum, 217 N. Main, Independence, Mo., (816) 252-1892. William Quantrill and John Younger were prisoners here, and Frank James awaited trial when the site was a jail, 1859-1933. Now a museum with changing exhibits and a replica of a one-room school.
Agricultural Hall of Fame, 630 Hall of Fame Drive, Bonner Springs, Kan., (913) 721-1075. Experience the real rural world by strolling through a complete farm town, outlining the development of local farming techniques. Enjoy the Museum of Farming, Hall of Fame, National Farmers’ Memorial, one-mile nature trail and more than 30,000 artifacts. Admittance free.
Alexander Majors Farm, 8201 State Line Road, (816) 333-5556. Restored 1856 home of the owner of the largest freighting company on the western trails and the founder of the Pony Express. Barn and blacksmith shop on grounds offer rustic displays.
Arabia Steamboat Museum, 400 Grand in the City Market, (816) 471-4030. A time capsule of remarkably preserved 1856 frontier supplies, explained by members of the rescue crew who excavated the Great White Arabia, the mighty steamboat that sank on Sept. 5, 1856. The Arabia was carrying a mystery cargo that captivated treasure hunters for more than a century.
Ben Ferrel Platte County Museum, Platte City, Mo., (816) 431-5121. A mini-mansion replica of the governor’s mansion in Jefferson City. This 1882 furnished home museum uses the Platte County Historical Society collection of historical accounts to tell the story of Platte County in the Archives Room. Christmas tours in December.
Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 W. Pacific, Independence, Mo. (816) 461-3491. Built by saddle-maker John Lewis in 1855, owned by American painter George Caleb Bingham and remodeled by Peter and William Waggoner, Pennsylvania millers. Gift shop in carriage house. Available for private party rental. Admittance fee.
Cave Spring Interpretive Center, 8701 E. Gregory, (816) 358-CAVE. Nature center with changing exhibits, wood chip hiking trails, one wheelchair-accessible trail, wildlife pond habitat and butterfly garden. Donations accepted.
Carroll Mansion (Leavenworth County Museum), 1128 5th Ave., Leavenworth, (913) 682-7759. Furniture and household items collected from original Leavenworth families fill the Victorian mansion. Special exhibits featured periodically. Admittance fee.
Clay County Historical Museum, 14 N. Main, Liberty, Mo. (816) 792-1849. Local artifacts from the late 1800s preserved in a representational setting. Admittance fee.
Community of Christ (formerly RLDS) World Headquarters, River & Walnut streets, Independence, Mo., (816) 521-3045. The auditorium: 6,000-seat conference chamber, 6,334-pipe Aeolian-Skinner organ. The Temple: 1,600-seat sanctuary, 5,685-pipe
Casavant Freres Limittee organ. Free recitals daily through the summer and Sundays all year. Tours available
Fort Osage, three miles north of U.S. Highway 24 at Sibley, Mo., (816) 795-8200, Ext. 1260. This restored fort, built in 1808 by Lewis and Clark, was the first U.S. outpost in the Louisiana Purchase and served as a trading post for the Osage Indians. Admittance fee.
Frontier Army Museum, corner of Reynolds and Gibbon on post at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., (913) 684-3767. Numerous exhibits, including wheeled military vehicles. Airplane buffs will want to see the Jenny JN4 used in General Pershing’s 1916 punitive expedition. Free.
Grinter Place Museum, 1420 S. 78th St., Kansas City, Kan., (913) 299-0373. Considered the oldest house remaining in Wyandotte County, the Southern colonial home overlooks the Kansas River near the ferry crossing for the Frontier Military Road between Fort Leavenworth and Fort Scott. Free.
Hallmark Visitors Center, Crown Center, Hallmark Square, (816) 274-5672. A 10,000-square-foot facility including 14 major exhibits that tell the Hallmark story.
Harris-Kearney Home, 4000 Baltimore, (816) 561-1821. A restored 1855 home in the historic Westport district. Available for groups. Admittance fee.
