History Comes to Life at Frazier Museum

  • Did you know Abraham Lincoln was the only president also to be a licensed bartender?
  • Or  glasses with pink lens were used to treat depression during the Civil War? This lead to the expression, “See the World through rose-colored glasses,” still in use today.

Frazier Museum

History the way it was meant to be told” is the motto of the Frazier museum.   How many times in school did we sit through dry, stuffy lectures explaining the past in the most boring way possible? (In my case, the answer is plenty.)  The past is a fascinating journey, with colorful characters, and the Frazier museum brings it to life, spanning continents and thousands of years in a single museum.  We began our journey into the past in the Royal Armouries, beginning with a replica of the Battle of Hastings, fought in 1066.  The authentic and reproduction weapons, with detailed explanations,  fascinated the history buffs in the family.  My attention, however, was caught by a museum employee, dressed in a classic British uniform, wheeled out a cart filled with (replicas of) various helmets and chain mail from ancient Rome to the Middle Ages. He answered our questions and allowed us to try on the helmets and chain mail, describing the pros and cons of each piece. Having never tried on chain mail before, I was surprised at how heavy it was. When we were shown the arrow that could pierce through the links in the chain mail, he explained how “one of these arrows could cause us to have a bad day on the battlefield.”
Frazier History Museum

As fascinating as this era was, the American West exhibit had more treasures.  Where else can you see the family Bible of the legendary pioneer Daniel Boone or the ivory handled Colt pistols reported to belong to the ill-fated General Custer? Because Jessie James and his gang once rode onto the family farm of one of my ancestors and stayed for dinner, I spent time reading about the gang’s adventures, beginning from their history as a group of raiders during the Civil War and continuing into their crime spree and Jessie Jame’s eventual death.   My son was amazed at the poster for the Pony Express,  “Young, skinny, wiry fellows wanted. Not over 18.  Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”  (How’s that for a job description you would not want?)

Boone Family Bible

The Boone Family Bible.

Before leaving the museum, stop to see the collection of over 10,000 toy soldiers from around the world, making it the largest public display of toy soldiers in the US.  There are more than 5000 permanent artifacts housed in the museum, with an ever changing collection of temporary exhibits.  We spent three hours at the museum and could have looked for hours longer without being able to examine everything.   I wasn’t sure if it would keep younger children entertained, but I was wrong.  There were several families with elementary aged children in the museum who were studying the exhibits and asking questions.   This museum is one every member of the family will enjoy.
Frazier Museum

If you go:

  • The Frazier Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM and on Sundays from 12 PM to 5 PM.
  • The cost of admission is $10.50 for adults, $7.50 for students 14-17, $6 for children ages 6-13 and ages 4 and under are free.
  • Be sure to watch for the daily historical interpretations which features demonstrations with employees in period costume 
  • and “touch carts,” which allow everyone the opportunity to experience hands-on history.
  • The Museum is located on West Main Street in Louisville, Kentucky, a short walk from the Galt House Hotel.  


We received complementary passes to the Frazier Museum. All opinions are my own.



  1. says

    Oh My Gosh…I have been to Louisville 100’s of times and I have never realized this great museum was there. I used to travel for work a lot and always stayed at the Brown in Louisville. On my next visit I will definitely visit this museum. The fact about the rose colored glasses is neat. Since I am always upbeat my hubby says I got through life wearing rose colored glasses. I will have to tell him where that phrase originated! So Funny!!

  2. says

    I love museums, and this one looks like a great find. My favorite things to find in museums are life size replicas of animals, objects, and events. It just makes it so much more immersive.

  3. Daisy says

    I want to take my son here. It looks like he would have fun and it would be educational. I really like how much detail they put into the displays.

  4. says

    What a wonderful place. I would of been memorized by the old family bible. I just love the rich history and how those bibles tell a story of so many lives. I would love to visit the Frazier Museum. The old car is too cool :) Thanks for sharing.

  5. says

    What an awesome museum. I want to go!! I think I would end up spending all day asking the employee questions and trying on the garb. So would my 11 year old daughter… she took a Medieval Times class during her summer camp and LOVED it.

  6. says

    I had never heard of the Frazier Museum before but it looks like a wonderful place to visit. It’s only a couple of hours from us. We may have to make a road trip there sometime.

  7. Ann Bacciaglia says

    I love the trivia you shared. I have no idea that is where the expression about rose coloured glasses came from! Thanks for sharing.

  8. says

    This looks like a great museum, love that it comes to life, that makes it that more interesting, sooo have to add this to my bucket list to see in person one day; thanks for sharing

  9. Shauna says

    of this is awesome. I am one of those people who learns so much more by going to museums than by reading in a book. Hubby is also a huge History fan!

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