I can’t think of another piece of landscape of similar size where so many things have happened that have been of significance in the story of America.
— David McCullough Pulitzer Prize winning historian and Harry S Truman biographer

From the JCHS Executive Director


Like many other historical organizations, the Jackson County Historical Society has begun the long process of digitizing our vast archival holdings.

Currently, staff and volunteers are working on scanning the large photograph collection that contains over 25,000 images.

Photographs are the number one requested item to view in our archive center which is one reason we chose to start there. 

Jackson County Historical Society welcomes Caitlin Eckard to our staff filling a full-time position as operations manager and responsible for overseeing the JCHS Archives. 

Caitlin will join the JCHS staff on Sept. 1.

Eckard has an extensive background with regional historical organizations and has an undergraduate degree in history and masters in public history from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

She has worked with the Johnson County (KS) County Museum and most recently worked for the American Truck Historical Society.

Her experiences include arranging exhibits, educational programming, digitization, historical sites and working in archives.

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$20 for adults, $15 for kids 7-12. Children 6 and under are not allowed. The Ghost Tours take place every Friday night in October, 7&8 PM. Tickets must be purchased in advance, no tickets will be sold at the door. No refunds or transfers. Tour begins at the 1859 Jail, Marshal's Home and Museum. 

Guests will tour the 1859 Jail and Marshal's Home for approximately 45 minutes, then take a spooky covered wagon ride around Independence Square. This event is hosted by Jackson Co. Historical Society, Dusk 2 Dawn Paranormal, and Pioneer Trail Adventures. Please call 816.252.7454 if you have questions. 

New JCHS Journal Available Online

The Summer 2016 JCHS Journal is now available online.

We share this in support of our educational mission and hope you will consider supporting our organization.

JCHS News and Updates

News items
Historic Truman Courthouse Tour

Want to learn more about the Historic Truman Courthouse? Join archivist, Caitlin Eckard, for a behind the scenes tour of the Courthouse for Historic Preservation Month.

Three Kansas City sites nominated to National Register

The Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation recently approved nominations of three Kansas City properties to the National Register of Historic Places. Nominated were:

Shoe Shine Boys get recognized at Union Station

The role of shoe shine boys at Union Station is being recognized with a new permanent exhibit which recently was unveiled.

The shoe shine stand was a prominent fixture in the bustling train station and staffed by enterprising mostly African-American young boys.

The Legacy of Walt Disney - A Story With Kansas City Roots

A new highly-regarded documentary on the life of Walt Disney is garnering new interest in the life of the well-known animator whose early career started in Kansas City. 

The two-part series on the PBS show American Experience shares how Walt Disney rose to cultural prominence through animation and his creation of Disneyland. Watch chapter one.

We recounted Disney's early career in a recent JCHS Journal article by Ron Green titled "The Roots of Animation in Kansas City."  

We also shared additional content including Disney-related locations in Kansas City and information about some of his Kansas City collaborators who helped build the Disney.

JCHS finds 1947 Santa Cali Gon video

The Jackson County Historical Society recently posted a 1947 home video made of the the second-ever Santa Cali Gon festival held.

The Independence community festival celebrates the community's role in outfitting those leaving for the West along the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails.

The video was featured in a story in The Examiner and there is more information on Santa Cali Gon our website including a copy of the 1940 program for the first festival.

The 17-minute video is being edited by local filmmaker Jefferson to promote this year's festival held over Labor Day.

Check out our Santa Cali Gon page.

JCHS recognizes award winners at  annual dinner

The Jackson County Historical Society recognized several individuals and organizations for their contributions to local history at its upcoming annual dinner.

The 2014 award winners are:

  • Historic Preservation Award: Historic Kansas City Foundation for 40 Years of Advocacy for our Built Environment
  • Bringing History to Life Award: R. Crosby Kemper III and Henry Fortunato for their roles in the Kansas City Library’s “Meet the Past” interview series
  • Local Group Making a Difference Award: The Midwest Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition (MAGIC)
  • Local History Book of the Year Award: Bruce Mathews for Windows of Kansas City
  • Collaboration in History Award: Ed Matheny Jr. for publication of Cowtown: Cattle Trails and West Bottom Tales in partnership with Mid-Continent Public Library
  • Volunteers of the Year Award: Paul White, Archives and Research Library and Timothy Truman, 1859 Jail Museum.

See a list of prior award winners.

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