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Address: 121 Market House Sq, Market House Square, Paducah, KY 42001-0789
Phone Number:
+1 270-443-7759

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 47 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 28
  • 13
    Very good
  • 5
  • 1
  • 0
Fun and interesting

This museum was a great find. It is a fairly quick trip, but worth a visit. The museum is filled with interesting local memorabilia and historical items. We really enjoyed the... read more

Reviewed 3 April 2017
Lara B
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47 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 47: English reviews
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2017

This museum was a great find. It is a fairly quick trip, but worth a visit. The museum is filled with interesting local memorabilia and historical items. We really enjoyed the monthly scavenger hunt and the staff was very friendly and helpful. It was a great way to learn about Paducah and its history. There are so many interesting items... More 

Thank Lara B
Paris, Kentucky
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2017 via mobile

We lucked into driving through Paducah on opening day of the 2017 season. We did a fun scavenger hunt. Loved the full scale pharmacy and the fact it's in a meat market. Very cool.

Thank ahcanupp
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
821 reviews
297 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 334 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2017

I was there on a Sunday morning before it was open but was worth the visit just to see the long building the museum is housed in and enjoy the external areas, hope to return when it is open one day.

Thank Yorkie1948
Spokane, WA
Level Contributor
209 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2016

You can easily spend a couple hours here. There's history going all the way back to the local Native Americans and Chief Paducah, for whom William Clark named the town. The Civil War history is particularly interesting, as the town was deeply divided in their sentiments towards slavery. The World War history is also quite cool, as well as local... More 

Thank RushCubFan
Perryville, Missouri
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 October 2016 via mobile

This is a must for architecture lovers. I loved reading all the information about locals and learning the history of the market house. I was amazed it was moved piece by piece and the stain glass windows were found later and retrieved minutes before they would have been destroyed for good.

Thank Rita D
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
138 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2016

Really enjoyed this bit of southern history...guide was knowledgeable and house and exhibits were wonderful

Thank lindakerr8
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2016 via mobile

A fun place! The people that work there are VERY invested in the museum and its success and in your experience there! They love their town, their history, and their stories. We learned more from Penny, who showed us around, then we did from reading any of the exhibits! She is great!

1 Thank M. C
Paducah, Kentucky
Level Contributor
9 reviews
Reviewed 26 April 2016

If you can get in to see a show at the Market House, try it out. It's a pretty small venue though, and seating isn't that comfortable. It's nice that we have a local theater, and I the staff and local actors do a great job with the performances. I just wish it was a more comfortable place to sit... More 

Thank MCD42001
Paducah, Kentucky
1 review
Reviewed 16 April 2016

I visited this museum after a several years, and was pleasantly entertained....it has a lot to offer concerning Paducah's past and historical aspects. The facility has exhibits relating to the civil war, (furniture used by the Lincolns in the White House, and by Grant and Lew Wallace while in Paducah, local businesses, famous Paducahans, a room dedicated just to Vice... More 

Thank handsomesamson
Boaz, Kentucky
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2016

The Market House Museum is a great place to find out everything about Paducah history. There are all types of exhibits. And the staff is very friendly. Just ask Penny, the director, anything about Paducah and she will have the answer. They have a firetruck, a surrey, artifacts, military uniforms other great things. They even have a great gift shop.... More 

2 Thank Marsha M

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