Discovery Tours

Discover the pieces of St. Louis's past in a history-based guided tour

The Missouri History Museum’s Discovery Tours are educational excursions designed to entertain and inform. Inspired by the Museum’s exhibitions and programming, these tours explore historic themes at various sites throughout the city and surrounding area. The overarching theme of the 2014 Discovery Tour series is the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis. Each tour is based on something found in the 250 in 250 exhibition.

All tours will be led by noted historians or local authorities on the various subject matter highlighted. 



Tour Leader

March 8

Early St. Louis—250 Years Later

Linda Koenig

March 29

St. Louis Originals

Linda Koenig

April 12

Saints and Sinners

Johnny Rabbitt

April 26

Be a Kid in St. Louis

Lindsay Newton & Friend

May 17

Prohibition in St. Louis

Johnny Rabbitt

June 14

Seeds of Change: Farming & Gardening Today

Linda Koenig

September 6

River Lore

Linda Koenig

October 11-rescheduled for November 1

The Power of Place

Andrew Wanko

October 25

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Linda Koenig

November 8

A Look at Shopping

Susan Ponciroli & Tami Goldman


















The Discovery Tours will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning and ending at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.It is requested that all participants meet at the Visitor Services desk in the Emerson Center of the Museum at 8:45 a.m.

The guided tours will include deluxe motor coach transportation; all admission and donation charges; and water, lunch, and a snack.

It should be noted that there will be frequent (but generally not strenuous unless noted) walking on every tour. To ensure a great experience, wear comfortable shoes, bring a jacket, and remember your camera to capture the wonderful memories you will be creating on these fabulous adventures.

$65.00 per person for members of the Missouri History Museum
$75.00 per person for non-members

To reserve your tour or for more information please call 314-361-9017 or email Payment in full is expected at time of reservation. Cancellation must be made 48 hours prior to trip departure in order to receive a refund.

Early St. Louis—250 Years Later
Saturday, March 8
Tour Leader: Linda Koenig
Travel through time to learn about the early development of St. Louis. Although few sites remain from the city’s earliest days, we have developed a tour that imaginatively and historically explores our origins and looks to our future.

St. Louis Originals
Saturday, March 29
Tour Leader: Linda Koenig
Explore St. Louis history through your taste buds! Have you had gooey butter cake, a concrete, toasted ravioli, or St. Louis-style pizza? All these flavors and more await as you learn about and enjoy these favorites that originated in our city.

Saints and Sinners
Saturday, April 12
Tour Leader: Johnny Rabbitt
This tour shares stories of some illustrious St. Louisans, some pure and wholesome, and others definitely not! The day begins with a performance by Elizabeth Pickard, Community Education and Events Director, as famous local courtesan Eliza Haycraft. We’ll “meet” people such as Max Starkloff, Stan Musial, Pearl Curran, and Lillian Lemp (also known as the Lavender Lady), plus revisit events like the Bobby Greenlease kidnapping, the miracle at the Shrine of St. Joseph, and the Great St. Louis Bank Robbery.

Be a Kid in St. Louis
Saturday, April 26
Tour Leaders: Lindsay Newton & Friend
St. Louis is a great place for families, and we have so many attractions that keep the child—and the kid in all of us—in mind. Come with us to see St. Louis through the eyes and ideas of a child. Have you ever wondered what the Magic House and City Museum are all about? Here is your chance to find out!

Prohibition in St. Louis
Saturday, May 17
Tour Leader: Johnny Rabbitt
What was it like in St. Louis during the dry years wrought by the 18th Amendment? Famous for beer, booze, and blues, our town has plenty of colorful stories, from flappers and Dapper Dans, to suicides and mob murders, to the raids that revolved around Prohibition. And we’ll see some of the spots related to speakeasies, liquor stills, hideouts, and the infamous Cuckoo Gang and Al Capone. The tour includes a guided visit to American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition on exhibit at MHM.  

Seeds of Change: Farming & Gardening Today
Saturday, June 14
Tour Leader: Linda Koenig
Among the busy streets, rambling subdivisions, and urban commerce, we can still find farms and gardens. Our tour looks at these contemporary centers, with a comparison to the way agriculture used to be conducted. Sites visited will include the historic Mueller Farm/EarthDance, Gateway Greening community gardens, and Operation Brightside.
*extensive walking

River Lore
Saturday, September 6
Tour Leader: Linda Koenig
We are where we are because of rivers. Explore river history and learn how rivers today are vital to our region. Sites will include the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, the Audubon Center, and Portage Des Sioux.

The Power of Place
Saturday, October 11--Rescheduled for November 1
Tour Leader: Andrew Wanko
“Place” is a powerful concept, a defining element in who we are. Learn about places in our region that have been wiped off the physical landscape, and explore some of the important places that remain, such as the Wainwright Building, the Old Post Office, and many more.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Saturday, October 25
Tour Leader: Linda Koenig
How do we, and did we, get from here to there? Take a historic look at the various answers to that question as we visit such transportation sites as St. Charles County Airport—Smartt Field, Fast Lane Classic Cars, and Union Station.

A Look at Shopping
Saturday, November 8
Tour Leaders: Susan Ponciroli & Tami Goldman
St. Louis was established as a “shopping center”—in the form of a fur trading post that Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau built in 1764. Join us as we look at shopping from several points, historic and modern, and explore some of the lesser-known venues.


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