Wooly mammoth fossils. Glowing rocks. Jewelry left behind by outlaw Bonnie Parker when she and her partner Clyde Barrow absconded fled Joplin after a bloody shootout. These are some of the intriguing items found at the Joplin History & Mineral Museum, a complex which is make up of several small museums.
Feel like you’re underground as you go in the entrance of the Everett J. Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Museum, which was created to resemble the entrance of a mine shaft. As you walk past Smithsonian-quality mineral specimens, you can get an up-close glimpse into the mining culture that caused a boom in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri area in the late 1800s, and also gave birth to the city of Joplin.
See how Joplin’s government and community developed over the years in the Dorothea B. Hoover Historical Museum, which includes exhibits on Route 66 and Bonnie and Clyde’s adventures in Joplin. Other exhibits include the National Historical Cookie Cutter Museum, the Joplin Sports Hall of Fame, and the Merle Evans Miniature Circus.
Open Tuesday through Saturday. Nominal admission fee. Group discounts available