Kansas City: home to Pope John Paul II’s airplane bed

Do you ever wonder what happened to the items used on Saint Pope John Paul II’s airplane? Like the bed, the sheets, and the seat belts? Maybe you thought that they were passed on to the next pope? Well you were wrong. They are here in Kansas City.

But where in Kansas City? I know I am killing you with the suspense. And the answer is the Strawberry Hill Museum in Kansas City, Kansas. This is not the museum’s main selling point, but I wouldn’t blame them if they decided to make it that way.

The porch of the Strawberry Hill museum.

Actually, the museum tells the story of Eastern European immigrants in Kansas City. The building that houses the museum was originally a Victorian home built in 1887. In the early 20th century the Sisters of St. Francis of Christ the King purchased the home and opened a local orphanage. Over the years the Sisters added on to the home resulting in what is now an intriguing combination of home, chapel, and event space.

If anything, I encourage you to visit the museum for its eccentricity. Other than seeing Pope John Paul II’s mile high possessions, I learned that: 1. Homes used to be taxed by room. Walk in closets counted as rooms. That’s why only fancy people had them. And 2: I-70 construction obliterated nearly half of the Strawberry Hill neighborhood in the 1950s.

Apparently the museum gets crowded around Christmas time–it is a favorite place of decorating fiends. But if you go in the off season you might just get a personal tour like I did.

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