The National Museum of Transportation Will Move You

National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood MOIf you're a fan of planes, trains, and automobiles (boats, too!) then you should come to Kirkwood, MO and explore all 42 acres of the National Museum of Transportation!

The National Museum of Transportation (NMOT) is a private museum dedicated to the preserving the history of transportation vehicles. The collection is displayed in more than 190 exhibits over 42 acres and includes over 70 locomotives, 200 road vehicles, two planes, and a tugboat!

The museum’s collection started in 1944 with a mule-drawn streetcar named "Bellefontaine" and continues to grow. The grounds use more than four miles of historic track to display and move the collection.

Those among you with a sharp eye will will note that 2019 marks The National Museum of Transportation's 75th birthday. A variety of special events are planned to celebrate this event throughout the year.

Trains at the NMOT

The National Museum of Transportation has one of the most complete American locomotive collections around. Over half of the collection represents either a “one-of-a-kind” or is the last remaining example of that type.

Two such highlights include the world’s largest steam locomotive, the Union Pacific #4006 Big Boy, and "The Whale," an 1833 B&B&PR Passenger Coach - the largest tank car ever built. Many, many other unique trains are on the premises. The collection also includes freight cars, passenger cars, maintenance cars, and interurban and city transit vehicles, such as streetcars and trolleys.

There's even a full-scale miniature railroad on the grounds, plus a restored, full-sized trolley you can ride in spring and summer.

Automobiles and More

The National Museum of Transportation's auto and road vehicle holdings are also extensive, with more than 200 different vehicles in the collection Come see the one of a kind, 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car, the Bobby Darin "Dream Car," and one of only 9 still existing 1901 St. Louis Motor Carriage Company automobiles.

The NMOT collection also includes a Douglas Aircraft C-47A, a Lockheed T-33, and the HT Potts Tugboat. The museum's collection is ever growing - you never know what you'll find during your visit!

National Museum of Transportation

2933 Barrett Station Rd, St. Louis, MO 63122
Hours vary by season. Visit transportmuseumassociation.org for current information on times, special events, and more.

Missouri Lodging

Whether you're in Missouri on business or just here to see some trains, you'll want some place comfortable to rest your head. When it comes to accommodations, look no farther than a locally owned and operated Missouri B&B. Some of the best lodging in the state is found at Missouri Inns and B&B's. Book your stay at a Missouri Bed and Breakfast today!

The Mark Twain Museum & Boyhood Home in Hannibal, MO

Mark Twain MuseumStep back in time to the house and town that inspired Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and much more at The Mark Twain Museum & Boyhood Home in Hannibal, Missouri.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 – 1910), better known by the pen name Mark Twain, is an American literary icon. His novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” are just two classics from a body of work that included poetry, short stories, essays, and non-fiction. Author William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature.”

Clemens was born in Florida, MO but spent his formative years – ages 4 to 18 – in Hannibal, MO. It was here that he gained inspiration for some of his most popular novels. The fictional characters of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Becky Thatcher, and many others had their roots in the real-life Hannibal of the 1800’s.

Luckily, for fans of the legendary author, Samuel Clemens’ boyhood home still stands and has been preserved as The Mark Twain Museum.

The Mark Twain Museum & Boyhood Home

Samuel Clemens lived at 120 North Main Street, in Hannibal, from 1844 to 1853. It opened as a museum in 1912 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.

One of the first things you might notice about the house is its whitewashed, picket fence. If it makes you think of the fence-painting scene in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” you’re in good company. It made Sam Clemens think of it, too; the fence and memories of it inspired the scene.

The Mark Twain Museum collection includes many of Samuel Clemens’ personal artifacts. These include his famous white jacket, one of his pipes, writing desk, chair, and typewriter. It also houses an extensive collection of printed materials, including first editions of all his major works personal letters, handwritten manuscripts, and more.

One of the most stunning inclusions is 15 original Norman Rockwell oil paintings, created for special editions of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. The paintings are on display along with a variety of original Rockwell sketches and lithographs. Fascinating.

