Museums & Historical Sites

Poplar Bluff Museum

Poplar Bluff History Museum
1012 N. Main Street, Poplar Bluff, MO |  (573) 785-2220

The Old Mark Twain School was built in 1910 and converted to Poplar Bluff Museum a few years after it was closed as a school in 1988. It features the neo-classical style and is the oldest school building in the city. This museum features the history of Poplar Bluff and Butler County. There are displays including the Sports Hall of Fame, Veterans, U.S. Postal Services, Boy and Girl Scouts, and much more. National Register of Historic Places 1998. This is a city landmark!

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Margaret Harwell Art Museum
421 N. Main Street, Poplar Bluff, MO  |  (573) 686-8002

The Margaret Harwell Art Museum in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, owes its existence to the generosity of its namesake and benefactor, the late Margaret Harwell — an amateur artist, businesswoman and civic leader. When Mrs. Harwell died in 1977, she left a part of her estate to the City of Poplar Bluff to establish a center for art classes and exhibits. In 1978, an Arts and Museum Advisory Board was formed to take on the task. In 1980, the city purchased the J.L. Dalton home, itself rich in local history and architecture, to house the museum. The Margaret Harwell Art Museum opened to the public in November 1981.

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Historic Rodgers Theatre
204 N. Broadway, Poplar Bluff, MO  |  (573) 326-4131

Today we look back with great appreciation at the unique contribution of this art form and the movie houses that drew millions of Americans into an era unprecedented in America culture. Poplar Bluff was no exception to this phenomenon. It boasted at least 3 movie theaters before 1914, and it was in that year that a man named I.W. Rodgers came to the city and bought the multiple theaters and built the Rodgers Theater. He and his family continued to furnish the movie entertainment in Poplar Bluff for 52 years, until 1966 when the Kerasotes Brothers theaters of Springfield Ill. bought the company. The Rodgers theatre, at the corner of Pine and Broadway, still stands as a tribute to this bygone era. Mr. Rodgers built this theater and said at the time of opening, “When the Rodgers opens, my plans and ambitions will fully be realized.” The building occupies 11, 648 Sq. Ft. At opening it contained 1160 red plush seats, and there was also a cry room for small children and their mothers. The marquee was brilliantly lit which still displays red letters that spell the name of the theater. Movie goers entered the lobby through solid walnut doors. Leather benches lined one of the walls of the lobby. The owners, Kerasotes Theatres, gave the building to Butler county in Jan. 1999 when they moved to a new multiplex theater on 67 S. The theater opened June 1st 1949, with a great deal of fanfare and showing the movie “Red Canyon”. 1,800 people attended the opening festivities including a ribbon cutting, music by the Poplar Bluff Municipal Band and a dedication to the city mayor. E.W. Robinson. He bought the first ticket to the show. The theater was reported to be the finest between St. Louis and Memphis at the time it opened. It was fully air conditioned and warmed by forced air and radiant heat.

Today the city and county have many residents of the boomer generation who went to Saturday cowboy shows and stayed to see it again and again and who remembers when there was seldom a movie that required parental guidance and never on Saturdays. Mr. Rodgers died in 1958, at the age of 83, after a long career in the motion picture world. The memories linger on, perhaps a new year will welcome new life and a new mission for this building of so many memories. The need is here for a medium sized theater for live performances and community events. A place for people of all ages to come together and celebrate the visions, the creations and the talents of artists and dreamer and more.

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Claudia HouseThe Claudia House
686 Cynthia Street, Poplar Bluff, MO  |  (573) 686-3040

The Claudia Foundation is a unique organization whose purpose is to promote positive change in the lives of individuals, especially women. The Claudia House is a place for celebrations, weddings, town meetings, corporate gatherings, brithdays, and even funerals. A place where memories are made.

