Upon arriving, visitors are captivated by the majestic Missouri River and tree lined bluffs. Missouri’s capital, Jefferson City’s beauty shines not only through its natural landscape, but also through the many historic buildings and special landmarks. The Missouri State Capitol, Supreme Court Building, Governor’s Mansion and charming Downtown are just a few of the architectural treasures that anchor this unique community, a real gem tucked away in the heart of the nation. Aside from the many museums to explore, fine cuisine, quaint boutiques and beautiful parks are just waiting to be discovered. Come see for yourself why Jefferson City was chosen as “America’s Most Beautiful Small Town!”
The capital building was completed in 1918 and covers three acres. The dome rises 238 feet above ground level; the structure is notable for its architectural features, including: eight 48-foot columns on the south portico; six 40-foot columns on the north side; a 30-foot-wide grand stairway; and 13-foot by 18-foot bronze doors on the south side. It is providing 500,000 square feet devoted to deliberation and heritage.
In 1935, Thomas Hart Benton, an artist from Missouri, received a commission from the House of Representatives to design and paint a mural depicting the social history of Missouri. He believed that the Midwest would be a driving force in the future, and through his mural, he wanted to capture this history in the making. Thirteen panels narrate the story of Missouri’s evolution from the first pioneers through tradesmen and settlers. Benton also tells the story of slavery, mining, turkey shoots, and driving Mormons from the State. The second floor showcases the State’s resources and history in 40 half-moon shaped paintings. Many of these show the Mississippi and Missouri rivers that feed and define the State. Exhibits in the west wing on the ground floor highlight the State’s culture or human resources and its natural resources above ground and below.
Katy Trail State Park
Whether you’re a bicyclist, hiker, nature lover or history buff, the Katy Trail offers opportunities for recreation, a place to enjoy nature and an avenue to discover the past. The trail stretches 225 miles between St. Charles and Clinton, MO coming right through Jeff City and is beautiful in every season. The park is the nation’s longest rails-to-trails project.
Missouri State Penitentiary
Ever wondered what happens inside the walls of a 175+ year old prison in the dead of the night? Rumors have run rampant about the strange and unusual occurrences that occurred at the Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP) over the years. Apparitional sightings, unexplainable sounds, ghastly stories; you’ll find them all at the decommissioned prison. In conjunction with the Missouri State Penitentiary tours, the newly opened museum residing in the Col. Darwin W. Marmaduke House, provides additional historical information about the famous prison that operated for 168 years. The museum houses MSP memorabilia as well as a replica cell that demonstrates the living conditions at the prison. Visitors can view the many displays that provide information on prison industries, contract labor/private industries, life inside the walls and control/counter-control as well as items on loan from former Deputy Warden Mark Schreiber. Please make reservations for groups of 10 or more. Admission is $2 per person (or free with the purchase of a prison tour).