The Mark Twain Museum is made up of includes five historic buildings, two museums, and three museum shops. These include the Mark Twain Boyhood Home, The Becky Thatcher House, John M. Clemens’ Justice of the Peace Office, Grant’s Drug Store, and the Huckleberry Finn House.

The Mark Twain Museum & Boyhood Home

120 N Main St, Hannibal, MO 63401
The Mark Twain Museum & Boyhood Home is open year ’round. Visit the museum website for events, directions, and hours. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Missouri's a big state and, no matter where you are, there's lots to see and do. The same is true of Missouri bed and breakfast inns. No matter where your Missouri getaway takes you, you can rest assured that there's a locally owned and operated Missouri B&B somewhere nearby. Stay at a Missouri Inn for the kind of personalized service, value, and hospitality you simply can't get at a hotel or motel. Find your Missouri home away from home now!

The Steamboat Arabia Museum - 200 Tons of Pre-Civil War Artifacts

artifacts at the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas CityThe steamboat Arabia sank on the Missouri River near Kansas City in 1856. Its rediscovery in 1988 revealed 200 tons of remarkably preserved, pre-Civil War artifacts - the largest collection in the world. Come see it at Kansas City's Arabia Steamboat Museum!

The Missouri River claimed numerous steamboats during their heyday in the 1800's. Prior to the addition of dams, the Missouri's unpredictable and sediment clouded flow proved quite treacherous. The steamboat Arabia was just one of some 300 vessels lost to the river in those days.

The Arabia, built in 1853, was a side wheeler with paddle wheels that were 28 feet across. Her boilers could consume up to thirty cords of wood per day - all to average an upstream speed of about 5 miles per hour. Originally used as transport on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, it began plying the waters of the Missouri in 1855.

The Sinking of the Steamboat Arabia

On September 5, 1856, the Arabia hit a submerged tree at Quindaro Bend, near the town of Parkville, Missouri. The tree ripped open the Arabia's hull and she began to rapidly fill with water. Luckily the boat settled into the Missouri's mud, leaving the upper decks above water for evacuation. A poor, lone mule, accidentally left tied to sawmill equipment, was the only casualty.

Salvage attempts were largely useless and, within a few days, the boat sank below the water and deep into the river bed's soft mud.

The Arabia stayed hidden in its unmarked grave for more than 130 years. During that time, the river shifted its course. The sunken steamboat was now a half a mile to the west of the river, resting some 45 feet beneath a farmer's cornfield.

Rediscovery of the Arabia

The Arabia went down fully loaded with 200 tons of goods meant for general stores and homes in frontier towns across the mid-west. Imagine, if you will, a pre-Civil War floating Walmart. Legends of her cargo contained promises of whiskey and gold and many hoped to find her.

In 1987, armed with maps, old newspaper clippings, and a metal detector, David Hawley finally did. Careful excavations commenced and, by 1991, the recovered ship and cargo became the basis for the Arabia Steamboat Museum.

As it turned out, thanks to the mud of the Missouri River, the Arabia was an unwitting time capsule of pre-Civil War life on the American frontier.

The mud had not only swallowed the ship, it had protected it from the destructive effects of light and oxygen. Much of her cargo was found remarkably preserved. Ready-made clothing, tools, guns, medicine, and dishes, were all discovered looking none too worse for the wear. Some sealed foodstuffs were even found to still be edible!

The Arabia Steamboat Museum

The Arabia Steamboat Museum, in Kansas City, offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to examine the wreck's long-hidden and well-preserved treasures.

The museum's vast collection will fascinate visitors. Artifacts are still being preserved and added to the collection on a regular basis. In fact, there are so many items from the steamboat Arabia that the museum isn't big enough to display it all! You can even watch the preservation process during your visit.

The Arabia Steamboat Museum
400 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64106
10am to 5pm, Monday-Saturday - noon to 5pm on Sundays
The last tour starts at 3:30pm
Learn more at 1856.com

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