( F1 ) - Francis Hotel
Next door is the former Francis hotel, which was built circa 1913.
- The former hotel is a brick building with a red tile mansard roof. It once housed hotel guests on its upper floor and retail space on the main level. Today it is used as the Museum’s Francis Exhibition Hall and also for small group meetings or parties.
- The Francis was in very bad shape when the Museum obtained it in 2003. You could see through to the basement and the ceiling needed significant repairs. It remained dormant until 2006 when an upcoming Smithsonian exhibit required more floor space than the bank side had available.
- A group of local people decided the Francis needed to be rehabbed to hold the museum’s showcases during the exhibition.
- Volunteers raised the money to restore the main floor. A local contractor provided two key elements: money and manpower: his contractors installed heating and air conditioning; replaced windows; repaired flooring; plastered the walls; and tinned the ceiling. The upper floor – where the guest rooms were located – remains unfinished.
( F2 ) - Wall Murals
( F3 ) - Ancestral Trails
- Excelsior Springs did not exist until 60 years after Missouri became a state in 1821, but early settlers began pouring into this area by 1818.
- They were settling the Fishing River valley. (Excelsior Springs straddles the Fishing River townships of Clay and Ray counties.)
- These six panels (or the touchscreen if you prefer) tell the story of where those early settlers came from, how they got here, and what life was like for them in those early years. You’ll see lots of local names that are still familiar here today.
( F4 ) - Signs
- On the west wall are vintage business signs from our collections.
- It’s a walk down memory lane for many visitors.
- Note the vintage street lamp that highlights this display. The donor thought it was a street lamp used in Excelsior Springs, but we could not find any pictures that showed this style in the downtown. But look at the oil painting of the Milwaukee Depot (also donated by Dr. Richard Hedges) and you’ll see a lamp on the building that appears to be just like this one.
( F5 ) - Loom
( F6 ) - Redwing Pottery
( F7 ) - High School Display
( F8 ) - Lake Maurer Display
( F9 ) - Railroad Display
( F10 ) - Medical Displays
( F11 ) - Francis Windows
- Don’t miss the displays in the front windows of the Francis, which are generally rotated every three months.
- Right now they’re tied in to the Waterfest; the 4th of July; and in August, we’re goin’ fishin’.