Frontier Trails Museum blazes toward expansion

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 | 8:53 a.m. CDT; updated 2:12 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 6, 2011

INDEPENDENCE — A museum dedicated to western Missouri's role in the nation's westward expansion could be in for its own expansion.

The city of Independence has hired a company to create a master plan for the future of the National Frontier Trails Museum, located near the city's downtown. The 21-year-old museum highlights the Oregon, California and Santa Fe trails. Independence was the first eastern terminus for the Sante Fe trail and an outfitting post for Oregon and California emigrants.

WDAF-TV reported that museum director John Mark Lambertson is hopeful of expanding and renovating the museum during the next three to five years. Independence tourism director Cori Day said the goal is to make the museum a destination attraction.

The master plan will outline potential enhancements and their costs, which could include moving historic buildings to the site and creating new exhibition space.

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