The Wyandot Popcorn Museum opened in early September of 1982 before the 2nd annual Marion Popcorn Festival. Although it's one of the two popcorn museums in the world, it has the largest collection of restored popcorn antiques. George K. Brown was the one who created this historic project, and the popularity had outgrown so much over the years. The creation of the Wyandot Popcorn Museum had started as a byproduct of research for the Wyandot Popcorn Company and the popcorn industry in the early 1970s and 1980s.
The Wyandot Popcorn Company was located in a one-room schoolhouse built in 1882, and W. Hoover Brown, the founder of WPC (Wyandot Popcorn Company), had attended this school and it seemed to be the best fit for Wyandot Popcorn Museum at first. However, the purchases and collections of popcorn machine antiques started to fill up the entire space in the schoolhouse, making space tight. Wyandot Inc. was in the process of adding space at their snack plant at 135 Wyandot Avenue, Marion, OH, but in order to keep the Wyandot Popcorn Museum from getting fiancially dumped, they decided that it should be combined with a factory outlet store for Wyandot's popcorn and snack products. