Abby Hoover
Managing Editor

Join our Northeast News staff this summer as we hit the road and share with our readers a new weekly feature on where to go and what to do, just a few miles or hours away from home.

For our next adventure, Managing Editor Abby Hoover joins her grandpa, Glenn McAnarney for a day in Independence, Mo.

This week’s road trip took us to historic Independence, Mo., not far from Northeast. I  started the day taking a brisk walk around Mount Washington Cemetery, admiring the gorgeous stone chapel and checking out the final resting places of some well known early Kansas Citians.

After my walk, I headed to meet my sister and grandpa, who moved to Independence in 1967, at Englewood Cafe for a good classic breakfast, fresh coffee and conversation. We then wandered around the Englewood Station Arts District, a colorful neighborhood where the arts thrive in Independence. Visitors can enjoy charming shops, browse art galleries, dine, experience local history, and meet unique people.

From there, we headed to the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum, which was renovated in 2021. Adult tickets are $12, and seniors and military get a discount at $10. Harry Truman, 33rd president of the United States, spent the majority of his adult life in Independence. My grandpa recalls waving to the former president as he strolled Truman Road in his later days.

Independence is known for its historic mansions, many of which are open to the public for tours. We prefer to visit Vaile Mansion closer to Christmas when it’s decorated with a Christmas tree in each room. Tours are $10.

The Harry S. Truman Home, where Truman spent much of his adulthood living with his wife Bess, her mother, and their daughter Margaret is located at 219 N. Delaware Street. However, tickets must be purchased on a first come first serve basis at the National Park Service office at 223 N. Main Street, on Independence Square. Since tours were sold out for the Truman Home, we opted to visit the Bingham-Waggoner Mansion & Estate.

The Bingham-Waggoner at 313 W Pacific Ave. is a stately home, originally built in 1852 and expanded to 26 rooms in the early 1900s. Perched on the beginning of the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails, the home was occupied by an artist/politician/statesman named George Caleb Bingham and by the William Waggoner family for 97 years. Visitors can even see swales – or wagon ruts – left behind by early pioneers. The guided tour is $10 for adults. For those interested in family or local history, the Midwest Genealogy Center is a can’t miss stop in Independence. My grandpa worked there for years, and loves to visit for personal research, a conversation with the knowledgeable staff, or to brush up on local history. We ended the day at Clinton’s Soda Fountain for a milkshake on the historic Independence Square. One of Harry Truman’s first jobs was at Clinton’s, and he was known to order a butterscotch sundae with chocolate ice cream.

Coming up next month is one of my favorite Independence traditions, SantaCaliGon Days. The weekend of Labor Day, the square is transformed into a celebration of the three trails that originated in Independence.

Visit Independence, Missouri

Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

500 W. US HWY 24
Independence, Mo. 64050

Bingham-Waggoner Mansion & Estate

313 W. Pacific Ave
Independence, Mo. 64050

Englewood Cafe

10904 E Winner Rd.
Independence , Mo. 64052

Clinton’s Soda Fountain

100 W Maple Ave.
Independence, Mo. 64050

Harry S. Truman Home

223 N. Main st
Independence, Mo. 64050

SantaCaliGon Days

Friday, September 1 – Monday, September 4
212 W. Truman Rd
Independence, Mo. 64050