Hours: Tues. - Sat., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and by appointment.
Art Classes, Book Search & Ordering, Speaker Programs on history or art by Ted W. Stillwell
Independence Square 3rd Friday Art Walk - every 3rd Friday April through October, 6 p.m to 9 p.m.
Gallery exhibits change monthly and usually feature local artists We have also recently added CD's of Celtic, 50's, and traditional music from the revolutionary war and civil war periods.
The Blue & Grey Book Shoppe is housed in The Old Blake Museum building at 106 E. Walnut, Independence , Missouri. This historic building has been a fixture in the city of Independence , Missouri for well over 60 years. It's unique architecture makes it a conversation piece for local residents and tourists alike. The building was built around 1940 by Raymond Blake who spent his entire life acquiring antiques and collectibles. The building itself was made from antiques and collectibles and salvaged material from old commercial buildings. Raymond Blake constructed this building to house his collection which was rarely open to the general public. After his death, the building was boarded up for approximately 20 years. The family heirs had a total of 13 auctions to liquidate the Blake collections.
The architecture resembles that of the 1850’s. For example, the original front entry doors came from the demolished Chrisman Sawyer Bank that probably dated to the 1850’s – so they were close to 100 years old when they were installed on The Old Blake Museum.
Curious objects like old millstones from the grinding mills, Civil War rifles and sabers, Indian artifacts, corn grinders, ice skates, elephant vertebra, petrified wood, and other fossils were mortared into the brick and stone building.
During the final 3-day auction in November of 2002, Ted Stillwell and Betty Key purchased the property in an effort to save it from demolition or radical re-design and remodeling. Stillwell stated, “Our sole purpose was to save this unique and interesting piece of local history for future generations to enjoy as we have. We also had a need for a commercial building and adjacent living quarters. After extensive renovation and restoration, we opened our doors to the public on October 7, 2004. We brought to the community of Independence an art gallery and an open studio (Stillwell Studios and Gallery; a book store specializing in Civil War, American, and Local history; and other non-fiction topics (Blue & Grey Book Shoppe); and unique gifts and Civil War re-enactor supplies (Key Goods & Arms). We also have an exhibition hall for special exhibits and meeting space for various organizations, such as the Civil War Round Table of Western Missouri and the Independence Art Association.