March 23, 2011

Museum of Westward Expansion

Underneath the Arch in downtown St. Louis is a visitor center and a museum that commemorates the movement of explorers and pioneers toward Western United States. Part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the Museum of Westward Expansion displays artifacts and memorabilia dating to the expedition of Lewis and Clark in early 19th century.

Among the artifacts on display are old sextants and timepieces used by explorers for navigation, guns and equipment used by cowboys and pioneers, and mode of transportation, such as the covered wagon and Native American canoe made of animal skin. Also in display are animatronic versions of various personalities of the time, such as the Sioux chief Red Cloud and William Clark.

Useful info: The museum is located below the Arch, accessible through a ramp near the base. Entrance to the museum is free. Visitors are required to go through an airport-style security check. 

pics, from above: Red Cloud; a Native American canoe made from animal skin; a covered wagon, the preferred mode of transportation by pioneers; a navigation instrument used by explorers

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