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The Trailside Center is a multi-purpose space focused on the history of the Kansas City area. The center features exhibits, research resources, tourist information, and a community meeting room. It is conveniently located just off of 3-Trails Crossing Memorial Highway along the 3-Trails Corridor, where the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails merged.


  • The Trailside Center

Exhibits at the center describe the experience of pioneers on the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails. As mentioned on the Trailside Center’s entry on the 3-Trails Corridor website: “Few visitors realize that the communities that established in this area in the early 1830s were situated at the western edge of the United States until Kansas Territory was established in 1854.” [1] The Civil War and the significant events such as Bleeding Kansas that led up to the war are also covered. Researchers can also take advantage of the center’s resources, which include books, photos, and artifacts.

In addition to research and exhibit spaces, the Trailside Center acts as a tourist center. Volunteer staff members offer advice and direction for visitors to the area who want to learn more about its historical sites. Finally, the Trailside Center provides a meeting and venue space for the local community. Regular lectures that are free and open to the public are hosted there, and an annual “living history” lecture series brings in local veterans to tell their experiences during their time completing military service. [2]

The Trailside Center is located in a converted bank, and the former safe with original door is used as exhibit space. An estimated 10,000 people have visited the center since its opening. [3] The center is run by the Historical Society of New Santa Fe, KCMO Department of Parks and Recreation, and KCMO Department of Neighborhood and Housing Services.

1.      Jackson, David W. “Trailside Center.” 3-Trails Corridor Website of the 3-Trails Village Community Improvement District. Accessed November 19, 2019. https://www.3trailscorridor.com/waypoints/trailside-center.

2.      “Veterans of war get opportunity to share stories Thursday night.” Martin City Telegraph. August 16, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2019. https://martincitytelegraph.com/2018/08/16/veterans-of-war-get-opportunity-to-share-stories-thursday-night/.

3.      EDCKC Staff. “Where are they now? 2006 Cornerstone winner – Trailside Center.” October 16, 2013. Accessed November 19, 2019. https://edckc.com/where-are-they-now-2006-edc-cornerstone-winner-trailside-center/.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Chasing History Blog: http://chasing-history.blogspot.com/2010/11/3-trails-corridor-kansas-city-ksmo.html

The Trailside Center: https://www.facebook.com/TrailsideCenter/

Brian Turner: https://www.3trailscorridor.com/waypoints/trailside-center

Chasing History Blog: http://chasing-history.blogspot.com/2010/11/3-trails-corridor-kansas-city-ksmo.html

Brian Turner: https://www.3trailscorridor.com/waypoints/trailside-center

Brian Turner: https://www.3trailscorridor.com/waypoints/trailside-center

The Trailside Center: https://www.facebook.com/TrailsideCenter/

Martin City Telegraph: https://martincitytelegraph.com/calendar/living-history-series-gary-derigne-vietnam-purple-heart-veteran-2/