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Newly Expanded Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Visitor Center Opens Its Doors

Michele Skalicky

The expanded Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield visitor center in Republic, MO is open after being closed for a year and a half for renovations.  

The battlefield held a ribbon cutting Friday with Congressman Billy Long and Senator Roy Blunt as speakers.

A musical duo played and cannons were fired just after the ribbon was cut.

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield superintendent, Sarah Cunningham, explains what the expansion means for the park and its visitors.

"This is an incredible opportunity to be able to bring additional artifacts on display," she said.  'These artifacts are the tangible links to the past and help bring it alive and so it's amazing when we can bring things out of storage and have them on display for folks to see."

Approximately 1800-square-feet of exhibit space was added, allowing around 90 percent of the park’s edged weapons and firearms to be on display.  There are interactive exhibits, and the bed on which General Nathaniel Lyon’s body was laid after he died in the battle is on display as well. 

The bookstore, information desk and bathrooms have been redesigned, and the John K. and Ruth Hulston Civil War Research Library is once again open to the public.

The project took 18 months to complete and cost $3.5 million.  Funds for the project included matching $500,000 from the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Foundation and $500,000 in federal funding under the National Park Service Centennial Act.

The visitor center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Entrance fees at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield are once again required.  Fees were waived for months because of the pandemic.