We had the opportunity to visit Independence Missouri over the weekend and boy were we in for a pleasant surprise! This town isn’t as small as you’d think but there is still very much a small town feel. The residents are very friendly, welcoming and extremely proud of the history of their city.
When We First Arrived
First, we found our way to the hotel and got settled in. Then we met up at 3 Trails Brewery with a bunch of other people visiting the town as well. Some we (sort of) local and some had traveled as far as Lafayette, Arkansas-with kiddos in tow.
First or all, meeting with this friendly group, enjoy some tasty treats, and live music was extremely refreshing. I actually met a lady that lived down the street from the brewery. She complemented my makeup and we wound up chatting for a decent amount of time. It was her first time at the Brewery. So we were sort of experiencing the place together and shared how great it was.
A Day Full of Adventures
We woke up the next day to set out and enjoy all that Independence Missouri had to offer. We started by going to the Alton Chicago Train Depot.
I’d like to start by saying , I’ve never been a big fan of history until I was forced to take a history class in college for a prerequisite for my degree. It was like a switch had flipped, or maybe it was just the way my teacher presented facts? I am not sure but my mind was absolutely blown by the time we left this depot.
This little place was filled with wealth of information and historical relics. I had goosebumps thinking about all of stories behind them.
We learned about the entire history of the railroad system in the Midwest. The tour guide told stories of how men of Independence Missouri would take the train would carry soldiers back and forth during World War 2.
We also learned a lot about how train stations were ran and operated. I did not know that in the two story depots, the depot agent and his family lived upstairs. Pause, actually I was completely unaware of the fact that two story train depots even existed!
Some of the pictures above showed what the typical living space of a conductor looked like back in 1900s. The story behind the piano is that in order to get one of the depot agents to relocate, they had to move a grand piano in for the wife.
Off to Vaile Mansion
After leaving the depot, we headed over to the Vaile Mansion. If you are at all interested in history and decor, you need to visit this place! I have also learned of some spooky tails behind this house, but I am not one to say if they are true or not. If you spirits and haunted houses are you thing, you should look into this.
But anyway, I have never seen a house so large and elegant in my entire life. The doors of this mansion were larger than life! The attendant that greeted us in the front room gave me an entire brief on those large doors and how they acquired a lot of the items in the home.
Here we learned about this history of this house. We learned how it started out as home to Colonel Harvey Vaile, then became an asylum and finally a nursing home.
After doing some of my own digging, I learned that the home had 31 rooms, 14 feet ceilings (remember those big doors I told you about), a grape vineyard, apple orchard and even a wine processing plant.
And then We were Hungary
We spent so much time at the Chicago Alton depot and the Vaile Mansion the we weren’t able to make it to the other fun locations on Saturday. BUT we were starving that this point anyway, so we decided to go to Spuare Pizza.
Now, with me being from St. Louis, home of “the square beyond compare” (that’s Imo’s Pizza FYI), I was interested to see if it was just at good. It actually was. They even carry old school bottled soda from a local soda company Polly’s Pop. Now, those sodas were so good that we actually purchased extras!
Until Next Time, Independence Missouri!
All in all, we had LOADS of FUN in Independence, Missouri. We weren’t able to visit some of the museums and everything else that the city had to offer since most were closed on Sunday.
We do plan on going back to visit the other sites, that I will be list below. Let me know if you’ve been to Independence before what what you liked about it!
Other Places to Visit in Independence Missouri:
1859 Jail and Marshall’s Museum
Harry Truman Library and Museum
Pharaoh Cinema 4
Little Blue Trace Trail
The Noland Home