St. Joseph Museums, Saint Joseph, United States

The St. Joseph Museums, Inc., encompasses four museums at two locations with an extensive collection of artifacts and stories in exciting, detailed exhibits you won’t want to miss. The Glore Psychiatric Museum, the Black Archives Museum, and the St. Joseph Museum are located on Frederick Avenue in St. Joseph, Missouri. The Glore Psychiatric Museum, a unique and favorite destination, chronicles the 140-year history of what was once known as “State Lunatic Asylum No. 2.” The Museum uses full-sized replicas, interactive displays, audio-visuals, artifacts, and documents to illustrate how mental illness has been portrayed and treated. The Black Archives Museum showcases local African-American history with exhibits on such topics as the Civil Rights era in St. Joseph and the achievements and contributions of local community leaders. The St. Joseph Museum features one of the most extensive American Indian collections in the Midwest. Exhibits include clothing, accessories, fans, pottery, pipes, weapons, kachinas, jewelry, and archaeological artifacts from ten cultural regions.

The Wyeth-Tootle Mansion of the St. Joseph Museums, Inc., is located at 1100 Charles Street. This 1879 Gothic sandstone Mansion illustrates the cultural, architectural, and economic history of 19th century St. Joseph, Missouri. Designed by E. J. Eckel, the exterior features a unique north side turret, making the Mansion resemble a castle. The interior features oil-on-canvas paintings on the first floor ceilings, ornate walnut woodwork and staircase, and stained glass windows. Several rooms, such as the formal dining room, appear as they did when the Mansion was a private home. Exhibits at the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion include Enterprising St. Joseph, which showcases area businesses that have made a national impact through their products and services. Visitors can also explore the history of area architecture through the Intersection of Time and Buildings exhibit and the Architecture of E. J. Eckel exhibit. E. J. Eckel came to American from France in 1869. His 65 year career allowed him to make a permanent mark on the landscape with his architectural firm responsible for the design of 75 percent of the structures in the City.

The St. Joseph Museum American Indian Basket Collection

From Civil War artifacts to intricate Native American pottery and rare dolls, the St. Joseph Museum has a story to share with everyone.

The Native American history and cultural history of the unique northwest Missouri region is a highly-visited and fascinating part of the four museums in the St. Joseph Museums, Inc. system. It began in 1927 as the Children’s Museums of St. Joseph, and the exhibits help tell the story of the natural, cultural and Native American influences that continue to influence our world today.

An extensive collection of Native American items from ten cultural regions of North America includes clothing, accessories, fans, pottery, pipes, weapons, kachinas, jewelry and archaeological items. A doll collection that includes child-size dolls from the 1860s and a wall of shadowboxes with miniature dollhouse settings delight both children and adults. Dolls made of corn husks, porcelain, wood, and plastic showcase children’s dolls over the centuries.

The largest portion of the Native American collection was collected by St. Joseph resident Harry L. George.