Visit one of the oldest active military installations west of the Mississippi River in order to see one of the country's newest Civil War museums. Established in 1826, the Jefferson Barracks Military Post has served soldiers in every military conflict in America's history from the Black Hawk War in 1832 to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. The Missouri Civil War Museum is in a recently restored building on the parade grounds at the Jefferson Barracks Historic Site in St. Louis.
The 1905 Post Exchange and Gymnasium Building, a four-story building, houses the Missouri Civil War Museum. Over the years, it has served as a gym, a barracks, and a hospital before it was closed in 1946. It has now been restored and contains many valuable Civil War and other artifacts. About 2,000 artifacts are available, with more than 500 on display recently.
St. Louis County owns the building, but the restoration was completed with a grass-roots volunteer and private fund-raising efforts totaling about $1.7 million and ten years to bring the building back to life.
The 16,000-square-foot building is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including a self-guided tour. Admission price is $7; for ages 65 and over, $6; ages 5-12, $5; younger than 5 and active duty military, free. See the website www.mcwm.org for more details.
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