Between AD 700 and 1400, the city of Cahokia gradually rose from the floodplain of the Mississippi River to become the largest city north of Mexico. Across 6 square miles, its population of 20,000 people worked together to create a thriving community grounded in astronomy, agriculture, and economics. To this end, they erected large, lasting structures such as an enormous wooden calendar that notified citizens about the changes of the seasons. Giant earthen mounds served as the foundation of the city and the site of the big mud fight that decided the mayoral election each year.
Through careful excavation, research, and reconstruction, the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society aims to preserve the site and educate visitors about its importance. During visits, guests on self-guided tours can explore 800 acres of the city, including the 100-foot-tall Monks Mound and Woodhenge, the giant calendar.
Enjoy the finest art Cahokia has to offer at Greater St Louis Air and Space.
Check out the restaurant at this museum for a delicious meal.
The perfect place to take the kids, this museum won't cost you a sitter.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.
This three-story home might look unremarkable from the outside, but inside it holds a wealth of St. Louis history. The Eugene Field House & St. Louis Toy Museum opened in 1936 and has since been named a National Historic Landmark, because it once housed not one, but two men important to American history.
The Building: A line of 12 rowhouses were built here, in 1845, and Roswell Field and his family lived there for 14 years, from 1850 until 1864. Today, it's the last of the row left standing, and it's been lovingly restored both inside and out to appear much as it did in the late 19th century.
Decorated in period furnishings, including many that belonged to the Field family, the first floor holds an era-specific double-parlor entertaining space. The second features the master bedroom.
Dred Scott: The second floor also holds Roswell Field's study, which doubles as an exhibit on the landmark case of Dred Scott, a slave seeking freedom for whom Roswell acted as attorney as the case made its way to the Supreme Court.
The Toys: Eugene Field, Roswell's son, made a name for himself in the literary world, first as a humor writer for daily newspapers, then as a children's poet. Most people will probably know him for penning, among many, "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod." He was also an avid toy collector. The third floor displays a rotating collection of toys dating back to the 1780s, plus two and a half centuries' worth of books.
Past Exhibit: Over 200 "Liberty of London" dolls from the 1950s, which include famous people from politics, literature, and science.
When it was first established in the early 1850s, the neighborhood known as Lucas Place was a piece of farmland on its way to becoming the first clearly defined wealthy suburb of St. Louis. Much has changed since then, as the city has expanded around the neighborhood and many of the elegant buildings have made way for more modern incarnations. One building, however, has largely stayed the same.
Built in 1851, the Campbell House was the home of renowned fur trader and businessman Robert Campbell and his family. The Campbells would continue to occupy the house until 1938, acquiring furniture, paintings, clothing, and other period artifacts to fill the house over the years. The family also took a detailed set of interior photographs in the 1880s that were only rediscovered in the late 20th century. These photographs would prove to be of great historical importance, as they formed the basis for a massive renovation project that would result in the opening of the Campbell House Museum.
Today, the Campbell House Museum attracts visitors from St. Louis and beyond, many of whom come to get a glimpse of what the city was like before modern conveniences such as electricity. The house retains many of the family's original possessions, as well as library books and state archives that offer a further glimpse into 19th-century American life.
Although only 70 visionaries have been inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum, the facility is far from an exclusive club. Its aim is to educate everyone on the importance of photographic history—and people certainly seem interested. In 2013, they donated more than $15,000 dollars through Kickstarter to help build the IPHF's new facility.
Size: 6,000 square feet of gallery and exhibition space dedicated to the works and equipment of more than 500 artists
Eye Catcher: an antique Edison Projecting Kinetoscope
Hidden Gems: alongside well-known works by the likes of Ansel Adams are those of Eadweard Muybridge the first to photograph a moving subject—a galloping horse
Don't Miss: the library, which houses every issue of Life Magazine published in this dimension
Permanent Mainstay: The Photographic Equipment Collection, which includes antique cameras, magic lanterns, and darkroom equipment
Visiting Exhibit: _Portrait/Process_—a collection of contemporary photos, iconic images, and even smartphone portraits that examine voyeurism and
Pro Tip: flash-free photography is allowed in galleries and certain exhibits