Explore St. Louis

St. Louis for History Buffs

St. Louis, as a European city, was founded in 1764, but the region's history harkens back to the Mound Builders of ancient Cahokia, who built the largest pre-Columbian city north of Mexico within sight of what is now the Gateway Arch.

These museums and historic sites weave a fascinating story of St. Louis, America and the world.

Cahokia Mounds

2,200-acre state historic site (designated a United Nations World Heritage Site) preserves the remains of the largest pre-Columbian city north of Mexico, including the 100-foot high Monks Mound. Open W-Su, 9 am-5 pm. Suggested donation $7 adults; $15 family.

Campbell House Museum

Built in 1851 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this extravagant three-story home was the residence of renowned fur trader Robert Campbell. Open W-Sa, 10 am-4 pm; Su, noon-4 pm. Admission and guided tour: $10 adults, children 12 and under free.

The Historic Daniel Boone Home

Boone began building this four-story home in 1803 and finished it in 1810. A pioneer village includes a church and period homes. Open daily 8:30 am-5 pm; Mid-Dec-late Mar open weekends only. Tour $8 adults; $6 seniors; $5 children 5-12.

Samuel Cupples House

Built in 1888, the 42-room Richardsonian mansion features opulent woodwork, Tiffany-style stained glass windows and art from 1500 to 1930. Tours by reservation $5 adults; free children under 12. Self-guided tours free. Open Tu-Sa 11 am-4 pm. Closed Jan.

Field House Museum

Built in 1845, this three-story structure was the childhood home of Eugene Field, the “Children’s Poet.” Field’s father, Roswell, initiated the lawsuit that led to the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott Decision. The museum houses exhibition space, a library and gift shop.

Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

The home in south St. Louis County where Ulysses S. Grant lived off and on during his adult life is open for tours daily, 9:30 am-4 pm. Grounds include five carefully restored historic structures and Visitor’s Center.

Griot Museum of Black History

Features life-size likenesses of Dred and Harriet Scott, George Washington Carver and other African Americans of note with a Missouri connection. Open W-Sa, 10 am-5 pm. Admission $7.50 for adults; $3.75 for children under 12.

Holocaust Museum and Learning Center

This outstanding museum features exhibits on pre-Nazi Jewish life in Europe, the Holocaust, liberation and establishment of the Jewish state of Israel. Free admission. Open M-Th, 9:30 am-4:30 pm; F, 9:30 am-4 pm; Su, 10 am-4 pm.

Scott Joplin House State Historic Site

This National Historic Landmark is the only building in existence where the ragtime king is known to have composed some of his famous melodies. Downstairs museum traces the composer's life and career; upstairs apartment has been furnished to reflect the period. Open M-Sa, 10 am-4 pm. 

Missouri's First State Capitol

The buildings have been restored and furnished as they appeared in 1821-26, when the newly formed Missouri state legislature met in what is now the St. Charles Main St. historic district. Admission $4 for adults, $2.50 for children 6-12, free for children under 6. Open M-Sa 10am-4pm, Su noon-4pm.

Missouri Civil War Museum

Museum at Jefferson Barracks is the state’s largest educational complex dedicated exclusively to the study of Missouri’s role in the Civil War. Open daily 9 am-4 pm. Admission $8 adults, $7 seniors, $6 children 5-12, free kids under 5.

Missouri History Museum

Museum features three levels, restaurant, gift shop and exhibition galleries showcasing regional history and traveling exhibitions. Open daily, 10 am-5 pm; Tu, 10 am-8 pm. Free admission. 

Old Courthouse

Built from 1839-1862, the Old Courthouse (part of the Gateway Arch National Park) features restored courtrooms, history exhibits and the beautifully decorated dome. Free admission. Open daily 8 am-4:30 pm.

Thomas Sappington House Museum

The Sappington House, built in 1808 by the son of George Washington's bodyguard, is an outstanding example of Federal architecture, rare in Missouri. Judged to be the oldest brick home in St.

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum

A $30 million revitalization resulted in a state-of-the-art museum that honors military servicemembers, veterans and their families. The museum’s four exterior, heroic, equestrian sculptures by Walter Hancock rank among downtown’s best public art. Open daily 10 am to 5 pm. Free admission.