The Marion County Museum is housed in an old private academy building erected in 1886 as the fourth and final home of the Marion Academy Society. The Society held their first classes in the old Methodist Church in the early 19th century. When the church was razed to build a larger facility, the Society built a one-room wooden structure and used it until it was destroyed by fire. The Masonic Hall became the third home for the Marion Academy Society and was used until the group secured funds to erect a permanent school building. The Marion Academy Society closed in the early 1900s, and the next year the first free graded school occupied the building. When the building closed in 1976, it was the oldest school building in continuous use in the state. The Marion County Historical Society saved the building from destruction, and in 1981 the Marion County Museum became a reality.
One of the favorite activities of the museum is hosting field trips for the schools in the county. Marion County Museum has sponsored special exhibits in the past that have attracted thousands of students. Classes also visit to learn about the history of the building and view the displays. The director always shares a sampling of artifacts and allows students to participate in hands-on fashion. The various artifacts range in age from the Revolutionary period through the middle of the 20th century. One of the items shown is the pardon granted to Mrs. Sophia McIntyre from President Andrew Johnson after the Civil War. Mrs. McIntyre’s portrait is also shown, and her husband’s involvement in the building of the Marion Presbyterian Church is discussed. A favorite feature of the presentation is the fashion show of early clothing styles.