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Flying F Gallery
97 County Road 534, Poplar Bluff, MO  |  (573) 778-0513

Can modern art find happiness in a century old farm house? We think so! Come decide for yourself! The flying “F” Gallery is located in the historic Collins Family farmhouse, built circa 1894. The building was convered into a country general store in 1926 and remained open until 1978. References to the Collins General Store can be found in several Butler County Missouri historical publications. Missouri artist Ralph Wayne Freer’s captivating works of art can be found in the century old farmhouse which he has converted into the Flying “F” Gallery. Both his gallery and studio are located on Highway “W” near Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Although Ralph’s Ozark roots include being born in a Civil War era log house he has had the good fortune to travel and live in Europe, Central America, and throughout the United States. He believes these experiences have shaped and influenced his approach to life and art. Ralph is primarily a sculptor working in wood. His artistic style is a continually evolving three-dimensional impressionism. He focuses on the exploration of shapes, forms, and color. As with most artists Ralph is intense about his art. His formal training includes life drawings with Malcolm Ross and portrait sculpture with Jane Doxey, both in Key West, Florida.

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Wheatley School and Black History Museum
921 Garfield Street, Poplar Bluff, MO  |  (573) 785-4539

The need for a public African American school was recognized in 1901 in Butler County, Missouri. The school was named for the poetess Phyllis Wheatley. In 1928 the building was expanded from four rooms to eight rooms with a library and gymnasium. Early in 1950 a vocational building was added. The school was the center of education for African Americans from its inception until the R-I school district became integrated in 1968. It later served as a grade school and early childhood center until closing in 2001.

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Stars and Stripes Museum
17377 Stars and Stripes Way, Bloomfield, MO  |  (573) 568-2055

The National Stars and Stripes Museum/Library is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to collecting, documenting, and preserving materials related to the creation and continued history of the Stars and Stripes military newspaper. By preserving and interpreting the Stars and Stripes and making its archives available, the museum and library seek to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of the newspaper’s role in American and world history. There was little peace in the small town of Bloomfield, Missouri between November 7, 1861, when Brigadier General Ulysses Grant ordered federal soldiers to destroy the pro-southern Missouri State Guard troops of Brig. Gen. M. Jeff Thompson, and September 1864 when bushwhackers left the town in ashes. During this time, control of the town changed over twenty times, Union troops shelled the town and printed the first issue of the military newspaper, The Stars and Stripes. Their officers staged a mutiny, several executions took place, and 6000 cavalrymen camped here at the Union prepared to join the campaign to capture Little Rock, Arkansas. Markers that tell the town’s Civil War story have been placed at or near the sites where the events happened. Stop by the museum and pick up a brochure of the Driving Tour of the Stars and Stripes Historic-Cultural Byway.

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Veterans Memorial Wall
301 S. 5th Street, Poplar Bluff, MO  |  (573) 686-8001

The Veteran’s Memorial Wall is a monument dedicated to the perpetual celebration of men and women who have served our country through the military. It consists of black granite panels, mounted on solid concrete, on which names of veterans are inscribed. The walkway in front of the wall is constructed of brick. The center section of the Memorial is constructed of a concrete base for the four flagpoles that fly the National, State, City, and POW-MIA flags. Also included in this area are granite pylons mounted on solid concrete for inscribing names of veterans killed in action and are illuminated during the hours of darkness. The Wall is 100 feet long with two 32 feet tapered sides angling towards Fifth street. It has 89 black granite panels, ranging from 2’ X 7’ in size down to the smaller tapered panels along each angling side. All panels will contain names. There are 43 large panels, which will contain approximately 132 names each, and there are 16 half-size panels that will contain approximately 66 names each.

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Old Greenville
Hwy 67 South of D Highway, Greenville, MO  |  (217) 412-9314

For nearly 150 years, the small town of Greenville thrived on the banks of the St. Francis River. As a frontier town, a county seat of Wayne county and later a lumber and railroad town, this community was a commercial and political center for the region. Although the town was moved to avoid flooding by the river in 1941, the original site now provides a one-mile walk down memory lane and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Mo-Ark Regional Railroad Museum
303 S. Moran Street, Poplar Bluff, MO  |  (573) 785-4539

Poplar Bluff can credit its early growth to the railroading industry, linking our city with other major locations: Dallas, Little Rock, Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, or West to Springfield and Kansas City. The timber industry was the initial reason for establishment of the railway system. The influx of people, seeking jobs in this area, increased the need for machinery, food, clothing and other items needed for population growth. When the timber industry declined, farming became a major need for transportation. Cross-country railroads continue to provide the most economical mode of transportation. On your visit to the museum, you will see Model Train displays; photographs of early railroading days which depict logging, lumber mills, factories, area train depots, the early steam engine, a dining car display, a train bell, workman’s railroad maintenance tools and the old depot pot-belly stove.

