About the Museum
The Hunter-Dawson home illustrates the lifestyle and culture of one particular wealthy southeast Missouri family prior to the Civil War. However, such houses and culture were not uncommon along the Mississippi River. Descendants of the Hunter family occupied the house continually until 1958. In 1966, the city of New Madrid purchased the house and a year later donated it to the state for use as a state historic site. The house still reflects the grand lifestyle enjoyed by the successful "Bootheel" businessman prior to the Civil War. Adding to the significance of the site is the collection of furnishings that came with it. It is estimated that the state received approximately 80 percent of Amanda Hunter's original furnishings. Several items of the Dawson's furniture and a large part of their library are also preserved in the home. The documentation that survived and remained with the family adds to the importance of the collection. It is believed that the site possesses one of the largest collections of Mitchell and Rammelsburg furniture in the nation. Today, visitors can tour the Hunter-Dawson home, which has been restored to reflect the period of 1860-1880.