Beaver working on its dam

Shining Times: Missouri’s Fur Trade Story

Fur played a vital role in the early Anglo settlements. It was animal pelts, not tobacco, that the early Virginia colonists first exported. The North American fur trade had a tremendous impact on exploration, colonization, and international politics.


St. Joseph: More than just a stop on the Pony Express

St. Joseph is home to iconic places, including Jesse James’s home, the Pony Express birthplace, and the Kansas City Chiefs’ training camp. History flows through this town where museums tell the stories of this westward jumping-off point and where new stories are beginning.


The castle at Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Discover the 2021 Best of Missouri Life Awards

The 2021 Missouri Life readers' choice awards are here!


Sunlight image of the old silo Gary Rhoades owns on his property in rural Johnson County, Missouri

Missouri silo mysteries, sounds, and sights

An old roofless silo stands in the south field of my Missouri hay farm. While the exact circumstances are a mystery, neighbors say the silo lost its roof over forty years ago. Nothing is left of it now except for the bare ends of rebar exposed on top.


The first edition of the Stars and Stripes newspaper

Relics: Stars and Stripes Museum and Library

Since the first Stars and Stripes was printed in Bloomfield in 1861, the Department of Defense designated Bloomfield as the birthplace of the Stars and Stripes newspaper. The Missouri Stars and Stripes was printed only once during the Civil War. It wouldn’t see publication again until World War I, when it was an eight-page weekly. Publication stopped after WWI, then for the first nine months of World War II, it was restarted.


Life on the Run: Riding With the Younger Brothers

In the stories told about them during their careers the Youngers were often cast in the classic Robin Hood mold. It was an image they worked hard to cultivate, but it was only half true. They did steal from the rich but, as biographer T.J. Stiles wrote, “There is no evidence that they did anything with their loot except spend it on themselves.”


Eight Statues in Missouri

Our statues help us understand our history, and ourselves.


Inside Walt Disney’s Life in Marceline

Very little remains of the once massive cottonwood tree Walter Elias Disney called his “Dreaming Tree.” The coarse, woody debris is an anchor tying a small town in Missouri to the pioneer of the American entertainment industry.


The Butterfield stagecoach

BONESHAKER: The Saga of the Butterfield Overland Mail

The Butterfield Overland Mail route traversed prairies, mountains, deserts, and valleys on its way from St. Louis to San Francisco.


New Cambria House Spans Centuries, Many Generations

Like most old houses, a two-story home built around 1890 in New Cambria has layer upon layer of stories—both the kind you tell and the kind you build.