top of page

573 Museums

Are you looking for an activity for your whole family? Want to know more about local and world history and broaden your understanding? Museums are a wonderful resource for these very things. Museums are also a way to show your children new things that can spark their interest and help promote learning. A museum provides an opportunity to spend time with your family, learn something new about the world around you, and invest in your child’s future as well. Fortunately, there are some great museums in the 573 area that can provide that experience, why not plan a visit?

American Tractor Museum, Perryville

The America Tractor Museum, located in the Catalyst Center at 508 North Main Street in Perryville, houses one of the largest collections of vintage American tractors in the country. The collection is owned by Kenny Buchheit, and the tractors are restored to mint condition by Arley Berkbuegler. They have all makes and models of tractors, many from manufacturers that no longer exist, so-called “orphan tractors,” names and brands that would be lost to history if not for this collection.

With more than 100 tractors in the collection and more than 60 on display the museum has a lot to offer. Some of the tractors are over a 100 years old and they have a threshing machine manufactured in Cape Guiardeux in 1896. Displayed also are many scale pedal toy tractors and cars and other farm memorabilia. An innovative feature of the museum is a self-guided tour using your phone. You scan barcodes on the placards in front of the tractors and read and view pictures and videos about the tractors in the exhibit.

The Museum is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm and 10 am to 2pm every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month.

CLICK HERE to visit their website for more information.

CLICK HERE to check out their facebook page.

Perry County Museum, Perryville.

The Perry County Museum is located at the Perryville City Park entrance next to the Perry Park Center in an historic two story brick building built in 1881. The building is reminiscent of an older style of architecture and as such, is a fitting repository for the large eclectic collection of local items, from arrowheads to quilts, toys and clothing, school and medical supplies and many more items from days gone by.

This 573 Magazine story is proudly sponsored by The City of Perryville, Missouri!

The museum opened in 1990 and has expanded room by room and there are also displays in the hallways and stairwells. The museum’s items will spark nostalgia in the elder visitors and interest in the young. The museum and its extensive collection of Perry County artifacts are maintained by the Perry County Historical Society.

The museum is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm to 3pm and Saturday from 9am to 12pm.

CLICK HERE to visit their website for more information.

CLICK HERE to check out their facebook page.

Cape River Heritage Museum, Cape Girardeau

The recently renovated Cape River Heritage Museum is located at 538 Independence St, in a historic building built in 1908 to house the Cape Girardeau Police Headquarters and Fire Department. The Museum boasts four Galleries of Displays, the first being dedicated to the namesake of the city, a French soldier who founded a trading post in the area, Jean D. Giradot, and the man considered the founder of the city, a French-Canadian, Louis Lorimier.

The second Gallery, The Hirsch room, currently houses a display about Typewriters created by students at Southeast Missouri State University and has a memorable collection of Life Magazine covers from the WW2 era. After that the River Room is all about Riverboats and the Mississippi River and includes a Diorama set in the heyday of the river trade. Finally the Haertling Gallery contains a 1928 Ford Roadster Model A and a 1914 Ford Model T as well as a Native American Display that includes artifacts from the area.

The Museum is open Noon till 4 on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays.

CLICK HERE to visit their website for more information.

CLICK HERE to check out their facebook page.

Sainte Genevieve Museum Learning Center

Situated in the Historic Town Square at 340 Market Street, the Sainte Genevieve Museum Learning Center boasts an impressive collection of world-class dinosaur memorabilia and artifacts usually only found in larger museums.

On entry you will find yourself in The Hall of Giants, with impressive life-sized models of dinosaurs created by curator Guy Darrough and the Lost World Studios. But that is just the beginning, the museum boasts an Ancient cultures wing with replicas and actual artifacts from the stone, copper, bronze, and iron ages and you can learn about life in ancient Mississippian culture as well.

The Missouri Dinosaur Gallery houses replicas of dinosaur fossils unearthed in the area surrounding St Genevieve in 1942 as well as an actual juvenile specimen of a Parrosaurous Missouriensis, the state Dinosaur of Missouri. Past that are galleries with fossilized dinosaur eggs, agriculture and mining tools, shipwreck relics, fulgurites, a type of rock formation, and meteorite samples, and items donated by local residents. They even have a bank safe that was robbed by the famous outlaw Jesse James!

The Sainte Genevieve Museum Learning Center is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm.

CLICK HERE to visit their website for more information.

CLICK HERE to check out their facebook page.

The Space Museum and Grissom Center, Bonne Terre

Bonne Terre is home to The Space Museum and Grissom Center, created and maintained by Earl Mullins to commemorate the most technologically advanced endeavor of mankind, space exploration. Much of the collection housed in the old water department building at 118 East School Street is from Earl’s personal collection, and through a connection with NASA there are physical artifacts from various space missions, things that have actually been in space.

Named for Gus Grissom, one of the original 7 astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, and the second American in space, the center opened in 2006 and expanded to its current location in 2019, with a ceremony that included NASA Astronauts and the brother of the center’s namesake.

The center boasts in its collection Gus Grissom’s Ambassador of Exploration Moon Rock, an award in which an actual moon rock is embedded. The exhibits include items from the very first German rockets to reach space, to items from Projects Mercury and Gemini, the Apollo missions that reached the Moon, Skylab and the Space Shuttle, as well as collectibles and novelty items related to space exploration.

The center is open on Friday and Saturday from 9am to 5pm, 1pm to 5pm on Sunday and by appointment only Monday thru Thursday.

CLICK HERE to visit their website for more information.

CLICK HERE to check out their facebook page.

So if you are looking for something the whole family can enjoy, consider visiting a museum in the 573. There are so many surprises waiting to be discovered in these collections. Plan a visit today!

Check out the 573 Film Festival going on this weekend!

There's lots of ways to experience history, arts, and culture in the 573. The area is full of galleries, museums, and amazing events that are happening all the time. Check out the 573 Film Festival going on this weekend! FREE to attend screenings of films from here in the 573 and around the world with special guest speakers who work in the industry. It's FREE!!!

Kids Film Workshop!

Do you have kids interested in the art of filmmaking? Here's an amazing opportunity for them! On October 15th from 10AM-1PM there will be a Kids Film Workshop! For only $25 your child will get to learn how to make a film. They will get to work with an all kid crew, learn to follow a script, dress and light the set, give direction, and act. Water bottles and snacks included!


Even better... On Sunday, October 23rd, all of the young workshop filmmakers will be invited back to enjoy the fruits of their labor on the BIG SCREEN with a Red Carpet Event at the Perry Park Center Theater!


words by t. smugala & j. bruno

Be sure to visit all of our awesome sponsors who make these stories possible!


bottom of page