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Address: 121 South Second Street, Market House Square, Paducah, KY 42001
Phone Number: +1 270-443-7759
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This wonderful Museum, Paducah's oldest and ONLY general history Museum, is...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 35 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 22
  • 9
    Very good
  • 3
  • 1
  • 0
Great family event

Have a great cost friendly, self guided tour of museum in the perfect downtown setting. Plenty of activities to visit with friendly staff..

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 weeks ago
Tom S
Paducah, Kentucky
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35 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Traveler type
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Paducah, Kentucky
Level Contributor
100 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Have a great cost friendly, self guided tour of museum in the perfect downtown setting. Plenty of activities to visit with friendly staff..

Thank Tom S
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2015

This is truly a great collection of local and national memorabilia. I am especially interested in material from the Civil War and this was wonderful. The Curator is truly a gem and knows her history! Certainly wish they were able to move to a larger location and be able to display even more! Frances Spillman

Thank Frances S
Elk Grove Village, Illinois
Level Contributor
73 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2015

Great old memorabilia. A nice section from an old pharmacy. You can learn about Paducah, but if you are looking for stuff from famous people, you won’t find it here. It seems to be all about people famous to Paducah. You could spend 15 minutes browsing reading most stuff or an hour if you checked out everything in more detail.... More 

2 Thank grzzz
Evergreen Park, Illinois
Level Contributor
27 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2015 via mobile

Stopped by while wife did some shopping. Love history and found this to be very informative. It helped me to appreciate Paducah's proud history. I wish I had more time. I spent 1 1/2 hours. Items are displayed very nicely. The $4 price was very reasonable. The Counter Lady was helpful and informative without being in the way.

Thank deestand
Schofield, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2015

Very full for the size of it. Mostly local stuff, but interesting for the price. Worth a look if you are in the area and have the time.

Thank Jerry B
Gallatin, Tennessee, USA
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2015 via mobile

Well curated, well displayed and maintained. I had almost forgotten Alvin Barclay! Go figure! I like that they honored local heroes. The old drug store collection was great!

Thank Psilber
Germantown, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
41 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2015

Let me say first of all I like history and "old stuff". It is a self guided tour for 5 bucks. Saw some cool items while there. I will post pictures of what I thought was some cool old stuff. It is worth the 5 bucks. Learned about some local heros from past in military, fire and police service. Then... More 

1 Thank David G
Bloomington, Illinois
Level Contributor
71 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015 via mobile

The museum has a variety of local, state, and national historical items. The woman work in was very polite and shared animal crackers with our two girls. However is was too text heavy for our young children.

1 Thank Karl G
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2015

I can remember when this was a real farmer's market. Historical artifacts about Paducah and some of its favorite figures.

Thank onthefly2
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 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.

1 Thank I8it

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