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Missouri Sights and Sites (Day Tripping)

July 03, 2013

As this baby boomer has matured in experience (I refuse to acknowledge that I am getting older), I have started visiting attractions that may be considered off the pathway instead of the more popular tourist attractions. Besides, how many roller coasters can one ride in one’s lifetime? So, let me tell you of a few of these places in Missouri.

St. Joseph is not only the starting point of the eastern station of the Pony Express, but it is home to the Glore Psychiatric Museum, located within the former State Lunatic Asylum. You might sense the presence of Nurse Ratchet, the sadistic nurse made famous in the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. On display are the various bizarre and often cruel ways used to address the problem of mental illnesses.

Carthage may be the home of the Precious Moments Chapel as well as a Civil War battlefield, but just about 2 miles east off of Highway 96, you will run into Red Oak II, Missoura. This ghost town was assembled by Lowell Davis, who grew up in Red Oak I. I was sad to see his hometown vanish. He began collecting old buildings, from Red Oak I and other ghost towns, and moved them to his pasture. Buildings included a church, one-room school, town hall, gas station, jail, diner, store, and a handful of houses. Mr. Davis added his own collection of junk art, including a crapduster -- a flying machine made from an antique manure spreader. Walking through this eclectic display of art and artifacts is truly an interesting experience. If you happen to turn west on 96 by mistake (as I did), you will arrive in Webb City and run into the largest pair of praying hands on display in a park. There are more suggestions in Weird Missouri. I am directionally challenged, and I often hear my GPS chiding me by chanting…"recalculating."

Other Missouri sites that I have been to and have the pictures to prove it include:

  • Beetle Bailey Statue in Columbia
  • World’s Largest Pecan in Brunswick
  • World’s Largest Goose in Sumner
  • Home of Sliced Bread in Chillicothe
  • JC Penny Museum in Hamilton, also the birth place of Zach Wheat
  • Largest Ball of String in Weston
  • World’s Largest Coal Shovel in Rich Hill
  • Giant Mushroom in Nevada
  • World’s Largest Gas Pump moved from Maryville to King City

All of these attractions, with the exception of the Glore Museum, are free.

-Stavros K.
Platte City Branch

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