I’m currently working on two projects at one time. I know it sounds crazy, especially when you consider that they’re from two separate time periods in history and wonder how in the world do I keep them separate. I have a research notebook dedicated to each time era, full of information. So when I pulled down the one I use for westerns I started thinking back to my trip across country to New Mexico two years ago. We stopped to visit the St. Louis Arch for a day which is fondly called “The Gateway to the West.”
The Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis' role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century. The Jefferson National expansion memorial museum below the surface though was my favorite part of the trip simply because of all the interesting history of our country packed into this space. What a fascinating history we have right here at home.
So I thought I would share some of the photos from the museum. The Arch is the nation's tallest monument at 630 feet. The Museum of Westward Expansion at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial contains over 150 quotes from diaries, journals, letters and speeches.
During a nation-wide competition in 1947-48, architect Eero Saarinen's inspired design for a 630-foot stainless steel arch was chosen as a perfect monument to the spirit of the western pioneers. Construction of the Arch began in 1963, and was completed on October 28, 1965, for a total cost of less than $15 million.
And of course, I headed right for the information on ships. =D
This tipi is constructed of nine buffalo hides stretched around a frame of fifteen, 18’ lodgepole pine.
The Exhibits on the American Indians. Generally, the cultures of American Indians were not monetary and they bartered for their needs. They utilized the land and did not understand the European concept of land ownership.
The Exhibits of Buffalo soldiers. Four African-American regiments are established in the peacetime U.S. Army, and designated as the 24th and 25th Infantry and the 9th and 10th Cavalry. The units eventually acquire the nickname "Buffalo Soldiers" from the American Indians.
I hope you enjoyed my trip to the Western frontier and perhaps decide to take a trip there for yourself. It's a fascinating collection of American history and a trip that even my three-year-old enjoyed. They have several programs available for kids and make sure to take a trip to the top!