Historic Liberty Jail and Visitor Center, 216 N. Main, Liberty (816) 781-3188. Some of the original materials are included in the restored 1830s jail where Mormon prophet Joseph Smith was held. Guided tours. Free.
Jesse James Bank Museum, 103 N. Water, Liberty, (816) 781-4458. The museum is the site of the Clay County Savings Bank, robbed in 1866 by Jesse James and his gang. Admittance fee.
Jesse James Farm Home, 21216 Jesse James Road (I-35 north to Kearney exit), (816) 628-6065. Birthplace of Frank and Jesse James and owned by the James family for 133 years. Admittance fee.
Johnson County Museum of History, 6305 Lackman Road, Shawnee, (913) 631-6709. A huge collection of Kansas memorabilia. County history exhibits are featured, examining changes from the 1820s to today. Includes restored 1950s suburban dream home.
Kansas City Museum, Corinthian Hall, 3218 Gladstone Blvd. (Benton & Gladstone boulevards), (816) 483-8300. Offers rotating science and technology exhibits, a planetarium, natural history hall and old-fashioned drug store. Admittance fee..
Legler Barn Museum, 14907 W. 87th Street Parkway, Lenexa, (913) 492-0038. Reconstructed 1860s barn displaying pioneer artifacts. Special exhibits and quilting group. Donations accepted.
Liberty Memorial, 100 W. 26th in Penn Valley Park, (816) 221-1918. World War I memorial and museum complex; recently restored.
Lone Jack Civil War Museum, Lone Jack, Mo., (one block south of U.S. Highway 50), (816) 566-2272. Local Civil War history. Donations accepted.
Mahaffie Farmstead and Stagecoach Stop, 1100 Kansas City Road, Olathe, (913) 782-6972. The last remaining structure used as a stagecoach stop along the Santa Fe Trail. The 1865 stone house, stone ice house and wood peg barn are highlights. Special events include annual Bullwhacker Days. Admittance fee.
Missouri Town 1855, (east side of Fleming Park/Lake Jacomo), Blue Springs, Mo., (816) 795-8200. This living history museum composed of over 35 buildings depicts the lifestyles of the mid-19th century. Interpreters are dressed in period costumes. Admittance fee.
Mormon Visitors’ Center, 937 W. Walnut, Independence, (816) 836-3466. Mormon history and beliefs shown through photographs, statues and original paintings. Three theaters show films. Guided tours. Free.
National Frontier Trails Center, 318 W. Pacific, Independence, Mo., (816)325-7575. Trace the pioneers’ journeys. Exhibits, diaries and video.
Old Shawnee Town, 57th & Cody, Shawnee (913) 248-2360. An actual frontier town includes a log cabin, sod house, blacksmith shop, barbershop, undertaker shop and the first jail in Kansas (1843). Free.
Price-Loyles Home, Weston, Mo., (816) 640-2383. 1857 family heritage home of Daniel Boone’s great-granddaughter, Rusella Warner Price, and her husband Col. James Price. Original family furnishings and documents from the early 1800s. Changing exhibits highlight Civil War and area history. Children’s playroom and attic depict 19th and early 20th centuries.
Ray County Historical Museum, 901 W. Royal, Richmond, Mo., (816) 776-2305. Collection of artifacts from county, including items from both World Wars, some genealogy and African-American history. Admittance fee.
Raytown Historical Museum, 9705 E. 63rd St., (816) 353-5033. Monthly exhibits in 1800s town. Free.
Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site, 3403 W. 53rd St., Fairway, Kan., (913) 262-0867. Founded in 1839 by Methodist minister the Rev. Thomas Johnson, for whom the county is named, the mission school taught manual skills and academics to American Indian children on site of the original Shawnee reservation. Free.
Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio, 3616 Belleview, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 931-5722. Famous Missouri artist and his wife lived here for 36 years. Original furnishings in the home; studio in the carriage house. Admittance fee.
Toy and Miniature Museum, 5235 Oak, (816) 333-2055. Largest museum of its kind in the Midwest features exact scale replicas of old-fashioned furnishings in doll houses. Antique toys and dolls, plus contemporary miniatures. Admittance fee.