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Pioneer Heritage Homestead
200 Franklin Street, Doniphan, MO  |  (573) 996-5298

The homestead includes the Tom Kennon Blacksmith Shop, which is open until noon on Saturday and special occasions. The Pioneer Log Cabin museum and Pioneer Log Barn are also on site. Tours scheduled by calling.

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Battle of Fort Benton
Patterson, MO  |  (573) 223-7660

A Short History About Fort Benton – The Civil War began at 4:30 a.m., April 12th, 1861, when the first Confederate shell smashed into Fort Sumter. The bloody war that followed cost the lives of 600,000 men. The issue of slavery divided states, nationalities, neighbors and even families. Though Wayne County was always pro Confederate, the Union army established the first outpost and telegraph line between the Arkansas border and Pilot Knob in the strategic area in Wayne County known as ‘Patterson Valley’. they used a hill south of headquarters as a lookout point. They could survey the valley in all directions. The soldiers named it ‘Fort Hill’. In 1863, Federal Brigadier General William P. Benton oversaw completion of the fort at Patterson. Afterwards, it was named Fort Benton. Later that year they built Fort Davidson at Pilot Knob. The Union Headquarters at Patterson served as dispatch center for orders from Fort Davidson and Barnesville. Sometimes there were thousands of troops quartered in the parade grounds. There were two battles at the fort; the first in April of 1863, the second in September of 1864. . . Continue Reading

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Berry-Glenn Historical Museum
302 S. Highway 51, Puxico, MO  |  (573) 222-6951

Preserving Puxico’s rich history for generations to come. Housed in the former 1904 Frisco Railroad depot. Admission is FREE! Donations are accepted and greatly appreciated.

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Bootheel Youth Museum
700 N. Douglas, Malden, MO  |  (573) 276-3600

Incorporated in April 1990, the Bootheel Youth Museum was established in Malden, Missouri by a group of dedicated civic leaders, schoolteachers, administrators, and interested citizens in the Southeast Missouri area. The mission and purpose of the museum was developed and adopted by the board of directors on Feb. 24, 1992 and opened its’ doors to the public on March 9, 1996

What began as a conversation between three local women, soon evolved to include more than 250 volunteers, over 25 major businesses who continue to enable the museum to meet its goal and mission. Under the guidance of the executive director the museum has grown from its original 10,000 square feet of exhibit hall to 25,000 square feet which includes the BYM Children Village, This Island Mars: A Space Adventure, Missouri Nature, Shadow Room, Bubble Room, Making Tracks on the Lewis and Clark Trail and Nano (opened in 2014). Nearly 50,000 children have enjoyed a variety of educational enriching programs in our 180-seat children’s theater. The Bootheel Youth Museum has had over 462,000 visitors in its nine-year history, with an additional 75,000 being reached through outreach programs.

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Bollinger County Museum of Natural History
207 Mayfield Drive, Marble Hill, MO  |  (573) 238-1174

The Bollinger County Museum of Natural History is celebrating 20 years of service to our region. Our museum showcases the treasures of our area both in natural history and historical exhibits. The Museum started as a committee of the Will Mayfield Heritage Foundation in 1998 but became our own 501c3 entity in 2004 founded by leaders of the community who wanted to save the beautiful Will Mayfield College buildings for posterity and for a great economic asset to the community.

A five member board of community members works to offer a premiere museum experience to visitors from our 100 mile service area.

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Historic Homes & Brick Streets

400 Block North Main Street

On National Historic Register
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901

Claudia House
626 Cynthia Street
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901

Poplar Bluff Public Library
318 North Main Street
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901



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