Known as the birthplace of Route 66, Springfield is a charming city that’s got plenty for everyone to appreciate. The city preserves its glorious history that is reflected in its museums, though it is very much in step with the times, which is what makes it unique. And when it comes to the culture of the city, there is plenty to be explored. Its gorgeous art, its performing art venues and its intriguing artists, all make it a culturally diverse and rich land with plenty to offer. And, when it comes to the outdoors, there’s plenty to be mentioned there, too. It offers a plethora of recreational activities to get away from the drudgeries of everyday life. You’ll fall head over heels with the city without realizing when. It’s unassuming, beautiful and enthralling.
Image By . The original uploader was Joelfun at English Wikipedia (CVBCS) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons
History of Springfield
Springfield was incorporated in 1838. In the same year, the Cherokees were forcibly moved from their homeland to the Indian Territory. This move was called as the “Trail of Tears” because of the death of thousands of Cherokees on the journey. This trail traversed the Springfield area via what is referred today as the “Old Wire Road”. The Old Wire Road, which is called as the Military Road, remained the connection between the garrison at Fort Smith and the Springfield, up to the mid-1840s. The city was known for a major Civil War engagement that was happened in 1851 outside its boundaries. In 1861, army units fought near the Wilson’s Creek. Referred as “The Battle of Wilson’s Creek”, the conflict had Union forces and Confederates and led to the division of the region into Northern and Southern sentiments. In 1863, the Battle of Springfield ensued. The Confederates left the city and the city remained under the Union control. In 1865, Springfield National Cemetery was formed. In 1865, the city also served as a site of a historic gunfight that occurred over a gambling dispute between Wild Bill Hickok and Dave Tutt. It is referred as the first real “Wild West” gunfight.
In 1870, the St. Louis-San Francisco line traveled through the city and resulted in the formation of a new city- North Springfield. Industrial and commercial advancement came with the establishment of railroads. In 1887, the two towns emerged and formed the City of Springfield. In 1926, a significant event occurred, i.e. the birth of Route 66. It was the first fully paved transcontinental highway in the US, also called as the “Mother Road”, extending from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast.
Important Locations in Springfield
Springfield is packed with unique tourist spots that attract locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re into history, outdoors, art, culture, science or nature, the city has something for every interest.
Springfield Conservation Nature Center
: Springfield Conservation Nature Center
is a 79acres of Ozark glades, creeks, woodlands and prairies. It has 3 miles of trail winding through the habitat. Take a leisurely walk or hike along the 3 miles of trails and along the way, catch a glimpse of turtles, deer, mink, turkeys, frogs and other wildlife, along with over 170 bird species.
Discovery Center of Springfield
: Learn science in a fun way at the Discovery Center of Springfield
. It is a science museum that features interactive hands-on science exhibits for all ages. Generate power by spinning the huge hamster wheel, dig for dinosaur bones, take a sample of your DNA, and explore other exhibits, including Energy Exchange, HighWire Bike, Discovery Town and BodyWorks.
Pythian House of Missouri: Pythian House of Missouri
is a Gothic-style 1912 castle that was home of prisoners of wars and orphans for the first hundred years and later was taken by the US military for about 50 years. Take a history tour of this imposing castle and learn about the past. Or take a ghost tour and hear, see and shiver at the spooks and spirits that stay here. Several events are held here like murder mystery nights, ballroom lessons, holiday parties and cabaret.
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield:
Take a trip back into history at the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
. It was the site of the Civil War battle west of the Mississippi river. Visit the visitor’s center that features a 29-minutes film on the battle, and the weapons, photos and other memorabilia. Take an 8-stop walking or driving tour of the field retracing the battle and hike the trails to Bloody Hill.
History Museum on the Square: History Museum of the Square
features several artifacts, including historic photographs, documents, books and other items related to the past. From pioneer days of the region until the 20th century to the Civil War to the Wild Bill’s shootout and beyond, everything is featured here.
The Gray/Campbell Farmstead:
The Gray/Campbell Farmstead
provides an insight into the lifestyle in the 19th century. It features an outdoor house, an outdoor kitchen, a log granary, a two-crib barn, fresh-water well and a family cemetery and a schoolhouse. A 1860s Lifestyle Expo is held here on the 3rd weekend in September. Take a tour of the house and know the farmstead history.
Dickerson Park Zoo
: Get an up-close look of more than 500 animals at the Dickerson Park Zoo
. See the amphibians and reptiles in the Ambler Diversity of Life building and native species at the Missouri Habitats, river otters, mountain lions, gray wolf and more.
Springfield National Cemetery
: Pay homage to the deceased from the Civil War, Battle of Springfield, Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Revolutionary War and Battle of Pea Ridge at the Springfield National Cemetery
. War heroes are buried here.
Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks:
The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks
is a hands-on military museum that houses more than 5,000 exhibits of military history, including military equipments, restored vehicles, teletype writer, medals, uniforms and other military memorabilia.
: Fantastic Cavern
is one of the famous ride-through caves in America. Visitors can take a 50-minute guided tour of the lit cavern through the jeep-drawn tram.
Springfield Art Museum:
Browse through more than 10,000 pieces of art at the Springfield Art Museum
. The art on display is from 19th until the 20th century and includes American paintings, sculptures, prints, Ceramics and Pottery of Europe, watercolor and other mediums.
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People and Culture of Springfield
Springfield is a cultural center in southwestern Missouri. A bit of West Coast vibe can be experienced here as it is the birthplace of Route 66. Culture is reflected all around the city. The performing arts and culture lovers will feel in heaven at the array of cultural centers peppered around the city- the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Ballet and the Springfield Regional Opera Lyrical Theatre. Apart from that, the city is home to dozens of art galleries housing several beautiful pieces that represent thousand years of culture. Also, Springfield is a place that has everything one needs. The city is packed with friendliness and character that can be found nowhere else.
Time Zone and Phone Codes of Springfield
Springfield lies in the Central Time Zone
UTC-GMT Offset: Springfield is GMT/UTC-6hours during Standard Time and GMT/UTC-5hours during Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time Usage: Springfield uses Daylight Saving Time
Time Zone Abbrev.: CST is abbreviated for Central Standard Time and CDT is abbreviated for Central Daylight Time
Area code: 417
Best Time to Visit Springfield
Springfield temperature is mild throughout the year. None of the seasons the city experiences are extreme. However, the best time to visit Springfield depends on each traveler. But if you want to enjoy the outdoors or any type of activity, spring and autumn are the best times of the year to visit Springfield. Spring and autumn are the perfect times to explore whatever the city has to offer. Though, summer tends to the peak time with plenty of activities going on. If you’re looking for low cost and fewer crowded environment, winter is the time to visit Springfield. Regardless of the best time for a visit, the city hosts plethora of events and festivals year-round. Some of them are:
Important Locations in Springfield Map Guide