Five historic sites are set to re-open their doors for visitors and residents for the tourist season beginning April 1, 2013.
The Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 W .Pacific, dates back to the fabled Santa Fe westward trail and the Civil War. It was home to famed Missouri artist/activist George Caleb Bingham, as well as the prominent Gates and Waggoner families.
The Vaile Mansion , 1500 N. Liberty, is a 31 room Victorian mansion with original gas chandeliers, hand painted woodwork and ceilings and nine marble carved fireplaces.
The 1859 Jail and Marshal's Home Museum 217 N. Main, with its dungeon like limestone cells and heavy gated doors, housed famous guests such as Frank James and other members of the Jesse James gang.
These historic homes are open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Cost is $6 adults, $5 seniors and $3 for ages 6-16. Children under 6 are free. Adult admission for all three homes is available on a combo discount ticket of $15.
The Chicago & Alton 1879 Depot, located on the campus of the National Frontier Trails Museum at 318 W. Pacific, is open Mondays and Thursdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12:30 p.m. through 4:30 p.m. There is no charge to visit the 1879 two story restored depot, although donations are always accepted.
The 1829 Log Courthouse 107 W. Kansas Avenue served as the last courthouse between Independence and the Pacific Ocean for 40 years. It also was used as a mercantile store in the 1830s and was used by Harry Truman as a temporary courtroom when the main courthouse on the Square was under renovation. Free tours are offered Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
For more information about these and other historic sites, call Independence Tourism, 325-7111 or go to www.visitindependence.com.