Kentuckys William Clark Market House Museum | Reader's Digest

Kentucky’s William Clark Market House Museum

from Off the Beaten Path | 318
William Clark Market House Museum, Kentucky© 2009 www.kentuckytourism.comAn old dentist's chair is typical of the displays in this jam-packed museum.

121 S. 2nd St., Market House Square, Paducah, Kentucky

In 1827, more than 20 years after returning from his westward journey with Meriwether Lewis, Gen. William Clark came to western Kentucky and purchased 37,000 acres of land for five dollars. The tract included a small village called Pekin. Clark renamed it Paducah and set aside an area near the riverfront for a marketplace. The present Market House, built in 1905, is the third to exist here and is now a cultural center featuring the William Clark Market House Museum, with more than 4,800 square feet of exhibits.

One of the most intriguing is the reconstructed interior of the 1877 List Drugstore, with its oak gingerbread woodwork, stained-glass windows, and patent medicine displays. Other treasures are a life-size carving of U.S. statesman Henry Clay, which was created by a 12-year-old boy; Paducah’s first motorized fire truck (1913 vintage); and the rudder wheel and brass fog bell of the USS Paducah, which served in the two World Wars.

In the Civil War exhibit are a quilt made by Mrs. Robert E. Lee, furniture used by the Lincolns in the White House, and a parlor set used by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant when he occupied Paducah.

The block-long building also houses the Yeiser Art Center and the Market House Theatre.

Open Mon.–Sat. Closed major holidays. Admission charged.

www.markethousemuseum.com

(270) 443-7759