Bounded roughly by 9th, Francis, 12th, Jules (pronounced jewel), 15th and Messanie, the Museum Hill Historic District is among the less-crowded, more open spaces in St Joseph's historic district collection. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the section has some of the city's most engaging landmarks, but also unfortunately abuts some of the more rundown neighborhoods. On top of being listed in its own right, the district keeps many other national register sites and hosts a large complement of Victorian homes.
This exclusive area is roughly bounded by Isadore and Corby between 6th and 9th streets. Comprising homes begun as early as the 1870s and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the prevalent style in the Hall Street area is late Victorian and late 19th century revivals, with a little Italianate mixed in. While cruising through it is not unusual to see multiple chimneys from multiple guest rooms in homes seemingly built from identical molds. Most residences sit atop hillocks rising above the street level.
There are so many things to see in St. Joseph that you better make sure you are wearing good walking shoes. Be sure to visit the Missouri Valley Trust Bank Building. This structure, built in 1859, was the oldest building west of the Mississippi continuously in use for banking purposes and was used as a bank until the late 1970s. You can tour the bank and see the way it was in 1859 with all its woodwork, cast iron pillars, teller cages and a vault reinforced with railroad rails.
Visit the St. Joseph Museum.
The museum has exhibits such as 'Indians of the Northwest Coast.' This is a story about the ghost dance and the last member of the Yahi tribe, Ishi. There are also interactive exhibits for children such as the 'Touch & Go Room' where they can climb into a fort or tipi.
There are exhibits on the second floor showing St. Joseph from prehistoric days to its 'Golden Age' in the 1800s. There is a restored Victorian bedroom and displays of the fur trade.
The third floor has exhibits focusing on the natural history of the Midwest.
During the holiday season, the museum is outlined in lights and is spectacular. The museum was originally a mansion built in 1879. All the furnishings have been replaced by exhibits, but you can still see the beautiful woodwark and stained glass windows.
The Museum is open year round except for Thanksgiving and December 24,25, 31 and January 1.
Admission: $2.00 adults, $1.00 students, children 6 years and under free.
If you are interested in outlaws of the 'Old West', then the Jesse James home might interest you.
Jesse James was shot from behind by Bob Ford in this house on April 3, 1882. He was living with his family and the name of Tom Howard when he was killed. You can see the hole made by the bullet. The James Home is a museum dealing with the life and death of Jesse and includes artifacts from his grave when his body was exhumed for DNA tests. The test results showed a 99.7% certainty that the body was that of Jesse James. You will still find people who don't agree with this conclusion.
You must visit St.Joseph's Parkway and Lovers Lane. The Parkway connects parks, recreation facilities and winds 26 miles through the city. The Parkway was developed in 1918 and is considered one of the finest boulevard systems in the United States. It provides ample opportunity for hiking and biking. Just meandering through in your car is a pleasurable experience.
Lovers Lane is a beautiful winding street displaying many beautiful homes. I can just imagine having a home with a Lovers Lane address
Beautiful, peaceful scenery. Very relaxing.
Pony Express Museum is my favorite place to go in St. Joseph. The museum is housed in a building that at one time was a stable for the horses of the pony express. For those who are unfamiliar with US history, at one time there were gold miners and people in California and Oregon while the Eastern part of my country was also populated. The interior of my country, places like Kansas, were almost completely unpopulated. The pony express riders carried pouches of mail on horse back long distances to California from St. Joseph. Although it was very dangerous work most of the express riders were young boys. Young boys did not weigh as much so they would not tire the horses. They were brave young men.
There is a good place inside the museum to have your photo taken with an express rider about to open the stable doors and start his trek. There is an actual leather express saddle you can sit on. Numerous displays about the history of the express riders.
Jesse James House and Patee Museum. In the photo you can see a smile white house and beyond it a brick building. The brick building is the Patee Museum. Jesse James lived in the small white house and was murdered there by one of his gang members. Jesse James was a guerrilla fighter during the American Civil War. After the war he was not given pardon by US government so he continued to be at war as an outlaw. He robbed banks and trains. To many people in Missouri he was a hero and that made it hard for the authorities to capture and prosecute him.
Patee House was formerly a hotel where pony express riders stayed. The Pony Express and Jesse James artifacts make this a good place for those interested in US history during the days of the Old West.
Now used for plays and theater activities, this structure has a very unique front and tiles of many colors. It was built in 1927 and lasted for 50 years until it went into decline.
This monument, located in the small park across the street from the Pony Express Stables, marks the beginning of the route to Sacramento.