Leila's Hair Museum - the World's Only Hair Museum!

Leila's Hair Museum in Independence, MOIndependence, Missouri is home to the world’s only hair museum. Leila’s Hair Museum displays thousands of works of art, all made from real human hair!

Hair art? Hair museum? Are we pulling your leg with all this hairy business? Absolutely not.

Hair art has been with us a long, long time, at least since the 16th century – but it flourished most during the Victorian era (1800-1900). People wove hair into intricate and beautiful wreaths, domes, jewelry, and more. Hair was also pulverized to powder, then mixed with medium to create the "sepia" painting technique.

Most of this art and jewelry was created before the age of photography as a memento of a loved one. Whether they were departed, distant, or just someone whom you always wanted to be close too, hair art and jewelry served as a reminder of their physicality. It goes without saying that the practice has become more an oddity than a hobby since.

So much so that, despite all art created with it, there’s only one museum in the world dedicated exclusively to hair. And it’s here in Missouri!

World's Only Hair Museum

Leila Cohoon was fascinated with hair from a very early age, becoming hairdresser in 1949. Her passion for the stuff became even greater in 1956 when she saw her first human hair wreath at an antique shop. This small wreath was the very first piece in what was to become a huge collection.

Since that fateful day, Leila’s collection has grown to include over 600 hair wreaths, over 2000 pieces of hair jewelry, and the world’s only hair museum.

Visitors to the museum will be stunned by the fascinating collection. The museum includes works involving the hair from Queen Victoria, four United States presidents, and a number of celebrities, including Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe.

The museum also exhibits works of sepia: paintings made using pulverized hair. The oldest piece in the museum is a brooch from 1680 containing a piece of hair encased in crystal. The museum also has reliquaries of Mother Mary, the cross, and St. Anne.

Leila’s Hair Museum

1333 S Noland Rd, Independence, Missouri 64055
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9am to 4pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays
Learn more with a visit to the museum website. You can also visit on Facebook.

Missouri Lodging

There are endless reasons to reward yourself with a Missouri getaway, especially if you acquire accommodations at a Missouri B&B. A Missouri bed and breakfast is your answer to a good night’s sleep, followed by a nutritious breakfast, and a host of top-shelf amenities in between. Find the perfect Missouri inn for your getaway today!

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

Missouri Lodging

Looking for the best in Missouri lodging? Look no further! A locally owned Missouri Bed and Breakfast is your key to hospitality, comfort, and value. Make the most of your Missouri getaway with the kind of personal service and top-tier amenities you'll only find at a Missouri B&B. Find your Missouri home away from home today!

Come Play For The Day At St. Louis City Museum!

stLouisCityMuseumIf you're really just a big kid disguised as an adult, or someone fascinated by the unusual, the St. Louis City Museum is for you! Its nooks, crannies, slides, caves, giant chains, and more - all created from locally reclaimed materials - are enough to bring out the kid in anyone!

The name of the St. Louis City Museum is rather misleading. The old shoe factory houses less a museum than a bizarre fantasy world.

A hodgepodge of seemingly random objects - a ferris wheel, a school bus, an old fighter jet - jut unexpectedly from its exterior. Inside is even zanier, with tunnels, caves, even a circus and a life-sized whale to walk through. The St. Louis City Museum has thousands of square feet of things to explore and many experienced visitors quite seriously suggest taking kneepads.

Yet this is NOT a children’s museum. In fact, children who visit must be accompanied by adults to enter!

The St. Louis City Museum, which opened in 1997, was the brain child of founder Bob Cassilly. Cassilly, who died in 2011, envisioned the City Museum as a space for his imagination's artistic creations. City Museum was built by Cassilly and a team of 20 artists, using locally salvaged materials.

Visitors are encouraged to play with, climb on and explore the museum's various exhibits. You'll find old chimneys, salvaged bridges, and a 10-story spiral slide that starts at the roof! The outside exhibit "MonstroCity" features a castle turret, a ball pit for adults, and two suspended jets!

The museum is one of St. Louis most popular attractions - and without advertising! More than 11 million visitors have walked through the doors since it opened and, yes: it can be crowded. There is often a line waiting to get in every morning. Folks wishing for a less busy visit should consider visiting on a weekday or after 5pm on weekends.

If you plan on visiting, tips include taking a flashlight, wearing closed shoes, and, as we said above: knee pads are suggested. Luckily, the City Museum gift shop has the latter for sale!

St. Louis City Museum is an active installation - an “ever-expanding collection of architectural relics” - so you never know what you'll find when you visit!

St. Louis City Museum

701 North 15th St., St. Louis, Missouri, 63103
Monday through Thursday: 9am to 5pm
Friday through Saturday: 9am to Midnight
Sunday: 11am to 5pm
Learn more by visiting www.citymuseum.org.

Northeast Missouri Lodging
Whether you're in Missouri on business or to get your knees dirty at St. Louis City Museum, you're gonna want somewhere comfortable to call home. When it comes to the best lodging in Northeast Missouri, look no farther than a locally owned and operated Missouri B&B. In fact, excellent lodging in the form of Missouri Inns and B&B's can be found all across our fair state. So go on, the next time you're in Missouri, treat yourself to the best lodging there is: book your stay at a Missouri Bed and Breakfast Inn!