Funeral Museum in St. Joseph, Mo.

Driving by a quiet funeral home in St. Joseph, Mo., you’d never expect there to be a hidden little museum, but that’s exactly what is located in the Heaton-Bowman-Smith Sidenfaden Chapel, located at 3609 Fredrick Ave., in St. Joseph.

On display in the museum is caskets, historical tools used by morticians and funeral homes, and even a casket that was used to carry Jesse James’ body to the funeral home. Among the caskets is also one that used to hold ice, to preserve the body that had to be shipped. You’ll also find historical photos, articles, books and lots of surprise finds as you peek in every nook and cranny of the museum. And make sure you do peek in every nook and cranny because they’ve packed a lot in this museum.

I won’t spoil the rest for you — you’ll have to go see for yourself. If you’ve visited, let me know what you thought or what you found most interesting, but commenting below.

Gaining access

This museum is a little-known secret. We found by Googling quirky things to do in St. Joseph, Mo. To gain access in the most respectful way, I suggest calling ahead to ensure there isn’t an active funeral going on. Heaton-Bowman is an active funeral home, so always be sure to respect mourners. We called ahead at (816) 232-3355 and asked if we could go see the museum. They ask you to come to the front desk and they’ll take you to the hidden gem.

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