If you live around Kansas City, MO or if you are visiting this area, you must take a trip out to Liberty, MO to the Jesse James Bank Museum. I have lived in KC my whole life and thought I had seen just about everything, but I was wrong. I heard about the museum on the radio and thought it sounded cool. I packed up my boys and two nephews, grabbed Grandma and we headed out on a fun, summertime field trip.
Our first stop was in Independence, MO which is quite the historical town. From all the Harry S. Truman sites to the launching point for the Santa Fe, Oregon and California Trails, there is a lot to see. However, we didn’t see any of these. We just wanted to eat before headed out to the museum. We ate at the cutest, retro hot dog diner called Up Dog. It is located on the historic Independence Square (114 N Liberty St. Independence, MO 64050). The dogs were delish and the boys loved sitting at the old-time counter.
After our dogs and fries, we got back on the road towards Liberty, Mo. Through some road construction and a beautiful one-way street lined with very old, grand homes, we made it to the Jesse James Bank Museum (103 N. Water, Liberty, MO 64068). The museum is small (one room), but is very interesting. The guide gives a great tour explaining the background of the town post-Civil War, and all the elements that led up to the robbery, what happened during the robbery and the aftermath of the robbery.
The original vault and safe are still in the bank. Apparently, the bank was built around them so they cannot be removed. On the wall by the front door is a clock, which is set at 2 pm, the exact time of the robbery. There is a back room with several documents and artifacts on loan centered around the robbery. Even a transcribed copy of the bankers testimony he wrote right after the robbery.
The tour was just short enough for my boys’ attention spans and just quick enough to leave me wanting more. I love historical places and this museum didn’t disappoint. My kids enjoyed it, and of course they enjoyed the gift shop too. I had to listen to a toy pop-gun and flute recorder all the way home.
The Jesse James Bank Museum (103 N. Water, Liberty, MO 64068) is open Monday through Saturday 10 am – 4 pm. The daily entry fees are: Adults $6, Seniors (62+) $5.50, Children (8-15) $3.50 and under 8 free. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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