Introduction to Saint Joseph, Missouri
St. Joseph, Missouri, in Buchanan county, is 48 miles N of Kansas City, Missouri. Saint Joseph is situated along the river banks of the Missouri River in the northwest portion of the state near the Missouri/Kansas border. It was named the number one "Top Western Town" by True West Magazine and has a vast number of structures included in the National Register of Historic Places. The National Civic League named Saint Joseph an All-America City.
Saint Joseph History
The city was settled by a fur trader named Joseph Robidoux and incorporated in 1843. It was known as a rowdy frontier town and was a major supply center for pioneers traveling past the Missouri River and heading to the "Wild West." It was the last stop for the railroad going towards the west until shortly after the Civil War ended. Saint Joseph was one of the two endpoints for the well known Pony Express. The notorious outlaw Jesse James was killed in his home located in Saint Joseph.
Saint Joseph Historic Structures
During the early years St. Joseph was a prosperous town due to the thriving manufacturing businesses and being an important trading center. Due to its early wealth the city features a wide variety of attractive architecture including "Gilded Age" mansions, Italianate buildings and Romanesque Revival structures. Some of the other notable historic structures are:
- The Buchanan County Courthouse is an impressive building and is included in the National Register of Historic Places. It was also the location of the trial for the Ford brothers who were tried for the murder of the well known outlaw Jesse James.
- Missouri Theatre is a restored vaudeville palace.
- Missouri Valley Trust Building.
- Wyeth-Tootle Mansion.
- The J.C. Wyatt House showcases the extravagance of the former Golden Age of Saint Joseph.
- The Whiskey Mansion Bed & Breakfast is a beautiful restored historic structure.
- Creverling's Tour House features Romanesque architecture, attractive woodwork, beautiful china and historic furniture.
- First Street Trolley is a replica of a historic trolley and runs through historic districts and travels to the riverfront area.
- Hall Street Historic Homes District features houses constructed during the city's "Golden Age."
- The Shakespeare Chateau Bed & Breakfast is a beautiful Victorian mansion featuring numerous stained glass windows, murals and other items and has been featured in Victorian Decorating and Lifestyles Magazine.
Saint Joseph Museums
- Jesse James Home includes items owned by the famous outlaw and his family and is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Pony Express Museum is an historic structure and features numerous exhibits.
- St. Joseph Fire Museum.
- Society of Memories Doll.
- Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art.
- National Military Heritage.
- St. Joseph Museum is located in an historic mansion and includes exhibits of the Pony Express, Native Americans, Jesse James and Lewis and Clark.
- Patee House was a former prominent hotel during the 1800's and includes a steam locomotive and a large number of artifacts.
- Roboux Row Museum.
Saint Joseph Activities
Krug Park features Italian Renaissance structures, an amphitheater, rose gardens, a lagoon, a North American exhibit featuring native animals, a castle and is utilized for outdoor recreation. The Saint Joseph Parkway runs through the city and is popular for hiking and bicycle riding. Golfing enthusiasts enjoy Fairview Golf Course. The St. Joseph Water Park is popular with residents. St. Jo Frontier casino offers riverboat gaming.
Saint Joseph Attractions
- St. Joseph Symphony.
- Robidoux Resident Theatre.
- St. Joseph Community Chorus.
- River Song.
- Numerous locations for antique shopping.
Saint Joseph is home to Missouri Western State University.