If you ask someone to direct you to the nearest museum in Columbia, chances are they’ll scratch their heads and look a bit puzzled. For the general population, it’s assumed we don’t really have one of those.
But it’s just not true. Go east on Grindstone, or west if you come off of interstate 63, and turn on Ponderosa. Go a little ways. That wooden building set off the road not far from Nifong Park and the Maplewood Barn – that’s the Boone County Museum.
Park and walk inside. Immediately, you’re greeted with a menagerie of interesting historical items, county information, a gift shop and the perhaps the best part (according to this writer) an old-fashioned candy counter.
Founded in 1990 and known as the Walter’s-Boone County Historical Museum, this gem is a showcase of settler’s lives, when simple tools and weaving looms were high tech, and John William “Blind” Boone and Jane Froman held celebrity status in this neck of the woods.
Of course for today’s museum visitor, it’s a great place to purchase some unique gifts, like Christmas ornaments y0u won’t see anywhere else.
Go down the hall from the front entrance where the Montminy Art Gallery features rotating collections of works: from well-known artists to future artists still honing their skills in local schools.
The museum actually has over 17,600 cataloged items. Which means, there are oodles of things to see on any given day.
But there’s more. Head outside and stroll amongst an amazing series of transplanted historical homes referred to collectively as Boone Junction. Open Sundays from 12:30-4:30pm, tours are available by appointment (adults $4 and children $2) with discounts for scouts and school groups.
So take advantage of our home-town museum. A great time is during the Heritage Festival (September 17 and 18). Or bundle the family into the minivan and mosey on over any Wednesday through Sunday, 12:30-4:30pm.
This is an ideal spot for families with young children; especially when you’re hunting for inexpensive activities that combine some running space (outside) and some learning environments (inside) to jump start those little grey cells.
Hours of operation:
Admission is free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated