The Museum building was constructed in 1882 for the First Baptist Church and continued to serve Baptist congregations until the middle of the 1950s. It was then given to Marion County for use as a museum and formally dedicated in 1961 on Old Settler’s Day – the year of Marion’s centennial celebration as well as that of the state of Kansas.
The museum displays a wide variety of artifacts keepsakes and general memorabilia that tell the story of this area. The first families who settled in Marion Centre were the Billings, Griffith and Shreves. Twenty three people came in 5 covered wagons in 1860 to establish homes on this frontier. Pictures, Bibles and family keepsakes from these courageous folk are featured collections.
There are excellent biographies and stories of many citizens who helped to build this community.
There are reminders of many periods of the town’s history. The foyer displays interesting artifacts of the Santa Fe Trail.rn
The "School Room" brings together pictures of graduating classes of Marion High School beginning with 1884. There are the athletic teams from the early 1900s that set great records. Bown-Corby School contributed interesting reminders of grade school days.
SEVERAL FIRSTS capture the interest of the visitors"
- The first sewing machine in Marion
- The first telephone switchboard in the community
- The first piano in Marion County
- Little jacket worn by the first baby born in Marion Centre.