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Our Story

The Joplin Historical Society was founded to help preserve and record Joplin's history. The group created many events to recognize Joplin's past, including designating historical sites and trails around the city as well as hosting an annual event to celebrate Joplin's birthday. The Society began conducting historical home tours and an annual performance called the Hysterical Historical Revue in the 1970s as a fundraiser. These fundraising efforts helped facilitate the opening of the Dorothea B Hoover Museum for Joplin history in 1976, and later in the creation of the Joplin History and Mineral Museum as it exists today


The museum tells the story of Joplin and the Tri-State Mining District. By displaying our historical and mineral collections, we provide boundless inspiration for future generations to better understand the economic and social history of Joplin and the Tri-State Mining District. We have two distinctly different museums for you to explore and experience. They both have different paths through history but they ultimately reveal Joplin's rich past through different aspects.



The Everett J. Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Museum boasts one of the world's most exceptional collections of lead and zinc ores as well as other minerals found in the Tri-State District. Our museum explains the geology and geochemistry of the area and demonstrates mining processes and methods used from the 1870s through the 1960s.



The Dorothea B. Hoover Historical Museum emphasizes the growth and development of Joplin as the result of the mining in the Tri-State District. On display are assorted historical items from Joplin's mining era including a circus room, a child's playhouse, a Bonnie and Clyde exhibition, a 1927 American LeFrance fire engine and Victorian furnishings, textiles, and a doll collection.


We can't wait to see you!

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