Historic Homes of Independence Missouri
Independence, Missouri was established in 1827 and was known as the gateway city to the western frontier. Now, it is famous for being the fourth largest city in the state of Missouri, and Independence is proud of its role in American history. One way to learn about some of that important American history is to tour the many historic mansions and homes of Independence. Each home has something to say about an important era in the history of the people of Missouri.
The Vaile Mansion was built in 1881 by entrepreneur and U.S. mail contractor Harvey Merrick Vaile. This mansion, which has 30 rooms, is a wonderful example of Second-Empire Victorian Architecture. The mansion features ceiling murals, luxurious furnishings, and many interesting details that make it a great way to spend an afternoon in Independence. During the holidays, the tours of the mansion are festive and fun with the period holiday decorations. The Vaile Mansion is located at 1500 North Liberty.
The Bingham-Waggoner Estate was built in 1855. It was owned by the famous Civil War artist, George C. Bingham. Other owners include the Waggoner family who owned the Waggoner Gates Mill. The estate hosts many community activities, including craft fairs and group meals in the carriage house. It can be found at 313 West Pacific.
Another site to visit in Independence is the 1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home and Museum. This two story building once held the infamous Frank James, the brother of Jesse James. Visitors can view the double iron doors, windows with bars and leg chains used to restrain prisoners. Located nearby is the marshal’s home, which was used until the 1930s by local marshals. It includes interesting artifacts and displays, including a display of homemade weapons. The Jail and Marshal’s Home is located at 217 North Main.
The Vaile Mansion, Bingham-Waggoner Estate and the 1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home are open from April to October, with special tours available during the month of December. They are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. They are closed on Easter, Mother’s Day, the month of November and January through March. Admission prices are $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and $2 for children and students and there are also special group rates available. During the month of December, special holiday tours are given at each site.
The Truman Home is the home of President Truman and his wife, Bessie. This home gives visitors a glimpse of the life of Harry Truman before and after his presidency. Tours are given every fifteen minutes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and tickets must be purchased at the Truman Ticket Center, which can be found at 223 North Main. The Truman House is at 219 North Delaware. It is open seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and closed on Mondays after that. Tickets are $5 for adults over 17.
If you want to see all three homes there is as discount price available at $12 instead of the $5 for each home. A great way to see the beauty of these historic homes at a very resonable price.