Vandals trash K.C. museum, cause thousands in damage

? Damage from vandalism to the Shoal Creek Living History Museum is expected to reach the thousands of dollars, officials said.

Mike Herron, a division manager for the Parks and Recreation Department, said the vandals shattered windows, sprayed a fire extinguisher on antique clothing and furniture, and smashed valuable 19th century artifacts at the museum.

An inventory will be required to assess the full damage, Herron said.

A volunteer discovered the vandalism Monday morning, officials said. Eight buildings were damaged or broken into, said Sharon Sumner, president of the Shoal Creek Assn., the nonprofit group that operates the museum in north Kansas City.

“This was just plain destruction,” Sumner said.

The Thornton Mansion, a three-story brick home from the 1840s that was moved to the museum site from Liberty, sustained the worst damage.

Chemicals from a fire extinguisher were sprayed on and into items throughout the house, including a rosewood piano built in the 1850s. The vandals also smashed a tea set and the top of a handmade chest, kicked stair railings loose and tore down and ripped apart a copy of a portrait of Col. John Thornton, the original owner.

About the museum

More information about Shoal Creek Living History Museum is online at

The museum is used to keep alive the history of 19th century life in Missouri through the preservation of materials, culture and architectural heritage. The facility offers programs for children and adults and is the site of special events.

Capt. Rich Lockhart, a police spokesman, said there were no immediate suspects. However, police had collected bloodstains from broken glass and a porch for DNA evidence and took shoe prints and fingerprints from the site.