Saturday, April 2, 2011

Field Trips in Independence MO

As part of our homeschooling, we like going on field trips. Last week, with a group of area homeschoolers we went to Independence MO and saw just a small part of the many sites to see in Independence.

Our first stop was at the Western Museum. Outside the museum is a statue of Jim Bridger, which we found interesting, because we have already been to Fort Bridger in Wyoming. So, we have seen where he started, and where he ended!

Beaver-used for beaver hats.  When silk hats came out, it hurt the beaver fur traders.

If you don't know much about Independence, it is not only the hometown of former president Harry Truman, but also where the wagons took off for heading west.

Blacksmith shop.  With all the wagon trains starting, Independence at one time had over 60 of them. 

After our guided tour at the museum, we went on a covered wagon ride, pulled by 2 mules. On the movies they always show the wagons being pulled by horses. But, horses were not suited for the hard pulling. Instead, mules and oxen were used. They could pull heavier loads, and required less water.

Part of our wagon ride went over a section of the Oregon Trail that Independence has paved over. They have not widened it. The road is lower than the ground on either side, as the wagons wore it down.
Beginning of the Oregon Trail

We rode past an old brick home where the owners have found unfired shots from the civil war in their yard.
This brick homes owners, have found unfired cannon shots in their yard while doing yard work!

We also passed the home of Harry and Bess Truman, and plan on visiting that after it opens for the season.
Former home of Harry and Bess Truman.  It is open for tours during the warmer months.
Later this year, Independence will be having Civil War wagon tours that will tour sites of battles. We are planning on going to that as well. We also want to visit the old log courthouse and several other sites, including the Truman Library.

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