History Museum on the Square on ‘USA Today’ List of Best New Attractions

A one-third scale locomotive is on display at the History Museum on the Square.

A one-third scale locomotive is on display at the History Museum on the Square.

A panel of experts and 10Best editors have chosen Springfield’s History Museum on the Square as a nominee for USA Today’s 2019 10Best Readers’ Choice award for the Best New Attraction category.

The contest launched Dec. 2 and people can vote once per day until 11 a.m. Dec. 30. Winners will be announced at 11 a.m. Jan. 10.

Contest information can be found at http://bit.ly/MuseumVote.

“We are honored to be nominated with other great institutions across the country,” said museum executive director John Sellars. “We are also proud to announce that in the museum’s first four months of operation, visitors came from 40 states and 25 countries.”

Located in the 104-year old former Barth’s department store building and the adjacent building, the museum has more than 18,000 square feet of space. There are three floors with eight dedicated spaces including a Welcome Center, six permanent galleries and the traveling exhibit space. The renovated basement houses staff offices, enlarged workrooms and space for volunteers and interns.

Permanent galleries include:

  • Native Crossroads at the Spring
  • Trains, Trolleys and Transportation: Children’s Education Area
  • Pioneers and Founders at the Crossroads
  • The Civil War in Springfield
  • Wild Bill Hickok and the American West
  • Birthplace of Route 66

Highlights of the museum include a transportation gallery with a time machine built into a replica of a trolley car, an immersive reenactment chamber of the Hickok-Tutt confrontation, interactive touchscreen maps of Springfield comparing vintage photos to contemporary depictions, and a 66-foot long timeline and map of the Iconic Mother Road. Perhaps one of the most dramatic features is a one-third scale Frisco locomotive engine that literally emerges through the upper mezzanine wall.

History Museum on the Square is at 154 Park Central Square in Springfield.

Admission rates are $16 for adults; $13 for seniors (65-plus), students of any age with a valid ID and members of the military their families; $10 for children ages 4-12; and free to those under the age of three. Groups of ten or more can be accommodated with 48 hours’ notice. Operating hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, and to view an online library of digitized historic photos, visit www.HistoryMuseumOnTheSquare.org.

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