History buffs looking to immerse themselves in some unique experiences shouldn’t miss a visit to Fulton, Mo. With its Downtown Brick District, National Churchill Museum, Auto World Museum, and Historical Society Museum there’s plenty to keep the avid history buff engaged.
A visit to Fulton should start in the Downtown Brick District, so named for the brick streets visitors can walk and drive down. The district boasts a whopping 57 buildings on the National Historic Register, many of which are shops and businesses with unique architecture offering goods for sale including everything from art, antiques, to old-fashioned soda.
A must-see during your tour of the Brick District is Sault’s Healthmart Pharmacy. It’s been a full service pharmacy since 1937 and offers a unique treat for the senses. Sault’s has an old-fashioned soda fountain worth enjoying.
Also worth a look is the Art House. It’s a non-profit Art Gallery that offers local artists a chance to showcase their work and visitors can even purchase the artwork on display. For those interested in spending some time in this great stop, there are even art classes visitors can take.
Before leaving the Brick District, visitors shouldn’t miss the Kingdom of Calloway Historical Society Museum. It’s located in the heart of the Brick District and visitors can learn all about the unique history of this corner of Missouri, which was, at one time, known as the cross roads of the nation.
Interesting facts visitors can learn from a visit to the Kingdom of Calloway include that Fulton was the site of the first mental health facility west of Mississippi and the School for the Deaf. Fulton was also the home of the first female seminary.
Auto World Museum is a great stop for history enthusiasts, even if you aren’t into cars. The museum isn’t just a display of old cars, the concept of the museum is meant for the visitor to take a trip through time. According to the museum’s website, the concept was created by Tom K. Jones, Artistic Director of TKJ Designs in Fulton.
“His concept for the museum was a movement through time and a portrayal of the history of Callaway County, Missouri. Auto World Museum is a stage—a movement through history. Its deep black curtains, scenes from back when, panels of advertising and memorabilia will take you through a history of motion in time. At first, you will visit a period not that long ago, although some say 100 years is a long time,” The explanation of the design said.
The museum’s website describes the presentation, “As you move in a clockwise direction through the museum, you will find enticing displays. The simplicity of family drives in the convertible. The decadence of Hollywood and its fancy cars. The sights and sounds of the drive-in as you watched from the comfort of your Studebaker or Corvair. You will ponder when gas prices were really, really low. Finally, you will find yourself nearing the future, with displays of alternative fuel vehicles.”
When you leave downtown Fulton, the next stop on the historical tour should definitely be the National Churchill Museum, located on the ground level of the St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury Church on the campus of Westminster College. It’s not far from the Brick District and the college boasts a unique history all of its own, but the Churchill Museum is an important stop.
St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury Church was constructed on the campus to commemorate Churchill’s famous speech, “The Sinews of Peace.”
The speech is where the phrase “iron curtain” came from and is often credited with start of the Cold War. "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent,” Churchill said in the famous speech, given on the grounds at Westminster College in 1946 when he visited Fulton with President Truman.
The lofty history of the museum doesn’t end there, however. The church itself was originally in London since 1677. The building was badly damaged during the London Blitz of WWII and was moved stone by stone to the campus of Westminster, rebuilt to the original design specifications in the 1960s.
Fulton offers much more than history, but for the history buff it’s a smorgasbord of information, historical places, architecture, and interest.