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A Sneak Peek At Springfield's Renovated History Museum Reveals An Immersive Experience

History Museum on the Square

The History Museum On The Square is moving a few doors down, where construction crews, historians and artists have been hard at work creating a new, interactive museum. 

KSMU got a sneak peek of what visitors can expect when it opens later this summer.

Walking into the museum, a Frisco Locomotive immediately stands out. The engine car protrudes from the wall on the second story.  And the passenger car is fitted with interactive games. 

But the Frisco Locomotive isn’t the only new interactive exhibit here – the place is packed with hands-on, sound-rich elements designed to whisk you back in time.

Krista Adams walked us through the six permanent exhibits. These exhibits showcase eras from Wild Bill Hickok and the American West to The Civil War in Springfield.

“There are a lot of stories about Springfield that make it quirky, make it interesting, or just other stories that need to be told,” Adams said.

42 different videos telling different stories of Springfield and Greene County will be part of the “Trolley Time Machine.” 

Inside the trolley, there’s a wheel that turns to the left or the right, transporting viewers through time.

Upstairs, visitors can pick up a replica gun with a laser and test out their shot. It’s from the perspective of Wild Bill Hickok, who had a shootout on the town square.  Visitors will take aim at Hickok's rival, Davis Tutt, who will fade into a target.

“So it will be like you’re shooting 72 yards away to see if you are as good of a shot as Wild Bill Hickok,” Adams said.

The renovated museum will also include a tribute to the Native Americans who were forced to migrate from their settlements, the pioneers, and an entire wing dedicated to Route 66.

The new museum is on the northeast corner of Park Central Square. Museum officials say the project cost $12 million and is the result of fundraising, donations and grants.