Historic Lucas County (Museums)

Lucas County Historical Society

historic1Best time of year: April through October

Spend a half day at two of Lucas County’s famous museums, OR make it a full day and visit three museums in three communities, OR make it an overnight stay and include a visit to our Pioneer Cemeteries.

Sample Itinerary

(Please note: Times and tour stops can be adjusted to meet the desires of your group – just ask!)

8:15 to 11:10 a.m. Lucas County Historical Society Museum, Chariton

Your tour will begin with coffee and refreshments. Then visit the historic buildings that have been relocated to the museum grounds.

  • Puckerbrush School, a one-room country schoolhouse
  • Otterbein Church, a former rural church
  • Pioneer log cabin built around 1870
  • John L. Lewis building that features displays of historic military, mining and business equipment
  • A. J. Stephens House – the museum’s “crown jewel” – built in 1908 and authentically furnished with items from the period, including a pump organ, piano, china closet, and rope bed.
  • New–visit the Blacksmith Shop. Cost: Should add two words – $25 per person for morning tours, includes lunch.
11:30 to 12:45 p.m. John L. Lewis Museum of Mining & Labor, Lucas

This is a gem of a museum that pays tribute to Lucas native, John L. Lewis, longtime resident of the United Mine Workers of America and founder of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The labor movement is depicted through photos, artifacts, documents, and a 30’s and 40’s cartoon gallery.

In the Mining Area you will look through the eyes of the coal miners and their families by viewing photos, documents, coal cars and a unique and rare collection of early mining tools. In the Theatre, you can enjoy videos of John L. Lewis, coal mining, labor and related subjects.

There is a library, replicas, and a selection of souvenirs in the gift shop.

1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Lunch – location varies
2:30 TO 3:00 p.m. Russell Museum, Russell


This museum has recently been doubled in size to accommodate all its artifacts. There are separate rooms that take you into the past – a doctor’s office, old farm equipment, class photos from the now closed Russell School dating back to the early 1900’s, and much more. Those with an interest in genealogy will enjoy reading the records of interviews with prominent townspeople.

COST: $25 per person for morning tours. $28 per person includes afternoon tours.

Cost includes museum admissions, lunch, gratuities and the service of a step-on guide. One complimentary tour ticket with 25 or more paid admissions. Motor coach transportation is not included, but can possibly be arranged for an extra cost.

ADD A DAY! Extend your visit to two days. On Day 1 you will visit two museums, allowing for time to shop in the surrounding area. On Day 2, you will add the third museum, PLUS a visit to the Pioneer Cemeteries in Lucas County with a guide from the Lucas County Genealogical Society. Dinner and motel rooms will be included. Costs will be determined according to the number of people in your group and your custom designed itinerary.

Visit our genealogy society located in the historic Dale Carnegie public library in Chariton, Lucas County’s version of ancestry.com