Founded in 1827, Independence became known as the Queen City of the Trails, heading three dominant routes west— the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails. (The Santa-Cali-Gon Festival, held annually on Labor Day weekend, commemorates the opening of these prairie pathways.) Fortunes were made here during the westward expansion and Victorian periods, and many of the charming homes built during these times have been designated with historic markers. Today Independence is best known as the home of the thirty-third president, Harry S. Truman.
Once one of the great river ports of this state, river trade made Lexington a fine commercial center and an outfitting point for those heading west. A U.S. land office was established in 1823, followed by a courthouse, a bank, churches, colleges, and more than 120 lovely antebellum and Victorian homes and buildings. The cannonball embedded in one of the courthouse columns is a relic of the Confederate victory in the 1861 Battle of Lexington. This eTrail from the DayTrips series describes many fascinating, exciting, (and many free of charge) things to do, most within a two-hour drive of Kansas City. Each Day Trip includes, destination highlights, places to visit along the way, choice restaurants and lodging, and shopping.
© Shifra Stein with Diana Lambdin Meyer/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.