People around the country are drawn to compete in sports while others gather on the sidelines and in their living rooms to cheer for their favorite athletes and teams. Nowhere do Americans more intimately connect to sports than in their hometowns. The Nodaway County Historical Society, in cooperation with the Missouri Humanities Council, will celebrate this connection as it hosts “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,” a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program. “Hometown Teams” will be on view October 14th through December 2nd.

This exciting exhibit from the Smithsonian in D.C. will tour only 6 communities in Missouri. “We are proud to have been selected to be a part of this prestigious group, said Dr. Elyssa Ford, associate professor of history at Northwest Missouri State University and vice president of the NCHS.

The exhibit features many different topics, including the evolution of sports equipment and safety concerns, gender and race, forgotten sports and new cutting-edge sports, mascots and cheerleaders, the marching band, and so much more. Dr. Ford noted, “Whatever your interest, it is featured in some way in this professionally designed, multi-media exhibit!” When you visit the NCHS, you also will be able to see local exhibits that highlight our sport stories, including those from North Nodaway and the Barnard area. Northwest-focused exhibits can be seen on the Northwest campus at B.D. Owens Library, Valk Center, and Brown Hall, plus a special Northwest feature at the Maryville Public Library, and there will be events across the community throughout the duration of the exhibit.

Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress and the Missouri Humanities Council, and local support has come from our community partners and businesses, including The Student Body in Maryville.

The museum, this special exhibit, and all of the related programs are free, though donations are always welcome and help the NCHS keep its doors open and continue to preserve our important local history. Regular hours: Tuesday-Friday, 1-4 p.m., with additional special exhibit hours Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m., with student docents and local sport legends who can help guide you through the exhibit and who will be available if you have any questions. For more information:

Nodaway County Historical Society
110 North Walnut Street ¦ Maryville, Missouri 64468 ¦ 660-582-8176

Contact for school tours: Cathy Palmer at
Contact with exhibit questions: Dr. Elyssa Ford at

Special Programs:

Saturday, 10/13 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hughes Fieldhouse, Northwest campus. Check out the new Fieldhouse for its grand opening on Homecoming day! While you are there, be sure to take a look at the NCHS displays with information about the history of sports at Northwest and to get a teaser for the Smithsonian display.

Sunday, 10/14 – 2 p.m. at the NCHS. Join us at the historical society for the grand opening of Hometown Teams! Members of the city council, chamber of commerce, and local sports teams will all be there. For this one day, you can also see the Northwest exhibits before they are moved to the university campus.

Thursday, 10/18 – Opening of the photo display “Sports in my Family” at the Maryville Public Library. Community members submitted photos to this contest over the summer and fall (submission deadline 10/12). Now you can see the winners and take a look at all of the sport mania here in Nodaway County! The photos will be on display at the Public Library until December 2nd. You can also see a special Northwest sport exhibit at the library and get sneak peek at the Smithsonian display.

Thursday, 10/25 – 7-8 p.m. at Northwest Missouri State University. Join us for a roundtable discussion about team mascots. Dr. Justin Mallett from the Diversity Office at Northwest and Cody Marshall, the chair of Indigenous and American Indian Studies from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, will be among the featured speakers. What mascots are controversial, on both the national and local levels, and why are they controversial? What debate exists about these mascots? Which have changed and which have not?

Saturday, 11/10 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hughes Fieldhouse, Northwest campus. Baseball is America’s sport but cricket is taking the world by storm! Join the NCHS, Maryville Parks & Rec, and the Indian and Nepalese Student Associations at Northwest to learn about the game of cricket. Be prepared because you will get to wear the cricket gear and even get to play – all inside the brand new Hughes Fieldhouse! Afterwards, join us at the NCHS to try a variety of Indian snacks and to see the Smithsonian exhibit.

Sunday, 12/1 – 2 p.m. at the NCHS. Induction of legend Herb Dieterich into the NCHS Stairway of the Stars for his work as a local leader and for his role in sport across the state. Check out the special display about him and his work and check out the Smithsonian display and other local sport exhibits before the exhibit closes on Sunday, 12/2.