Friday, July 3, 2015

Independence for Independence

Independence, Missouri
Campus RV Park
Site #6

Yesterday we drove about 15 miles to Campus RV Park in Independence. It's the perfect place to be for the 4th of July weekend thus the blog's title.

This park is the most convenient place we've stayed.  Within walking distance are four or five historical attractions.

I know sometimes people say we do too much in a day.  I might agree with them today, but it was so much fun to see such different attractions. 

Our first stop was to get our tickets for the Truman House at the visitor center.  We chose a noon tour.  Right next door to the visitor center was the 1859 Jail and Marshall's Museum.  It's a good thing we didn't get tickets for the 11 Truman tour because we would have been late.  I thought looking at a jail might take 15 minutes.  Not so.  

The two story jail was attached at the rear of the Marshal's house.  

 We toured through the house and then entered the jail.
Did you notice they had RV mattresses back in 1859?
This was Frank James' cell. There was a plaque that read "Outlaw Frank James spent six months in this jail during the fall and spring of 1882-83, while waiting to be tried for train robbery and murder.  He was treated more as a guest than a prisoner.

Frank James is living about as comfortably as any feller in the state.  His cell is furnished with an elegant Brussels carpet, the walls are decorated with pictures, and such furniture as he has room for, it the best sort.  He sits for hours at a time conversing with his friends...."

The house is a two story brick and completely furnished and the jail was on both stories but you could only walk through the first floor ones.  On the other side of the jail was a museum with stories of the time period.  There was also a school house on the site.

Five blocks away was the Noland Home.   This was the home of Harry Truman's cousins.  Bess lived across the street and the courtship started when Harry walked across the street to return a cake plate.  We didn't spend much time in the Noland Home as it was time to take the Truman house tour. The park service recently opened this home.

Unfortunately, you couldn't take photos inside the Truman Home.  

The park ranger did a great tour.  There were 6 other people in our group tour.  
One thing the park ranger didn't point out was this house across the street.
After the assassination of Kennedy, the secret service was assigned to this house as presidential protection for him. Thank you, Jim Collins, for that tidbit of information.  

Clinton's Soda Fountain was our next stop.  This was where Harry Truman had his fist job at a salary of $3.00 a week.

I suppose I should mention that they had great sundaes and many different flavors of phosphates.  It looks like Bill is being good, but there's a chocolate sundae with butterscotch topping which was Harry's favorite hidden behind me.  

Across the street was the Jackson County Courthouse where Harry Truman had an office.  We didn't have time to tour it.

Jim also told us they have a nice tour at the Community of Christ International Headquarters.  Once again there wasn't time, but we did stop to get a photo of the building.
It's quite unusual looking.

Our next stop was the National Frontier Trails Museum.  I thought this would be Bill's favorite.  The museum advertised that it is the only museum in the nation that interprets five of these trails--Lewis & Clark, Santa Fe, California, Oregon and Mormon Pioneer.  How could we go wrong?  We've followed these trails across the country and while they talked about  Bent's Old Fort, Baker City, Clapstop, Mandan, and Santa Fe, we've been there.  For someone who hasn't seen anything on these trails it would be great, but for us it was a compressed view of each of the trails. 

I have to say I was really tired by now with information overload.  Next door to the Frontier Trails was the 1879 Chicago and Alton Depot and across the street was the Bingham-Waggoner Estate.  We only had time for one before they closed.  Jim and Linda had both recommended the estate, so across the street we went.  

Our tour guide took us through the carriage house and we knew we made the right decision to tour the estate.  It was also very nice that it was just Bill and I on the tour.  
The estate has 26 rooms and we saw all 26 on three floors.  The amazing thing is that we could walk through the rooms.  There weren't any roped off areas and we were allowed to take as many photos as we wanted.  

 This home had three bathrooms.  Can you see the handle on the toilet seat so men didn't have to touch the seat? Very modern for the time period.  Bill wanted to know why don't they do that today. 
Ninety percent of all the furnishings were in the home before restoration including furnishings, linens and clothes.
This Zimmer toy baseball game is one of only six known to exist in the world and was valued at $45,000.00.  

We packed a lot into today knowing that tomorrow is the 4th and most of these places would be closed.  We are planning to leave on Sunday, but know there is a lot of things to see and do when we return someday.

Tomorrow we are hoping the Pioneer Trails Adventures is open.

Saw our first lightning bugs tonight since leaving the southwest.  

Turtle Safely......

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