William Clark Market House Museum

Quick Facts
Paducha, KY

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information, Information - Ranger/Staff Member Present, Parking - Auto, Telephone, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Wheelchair Accessible

Lewis and Clark NHT Visitor Centers and Museums

Visitor Centers (shown in orange), High Potential Historic Sites (shown in black), and Pivotal Places (shown in green) along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

The William Clark Market House Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the historical past of the town of Paducah, KY. The Corps of Discovery, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, visited the area in 1803 where they contracted the services of Charles Drouillard, a half-Shawnee, half-French interpreter, hunter, and trapper who would be integral to their mission of westward exploration. As superintendent of Indian Affairs, William Clark returned to the area in 1827 and helped established the town. Some claim that Clark named the town for Native American Chief Paduke and his tribe, the Padouca (a sub-tribe of the Chickasaw). Paducah grew quickly due to its proximity to the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers and would serve as an important strategic location in the Civil War.  

The museum is located in the historic building that once served as the public market of Paducah and is over one-hundred-years-old. Exhibits and articles are displayed throughout the town’s history from the year 1905. Included in the exhibits is a life-like statue of Henry Clay, an attorney and statesman for the Union, and the interiors of the List Drug Store which are nearly a century old. Visitors can indulge in the interactive timeline, observing the first settlers, the first show of the American Quilter’s Association, and everything in between. The Historical Archives Photo Gallery offers a glimpse into the lives of Paducah’s past residents. Guided group tours are available or wander at your own pace and immerse yourself in the rich history of Paducah.   

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Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Last updated: May 21, 2021