St Joseph

Overview

Introduction

If you're a history buff, you'll be busy in this city in northwest Missouri. You'll find the Pony Express National Memorial, located in the structure where the legendary mail service began in 1860. The early headquarters of the service was the Patee House, which was a grand hotel of the time. Today, it's a museum devoted to the heroic mail carriers and the railroads of the 1800s. Nearby is the home where outlaw Jesse James was killed. Laying low after some less-than-successful robberies, James and his family had set up a quiet, middle-class life in St. Joseph under the name Howard. That ended when two of his old gang members, Bob and Charlie Ford, visited Jesse and gunned him down for the standing reward of US$10,000.

The St. Joseph Museum has letters and diaries of the pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail. Robidoux Row is a collection of historic houses originally built for newcomers to town. Many of them have been restored for public viewing. Anyone interested in the sometimes-macabre history of psychiatry can visit the Glore Psychiatric Museum, which features the devices and treatments that were employed in the past. And the Doll Museum displays a small collection of dolls that are decked out in clothing made during the pioneer days. Jamesport (50 mi/80 km east of St. Joseph) boasts the largest Amish settlement in Missouri. It's full of antique shops, Amish country stores and restaurants. St. Joseph is 260 mi/420 km northwest of St. Louis.

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