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Travel Treasures
November/December 2015 Issue

Museum guards the intriguing 200-year history of the Missouri National Guard


The museum’s collection includes uniforms, weapons, vehicles, and more. Missouri National Guard photos


The oldest building at the Missouri National Guard headquarters in Jefferson City, Mo., was an appropriate location for the Museum of Missouri Military History, but while it was rich in history, the center was not flush with space.

So the museum moved last year to a new building that more than triples the amount of exhibit space to 6,500 square feet. Still located at the Missouri National Guard’s Ike Skelton Training Center, the museum now has a bigger and better facility to showcase its fascinating collection of items that chronicle the history of the Guard, from the founding of the Missouri Militia in 1808 to today’s force.

The museum has dozens of exhibits that include weaponry, uniforms, photographs, and other artifacts. Some of the more impressive sights include a 1967 Cobra attack helicopter, World War II-era Sherman tank, Vietnam-era Sheridan tank, and an F-15 Eagle fighter jet.

The items recount the Missouri National Guard’s involvement in the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and other conflicts, as well as its humanitarian relief efforts during floods, tornadoes, and more. Guests will get a sense of the daily life of soldiers and airmen in various combat theaters in the past and today.

Located at 2405 Logistic Road, the museum is open from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and by appointment on weekends. Visitors must check in at the gate before entering the training center.

Call (573) 638-9603 for more details, or visit the museum on Facebook.




Discover how Hollywood influenced artist’s creativity

Benton’s “Hollywood” is part of the exhibit. Jamison Miller photo/art © T.H. Benton and R.P. Benton Testamentary Trusts/UMB Bank Trustee/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

As much as any movie, Thomas Hart Benton’s paintings could tell a story, and a new exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., examines the fascinating but overlooked link between Hollywood and his signature style.

“American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood,” the first major exhibition dedicated to Benton in more than 25 years, features 100 of his works, including paintings, murals, and drawings. On view through Jan. 3, the exhibit also pairs Benton’s art with historical movie clips that explore how both Benton and filmmakers created engaging visual stories.

Benton’s foray into film began when he became a set painter for silent film productions in Fort Lee, N.J.–the nation’s first “Hollywood.” He later worked in Hollywood, Calif., where he became acutely aware of the motion picture industry’s mass appeal. It ignited his creative imagination and cinematic painting style.

As part of the exhibit, the museum will present several programs, including three classic films highlighted in the galleries: A Star is Born on Nov. 7, The Grapes of Wrath on Nov. 14, and The Kentuckian on Nov. 21. All will begin at 2 p.m.

Located at 4525 Oak St., the museum is open from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday; and 10 a.m.–9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Museum admission is free; admission to the Benton exhibit is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $6 for students with ID, and free for all on Thursday from 5–9 p.m.

Call (816) 751-1278 for details, or visit

Stroll to Huntingburg, Ind., for festive holiday fun

Carriage rides are part of the festivities. Huntingburg Chamber of Commerce photo

There were so many festivities planned for the 30th anniversary of the Huntingburg Christmas Stroll this year that organizers extended the usual weekend-long event to eight days.

This year’s kick-off of the holiday season will be held Nov. 8–15 in downtown Huntingburg, Ind. The festival will feature shopping along historic Fourth Street along with an array of activities that will appeal to visitors of all ages.

The fun begins on Sunday, Nov. 8, with a Holiday Home Tour of five showplace homes. Offered from 3–7 p.m., the tour costs $10 per person with an additional $10 fee if you ride a bus. A new event this year is the Lantern Launch on Monday at the Huntingburg United Methodist Church (416 N. Main St.). Participants will light paper lanterns at 6 p.m. and watch them float into the sky.

Other events during the week will include a tree lighting ceremony, storytelling, cookie sale, canned goods collection for charity, 5K run, carriage rides, Huntingburg Museum tours, and a free concert. The festival ends with a parade at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Call (812) 630-9029 for more details, or visit

Ancient canoe anchors new Cahokia Mounds exhibit

A 700-year-old canoe discovered in a sandbar and painstakingly preserved at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is serving as the centerpiece of a new exhibit that focuses on life in the Mississippi River Valley.

The exhibit, “Wetlands and Waterways: the Key to Cahokia,” examines how the Mississippian Indians lived along the area’s rivers and wetlands that gave rise to Cahokia Mounds, America’s first city near present-day Collinsville, Ill. The new exhibit joins the site’s other artifacts that tell the story of the ancient settlement of Cahokia that was the most sophisticated prehistoric Native civilization north of Mexico.

Within the exhibit, a 52-foot-long mural depicts a backwater lake, river bluffs, forests, and fields typical of the floodplain. The mural serves as backdrop to a life-size diorama with a woman harvesting squash and a man and boy loading their canoe with wild game and more.

In a separate case is the dugout canoe made of bald cypress about 700 years ago. It was found in the St. Francis River in Arkansas after a flood. The Illinois State Archaeological Society bought the canoe and donated it to Cahokia Mounds. It was submerged in a chemical solution for three years to preserve it and then allowed to dry out for two more.

In addition to exploring the museum, visitors can hike to the top of 100-foot-high Monks Mound, one of America’s largest Native American earthworks.

Located at 30 Ramey St. in Collinsville, the center is open from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. from Wednesday–Sunday. Admission is free, but donations are requested.

Call (618) 346-5161 for details, or visit

Country churches open their doors in December

St. Joseph Catholic Church in Applecreek is part of the tour. Sherry Stark photo

Discover the spirit of Christmas this December on a two-day tour of century-old churches in southeast Missouri that invites visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of the season, if only for a little while.
In its 11th year, the Christmas Country Church Tour will be held Dec. 17–18 in the small communities of Perry, Bollinger, and Cape Girardeau counties. Representing several different denominations, there are 27 different churches on the tour, ranging from wood-clad chapels to stone-and-brick masterpieces.

The churches on the self-guided tour are all at least 100 years old, and two of them don’t even have electricity. Each church will be decorated for the holidays, and most will have greeters, Christmas music, and refreshments. Doors will be open from 3–9 p.m. at most locations both days.

Maps for the tour are available at the Perryville Area Chamber of Commerce, located at 2 W. Sainte Marie St. Chamber hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The map also is available on the Christmas Country Tour Facebook page.

Call (573) 547-6062 for details, or visit

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