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Northward Museum / Polk County Historical Society


category : Museums
Northward Museum / Polk County Historical Society The North Ward Museum is housed in the North Ward Elementary School built in 1903 which was purchased by a local family and donated to the Historical Society of Polk County. Hundreds of objects and documents touching on area history are on display and stored in the Museum's archives. Exhibits occupy thirteen rooms and areas on three floors of the old school building.

Special features include a "school room," a veterans room, a toy room, an archives room, and a room honoring Ada McCracken, who taught at the school 46 years.

The most ancient man-made objects in the Museum's collections are arrowheads, tomahawk blades and hide scrapers that date back as much as 10,000 years with the appearance here of the First Americans.

A horsehair chair and sofa from 1815 predate Polk County's formation in 1835, and a bed in the McCracken Room was made the year the county was born.

Amongst the rarest of the Museum's holdings is a mourners' bench dating from the early 1800s. It formed a parenthesis on one side at the ends of a casket and was occupied by family members.

On the grounds stands an authentic two-story log cabin which was erected in 1867. Oral history suggests the cabin was designed as a country store but was used always as a home. In the 1980s it was moved from its location in the woods between Bolivar and Aldrich in the southwestern part of the county.

Exhibits in the annex have been renovated to include a 1942 mural from the MFA Exchange, farm implements, and a mercantile counter from an old country store. Most of the old-time kitchen and farming implements still work, as does the rug loom. Demonstrations of rug-weaving are given on it regularly.

Historical books about Polk County are for sale at the museum.


Admission: $2 for adults, $1 for children 6-12, 5 and under free with adult.
Hours: Open May 15 - Mid Sept, Mon-Sat., 1 p.m.- 4 p.m.
Address: 201 W. Locust (Corner of W. Locust and N. Main St.)
Phone: 417-326-6850

Arrangements for group tours should be made by calling 417-326-2297.

Come visit us in Bolivar, Missouri

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Golf Courses

Bolivar Country Club is a nine hole golf course, located along Highway 32 West, is open to the public for daily green fees or membership.

Silo Ridge Country Club is a semi-private course with over 6,800

Bolivar, MO Golf Courses

Polk County Courthouse

The Polk County Courthouse, completed in 1907, dominates the square in the county seat of Bolivar. Both the county and the city were organized in 1835. The county covers 642 square miles and is home to about 27,000

Bolivar, MO Historic Courthouses

Simon Bolivar Statue

Bolivar, the county seat, was laid out by William Jamieson in 1835

Bolivar, MO Arts

Ella Carothers Dunnegan Gallery of Art

The Ella Carothers Dunnegan Gallery of Art is the permanent home of the Dunnegan and Wainscott art collections. The wide range of individualistic styles and subjects makes the gallery an ideal place for an "on the spot"

Bolivar, MO Arts

War Memorials

The Doughboy Statute was erected in 1925 in honor of the Polk County servicemen during 1917-1919. Next to the WWI memorial is a black granite memorial to honor servicemen of All Wars erected in 1996

Bolivar, MO Memorials

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