The Marion County Historical Society, Inc. was founded in 1908. The Society is dedicated to preserving the local history of Fairmont and Marion County. Today, Marion County Historical Society operates a local history museum and Prickett’s Fort, a living history museum.
The Marion County Historical Society was founded by Bernard
Lee Butcher (1853-1918), who was the State Superintendent of Schools in 1880.
He founded the society because of his interest in genealogy. Butcher published
his first major work, A Genealogical and
Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley, in 1912.
In 1986, the Marion County Commission donated the former
home of county sheriffs, built around 1912, to the Society to use as a museum. The
new Marion County Historical Society and Museum opened its doors to the public
on Labor Day, 1986. Different rooms throughout the historical home represent
different eras in American history. Collections include artifacts related to
Marion County history and West Virginia history, including exhibits on the
Civil War, Revolutionary War, Black history in West Virginia, and the history of
the coal and glass industry in the state. One of the most popular attractions
at the museum—especially for young schoolchildren—is the sheriff’s office and
jail which are housed in the museum. The Marion County Historical Society also
contibutes to the nearby Prickett’s Fort living history museum, which aims to
preserve and exhibit the past.