Kearney Travel Guide

  • Jesse James Family Farm, Kearney
    Jesse James Family Farm, Kearney
    by mrclay2000
  • Kearney
    by basstbn
  • Kearney
    by basstbn

Kearney Things to Do

  • Watkins Home

    Built in the 1850s in the Classic Revival style, the Watkins Home is a beautiful example of rural American living for the well-to-do. Boasting eight bedrooms and a pair of parlors, the main house occupies the prominent hilltop on the 3,600-acre farm (now a Living History Farm) and centers a number of other outbuildings. The rooms are seen by tour...

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  • Watkins Mill

    Perfectly preserved, the 19th-century Watkins Mill sits in a depression near a small pond used presumably in times past for operating the looms and other machinery. Unlike the James Farm, no portion of the Watkins Mill State Park can be explored without paying the $2.50 admission fee. Along with the mill and home, a barn, stables, and a small flock...

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  • Jesse James Farm

    I love historical places, and ever since I watched the 1939 Tyrone Power movie "Jesse James" on TV, I've had a romantic fascination with this particular gunslinger. I found myself in Kearney, MO for a weekend, so naturally, a trip to the James Farm and birthplace was de rigueur. A short - and well marked - drive from my hotel, and I found myself at...

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  • Jesse James' Final Resting Place

    The attendants at the James Farm will explain that Jesse James had indeed been buried on the family property after his assassination in St Joseph in 1882. In 1902 (explain the same pundits), James was disinterred and reinterred in Mt Olivet Cemetery near I-35 on US-92. In 1995, forensic experts apparently proved that Jesse's remains in fact were...

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  • Watkins Mill State Park, Lawson

    In the 1860s Waltus Watkins built a woollen mill as part of his farm expansion. Tools bought from East Coast manufacturers were shipped here by rail and by river, and today they remain where originally installed, the only surviving mill in the United States (and one of few on the continent) able to make the claim. Today the mill is part of a...

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  • James Farm

    If you drive through Missouri you'll see that most of the state is nicely forested. In the northwest however the landscape gives way to farmland delineated by pockets of trees. It was here in 1845 that Jesse James' parents built their primitive ranchhouse and farm, and where the future outlaw was born. The house, now protected by modern white...

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  • Jesse James' Other Resting Place

    If you doubt the pundits at the James Farm, you can still see both the official and unofficial resting places of one of America's best-known outlaws. Officially, James was removed from the family property and redeposited in the turf at Mt Olivet Cemetery. His grave is toward the west edges, best indicated by a small sign and a few bushes. Both he...

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  • Tryst Falls Park

    East of Kearney on State Road 92 is a popular picnic and hangout destination - Tryst Falls Park. At one time there was a working grist mill on the site.Looking at the picture, you may well ask where's the falls, the water? We visited late in July, 2003 - the driest month on record in the area. And the creek had just dried up.

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  • Jesse James' Grave in Mt. Olivet...

    Jesse James' body was exhumed from its resting place on the family farm in 1902 and re-buried (in a new casket) at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Remaining pieces of the original casket can be viewed at the museum at the Farmstead. The outlaw's grave was again disturbed in the 1990s as a group of forensic experts dug him up to do DNA testing to make certain...

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Kearney Hotels

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Kearney Restaurants

  • by merrbarnett Written May 29, 2008

    Outlaw's BBQ is a wonderful little casual dining BBQ restaurant with delicious food and friendly service! The menu offers quite a variety of things, but be sure to try the burnt ends and the ribs. Also, Ron's Salad is one of the best I've ever had. The prices are reasonable, and they have frequent drink specials that make this one of my favorite stops!

    Favorite Dish: RIBS-tender, excellent flavor
    RON'S SALAD-fresh, great fried chicken, and delightful dressing!
    BURNT ENDS-My favorite anywhere! I LOVE burnt ends, and have tried them at every BBQ restaurant I have visited, but none compare with Outlaw's!!!

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Kearney Local Customs

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    note the wind trunk sawn off at the grasstops

    by mrclay2000 Updated Oct 26, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Prowlers through the Mt Olivet graveyard looking for Jesse James will eventually come across an odd sign. The sign purports to direct the visitor to a nearby merchant in order to "buy a piece of the tree that shaded Jesse James." If in fact James is buried in Mt Olivet, the purchase might seem sensible to collectors. If not, the tree cube would be no more valuable than a chunk of tofu, just another hoax in American lore.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

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Kearney Tourist Traps

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    the corner of the James House, the true cabin

    by mrclay2000 Written Oct 26, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Today's Jesse James Farm is a modern success story, but also the local racket. Visitors must stop at a James Museum and pay $6.50 for adults to visit a tiny house shown only by tour. The house itself is primitive, filled with period implements, wooden floors and a stone hearth.

    Unique Suggestions: Don't pay a dime to see the inside of the house. The attendants will allow you to traipse outside the farmhouse, the outhouse and the slaves' quarters for free.

    Fun Alternatives: During this tour you can peer inside the farmhouse to see how paying $6.50 might or might not embellish your visit.

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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

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Kearney Off The Beaten Path

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    Jesse James home, St Joseph MO

    by mrclay2000 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    A true James' enthusiast would visit all the associated places in Kearney before venturing the short hour and change to St Joseph. There, apart from a wealth of historical wonders, the visitor can tour the small home in which James was murdered in 1882. Though relocated to its new position near the Pony Express Offices, the home still begs the visitor to "see the bullet hole."

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    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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