This weekend’s Fall Festival at Missouri Town 1855 is expected to draw thousands of visitors interested in a taste of life on the frontier in the years before the Civil War.

This is also the 50th anniversary of Missouri Town 1855.

“Jackson County’s commitment to preservation really goes back quite a ways,” said Gordon Julich, supervisor of historic sites for Jackson County Parks + Recreation.

He noted that Harry Truman, after leaving office, encouraged the county to preserve history, and he spoke in the mid-1950s at the dedication of the Battle of Lone Jack museum, a county facility. Also, the county acquired Fort Osage, which dates to 1808, in the 1940s.

Longtime Parks Director Bill Landahl pushed to save old buildings, and at Missouri Town, all of the buildings are from the 19th century. They were given by area families and painstakingly taken down, moved and reconstructed. For example, the tavern – “a mid-19th century Motel 6,” Julich said – is from Platte County and dates to 1823.

This weekend’s festival includes children’s games – stilts, ball and cap, others – as well as musicians and dancers.

“It’s all period music from the mid- to late 1800s,” Julich said.

Missouri Town is in Fleming Park, east of Lake Jacomo. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 per car or van ($20 for a school bus or commercial bus). No pets. Food and other items will be for sale. Call 816-503-4860 or send an email to for more information.