This historic building served as a school long before it became the Marion County Museum. Located at 101 Wilcox Avenue in Marion, the building was constructed in 1886 by the Marion Academy Society, which ran a private school here for about 70 years. The Society eventually gave the school to Marion County, and it became the first public school to operate in this rural county.
The school was named Marion Graded School, and it served students for 90 years before closing in 1976. The old school bell still hangs in the cupola, and the rope that rings it drops down to the main level of the museum!
The Marion County Museum opened in 1981 and houses a variety of exhibits ranging from local interest to traveling exhibits. Their permanent collection includes antiques from the Aiken-Rhett House in Charleston, an old classroom, a farm room, and lots of Marion County history and artifacts.