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Independence, MO is a satellite city of Kansas City. The birthplace of Harry S. Truman is also known as the “Queen City of Trails” as it is linked to the Santa Fe, California and Oregon Trails. It is also home to the Latter Day Saint Movement. The city lies on the south bank of the Missouri River near the western edge of town. It has a population of 117,270.
There is not a designated gay neighborhood in Independence but there are many gay bars including the Wild Stallion Saloon, Sam’s Club, Bears of Tomorrow, The Image Lounge and scores more. There is also a gay-positive Church called the World of Truth Ministry and many gay residents are members of the Optimist Club of Sugar Creek in Independence. This still, in many ways, is a traditional place so there is not designated “gayborhood.” It is a good idea to talk to a resident Independence gay realtor to get the best advice about purchasing a home.
The city is also very much oriented to the running of family businesses with many events celebrating leadership throughout the year. It also holds an annual Chamber Golf Classic tournament to combine networking and golfing. It is not known for its racial diversity but it is known to have many fine Italian restaurants.
One of the notable things is about Independence is its many traditional architectural styles and some of the homes go back to the turn of the last century or before. At one point Independence was called the “Royal Suburb” of Kansas City because it contained so many lacey examples of Queen Anne architecture (including the elaborate and sophisticated Queen Anne-Eastlake designs.) There are also many Second Empire style homes and Side Hall Greek Revival and Italianate styles. Prairie style homes made of stone in the Foursquare style are also well preserved here and there are quite a few towering, castle-like buildings in the French Renaissance style in the historical neighborhoods.
In general the city’s pride and joy is restoring some of its oldest building including the local Jail, the Chicago & Alton Railroad Depot and the National Frontier Trails Museum. Another big attraction is the Adventure Oasis Water Park that attracts a lot of tourists and the Twin Drive-In, which is a mid-century masterpiece.
Independence is known for its many festivals including the Vaile Strawberry Festival in June and the Heritage Festival that celebrates the town’s diverse history and culture. It is also home to the National Frontier Trails Museum, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum and the Puppetry Arts Institute (that is home to many different kinds of puppets.) It is also home to Leila’s Hair Museum that a collection of Victorian-era hair jewelry and wreathes.
There are bargains to be had on the property market; as of October 31, 2013 there were 283 homes going through the phases of foreclosure. The average listing price for a home as of the same week is $104,969.
For more information about the many features and attractions in Independence, Missouri you can visit the city’s Chamber of Commerce site at ichamber.biz.