The Historic Harrisonville Square is a great place to shop, dine and unwind. Check out these must see local businesses and places of interest to help you plan your visit.
Things to See
Be sure to stop to see these sites and learn a little local history.
The Cass County Courthouse that stands at the center of the Historic Harrisonville Square today was actually the third courthouse to serve the County and was finished in 1897. Clocks were added to the courthouse in 1909. In the 1980’s the Women’s Town Clock Club raised funds to restore the clock by selling baked goods. The first courthouse was a log cabin located at 200 West Wall Street in 1837. The second courthouse was located on the square in 1844.
The memorial honoring Cass County residents who served and died in WWI was added in 1929. It’s commonly referred to as the “Doughboy” referencing the WWI slang term for an American soldier. It’s said that over 10,000 filled the Square when it was dedicated in 1929.
The memorials for other wars in which Cass County residents served were originally located in Wirt, Marler, Allen Park and relocated to the Courthouse in 2019.
The brick streets are one of the most distinctive features of the Historic Square and are over 100 years old! The bricks on the square were originally laid in 1913 and made in the local brick plan, The Harrisonville Brick & Tile Company.
The first brick building was built on the Square in 1880 on the corner of Independence and Wall (currently Service Tech Solutions). All original wood buildings on the Square were replaced with brick by 1920 after a vein of brick clay was discovered near town in 1885.
The three story Harrisonville Hotel was built in 1883, stood for 100 years, and then burned down in 1983. Today all that remains is a lone toilet paper roll holder on the wall of the neighboring building where the shared hotel bathroom used to be located. Legend has it that a mysterious person still change the toilet paper roll to this day.
The worst fire in Harrisonville’s history occurred in February of 1900 when the entire South side of the square burned down. The buildings however were completely rebuilt by the end of 1902 and still stand today.
The cabin was built in 1835 by early settlers to the Harrisonville area. It was originally located about 3.5 Northwest of Harrisonville. In 1974 it was carefully dismantled and reconstructed by members of the Cass County Historical Society in its present location. Learn more here.
This route, popular from 1916 to 1926, took travelers from the pines of Winnipeg to the palms of New Orleans and right down Independence Street on the Historic Square. It was named for President Thomas Jefferson and inspired by the east–west Lincoln Highway. Learn more here.
The park is dedicated to the two police officers and one area businessman who lost their lives in 1972 when gunman, Charles Simpson, went on a shooting spree before turning the gun on himself. The events were documented in a non-fiction book Charlie Simpson’s Apocalypse by Joe Eszterhas in 1974. The book was nominated for a National Book Award. Eszterhas was a leader editor for Rolling Stone and also wrote the screenplays for films wrote the screenplays for the Flashdance, Basic Instinct and Showgirls.
Three murals are located in downtown Harrisonville memorializing a turbulent time during the Civil War when General Order No. 11 evicted 30,000 men, women and children from Cass, Bates, Jackson and Vernon Counties.
Order No. 11 was primarily intended to punish Missourians with pro-rebel sympathies, however many of those affected were pro-Union or neutral in alliance. Union troops wrought destruction in the area. Houses, barns and outbuildings were burned to the ground leaving only charred chimneys showing where homes had once stood. This earned the area the name, “The Burnt District.” While Harrisonville itself was largely spared from the destruction, many of the neighboring areas in Cass County were not as fortunate.
After your visit, please complete the short survey and be entered to win gift cards to our downtown businesses!