History & Heritage
The Historical Museum is filled with many artifacts including several pioneer items, Native American relics and arrowheads, and collections of military objects, such as the cannonball that struck the courthouse in 1862 amidst the Battle of Kirksville during the American Civil War.
The Veterans Memorial and Memorial Plaza commemorate the sacrifices of area men and women who have served in the military. Alongside the Veterans Memorial is a WW I German Howitzer as well as a Civil War Cannon. (See also Veteran Names for more information.)
During the American Civil War, Kirksville was the site of an important 1862 battle which cemented northern Missouri for the Union. The mass grave of executed Confederate soldiers is marked in the Forest Llewellyn Cemetery, a few blocks west of Kirksville’s Square. (See also the Llewellyn map for more details.)
Coal Miners Museum / Novinger Log Homestead
Visitors to the Coal Miners Museum can trace the history of coal mining in northern Missouri from its peak into the mid-1900′s. Located at 804 Corrigan Avenue (just off Route O) the museum contains a simulated coal mine and blacksmith shop, antique farm tools, memorabilia from local businesses and a library for genealogical research. The museum is owned and maintained by the Novinger Planned Progress.
The Novinger Log Homestead, restored by Novinger Renewal, is located at Coal Street & Snyder Avenue (one block west of Route O and north of the museum). It features a two-story log house built in 1848, a double-pen log barn, a log smokehouse and an outhouse. The log house is furnished with period items and local memorabilia. It, too, has a library of books relating to area history.
Open 2nd & 4th Sundays from 2-4 p.m. during the summer months or anytime by appointment by calling 660-488-5280 for both sites or 660-988-2705 or 488-6500 for log homestead 660-988-4961 for museum
The Exhibition of Amtrak History is a former Amtrak Mail Handling Car (MHC). It houses the complete collection of the Amtrak Historical Society as well as many artifacts that have been donated over the years.
The Museum of Osteopathic Medicine showcases the evolution of Osteopathy from its beginnings in Kirksville up until present time. A collection of original documents and other artifacts span 150 years, and a two-story atrium adjacent to the museum houses the birthplace log cabin of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917), founder of Osteopathy, along with the original two-room classroom building of the American School of Osteopathy, founded in 1892.
Located in Thousand Hills State Park, rock formations containing historic Native American carvings can be found in a sheltered exhibit. Visitors can walk on a path along the walls to read information about the petroglyphs and then match up the symbols on the rocks below. More information on the petroglyphs can be found by visiting Thousand Hills Park Petroglyph Shelter.
The Ruth Towne Museum and Visitors Center offers a place for visitors to become acquainted with Truman State University and its rich heritage. The Museum is open to the general public, with many exhibits showcasing the history of the University, the history of Kirksville, and the history of Missouri.
At the Pickler Memorial Library on the campus of Truman State University, visitors can find a variety of rare books and historic artifacts in the Special Collections department, including ancient Cuneiform tablets.