If the first thing that comes to mind when you hear "museum" is dry, dull tours reading tiny placards of information, there's a lot more to the History Museum on the Square than that. One of the best things about the museum, especially for anyone with kids (or a short attention span), is the interactivity. This element of lively, active education was part of the plan from the beginning, according to Krista Adams, director of development at the museum. Touch-screen displays offer video and audio snippets about events and figures in 417-land history, from stories of the pioneers to Wild Bill Hickok famous dual with Davis Tutt.
The Hickok exhibit on the 5th floor even includes an interactive shootout, where visitors can test the speed of their own draw using replica revolvers designed to feel and weigh the same as Hickok's own Colt Navy. The surroundings inside the exhibit even offer a panoramic recreation of the square, painted by local artist Andy Thomas. A small plaque on the wall overlooking the square even lets you see exactly where the shootout between Hickok and Tutt happened.
The History Museum on the Square’s six permanent and similarly interactive galleries include:
• Native Crossroads at the Spring
• Trains, Trolleys and Transportation: Children’s Education Area
• Pioneers and Founders at the Crossroads
• The Civil War in Springfield
• Wild Bill Hickok and the American West
• Birthplace of Route 66.