One of the places I’ve always wanted to visit was Marceline, Missouri. This weekend we finally go the chance to head to north-central Missouri for that visit.
While born in Chicago Walt and his family moved to Marceline in 1906 when he was four. In 1911 the family moved to Kansas City. Disney always said the time he spent in that small town were some of the happiest days of his life and formed the basis for his future projects.
Here’s the Disney family home. It’s a private residence but looks about the same as when Walt lived there.
Behind the family house stood a large cottonwood tree where Walt used to take his sister to play, sketch and daydream. In later years when he came back home Disney insisted on going to visit the site so he could see the tree.
Here are two shots. The first is the Wishing Tree as it looks today. Struck by lighting several years ago it’s slowly dying. The second shows another cottonwood tree that was planted by the Disney family to honor Walt.
The family barn that was on the property has been re-created. That barn was where Walt held a circus for the neighborhood kids. A circus that saw him having to refund the money he collected because it was such a poor show.
If you’ve ever been to Disneyland or Walt Disney World you’ve walked down Main Street U.S.A. The genesis for that street came from the time Disney spent in Marceline. In fact, some of the store names in Marceline show up in the two parks.
There’s so much to the Walt Disney story and I recommend you visit the Walt Disney Hometown Museum site for more. The museum is filled with a wealth of exhibits about Disney and his time in Marceline.