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William Clark Market House Museum

Address: 121 South Second Street, Market House Square, Paducah, KY 42001
Phone Number: +1 270-443-7759
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Ranked #5 of 15 Attractions in Paducah
Type: Historic Sites, History Museums, Museums
Owner description: This wonderful Museum, Paducah's oldest and ONLY general history Museum, is housed in the block...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Historic Sites, History Museums, Museums
Owner description: This wonderful Museum, Paducah's oldest and ONLY general history Museum, is housed in the block long 1905 Market House in the center of Paducah's historic downtown area. The Museum houses some of the finest and most unusual artifacts in the area, which illustrate Paducah's rich cultural and historic heritage. Explore a time line beginning with Native American residents, through Paducah's founding by famous explorer William Clark in 1827, and view the original hand drawn town maps and land grants signed by Clark. A superb, colorful Old Paris wedding vase, given as a wedding present to Clark by the Marquis deLafayette, is also on display. Also experience the magnificence of the complete DuBois Robertson Drug Store golden oak woodwork interior... a hand carved masterpiece from 1877...and gaze through the colorful panes of the original stained glass windows. On permanent display is the town's first motorized fire truck (a 1913 LaFrance!) Experience an extensive Civil War display including furniture used by the Lincoln's, as well as Generals US Grant and Lew Wallace while they were in Paducah (Wallace was of Ben Hur fame.) A very special quilt made by Mrs Robert E Lee is also on display. A Kentucky Orphan's reunion ribbon insignia display is always a favorite, as well as elaborate hoop skirt dresses, beautiful rosewood furniture and a stately antique lamp with pigeon's blood shade, once owned by Paducahan John T Scopes' grandmother (of the Scopes Monkey Trial fame.) A 'Kentucky Headline' exhibit depicts the sad plight of Floyd Collins, who was tragically trapped and died in a cave. The story caught the breathless attention of the nation in 1925. Our 'Hall of Heroes', designed in 2013, honors Paducah firefighters, law enforcement and military personnel. Newly opened in 2014 is the Alben W. Barkley Memorial Room, honoring the Paducah area native who was 35th Vice President under Harry S. Truman. The exhibit is in a separate room, and devoted entirely to personal artifacts and belongings of Barkley, including his 1898 'surrey with the fringe on top', his inaugural tophat, as well as lovely, century old furniture from the home in Paducah, called 'ANGLES'. The first ever Vice Presidential flag and items from his Paducah law office and Washington political career are also on display. The Museum prides itself on now being Paducah's Barkley destination! A small but tastefully stocked gift shop is on premises and carries items of educational content, books, puzzles, etc., as well as ephemera and souvenirs. PLEASE NOTE: The Museum is sometimes closed on major holiday Saturdays, so please call ahead for verification. The facility closes for the winter season Dec 15th and reopens the first Saturday in March. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10-4, CST.

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26 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2014

Want a history of Paducah. This is an excellent place to come. Has a lot of informative displays but Penny Fields who works as a volunteer really made it worth our while. She has a deep appreciation of all things Paducah and obviously loved her work. She is worth the visit in itself.

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Paducah, Kentucky
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
26 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

Most of the information is regarding the city of Paducah and McCracken County but the proprietor will delight you with "tasty tidbits" of history and memorabilia. Certainly worth an hour of your time and the small price of admission.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Paducah, Kentucky
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

I'm originally from Paducah and am visiting my daughter here. She suggested that we go to the Market House Museum. Ahhhh, the memories. Not just memories of Paducah, but of a different time and place. Thanks so much Paducah for making this wonderful collection available to me.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

Well worth the $4.00 admission. A self guided tour of Paducah history. Includes local notable people. I personally enjoyed the fire department history.

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Paducah, Kentucky
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

A nice short stop and full of historical details, especially Civil War. Not expensive and nicely air- conditioned

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New Hope, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013 via mobile

this was by far our most interesting stop in Paducah. It was amazing to see how well preserved such an assortment of items from the past have been preserved. The antique drug store with it's assortment of various remedies was particularity interesting. This was a fun and informative stop that was totally unexpected.

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Lexington, Tennessee
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

This museum is on a small brick covered tree lined street. Makes you feel like you are going back in time. The staff was friendly. The exhibits we good. Great for history buffs.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Paducah, Kentucky
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

This museum has so many wonderful historical topics to explore, all dealing with people or events connected to Paducah, that you could stay for three hours and maybe not see it all. They have yellow storyboards at each case that will allow you to learn as much or as little as you might like. The staff are on hand to... More 

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North Alabama
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
17 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

There is a lot of stuff packed into a small museum about the history of residents fo Paducah. There are a few really historical items from famous people but mostly items from Paducahans you have never heard of. It doesn't cost much and is not a bad way to spend an hour or so.

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Mayfield, Kentucky
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

Truly awesome museum with beautiful woodwork! I am a nurse and found it extremely interesting to see the antique medicines and medical instruments that date back 150 years!!! I have visited on different occasions and every time I have learned something new. I have always been greeted by friendly staff that seem to truly love their job! Penny is full... More 

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