Civil War Sites
Saturday, October 19, 2019
9:00am to 4:00pm
The Civil War Round Table of Western Missouri took a day trip to St. Joseph, Missouri on October 19, 2019. Among the sites visited were:
- Mount Mora Cenetery (final resting place of Brigadier-General M. Jeff Thompson)
- Fort Smith Park
- Murals of St. Joseph
- Patee House
- Jesse James' Home
- Pony Express Museum
Transportation was by tour participant carpooling. Here were the details:
Meet at 9:00 a.m. just inside the entrance to Mount Mora Cemetery, 824 Mt. Mora Road., St. Joseph. From I-29 N, take the I-229 Exit #43. Turn east (right) on US Highway 36, then north (left) on S. 10th Street, right on Frederick Ave. and left onto Mount Mora Road. This will lead to the only entrance into the cemetery.
Three Missouri governors are buried at Mount Mora, along with Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson, "The Swamp Fox" of the Confederacy. Two Pony Express riders and two of Quantrill's Raiders lie on shady hillsides. Mount Mora was once the most fashionable
burial place for St. Joseph's wealthy and powerful citizens and claims some of the finest “tomb architecture” in the Midwest.
From there we will travel to Fort Smith Park (10:00 a.m.), a fort erected on a hill overlooking St. Joseph in 1861 by the Union Army to protect the city from invasion by Confederate forces. It was rediscovered in 2003. Highlights include a lookout point with spectacular views of the city, restored redoubts, fullscale reproduction cannons, an ordnance shed and informative signage. There is a small parking area at the bottom of the hill. Cars with handicap permits are permitted to drive to the top of the hill.
Next we will meet for lunch downtown at the Ground Round Grill & Bar (11:30 a.m.) in a private room. Before (11:00 a.m.) or after lunch, depending on time, we will check out five gigantic Murals of St. Joseph painted on nearby buildings, depicting scenes of historic St. Joseph. One is a Civil War mural that was redesigned amid controversy.
After lunch (1:00 p.m.) we’ll meet at the historic Patee House Hotel, a four-story interactive museum where one can climb aboard an 1860 train; see a stagecoach and a covered wagon up close; a blacksmith shop; a pharmacy; a saloon; antique furniture and toys; Civil War exhibits, and a wing designed to look like the streets of Old St. Joseph in the 1870’s, among many other exhibits.
We’ll be given a short introduction by a guide covering both the Patee House and the Jesse James Home and then we’ll have two hours to explore both museums on our own. There are also places to sit and rest in the Patee House Hotel.
Our last stop (3:00 p.m.) will be the Pony Express National Museum. We are hoping for a guided tour there but that has not yet been confirmed. We will for sure be given an introduction.
Projected cost is $11 per person, which includes reduced admission fees and guide introductions at all of the museums. Each person will order lunch from the menu at the Ground Round and each person will be responsible for his/her lunch bill.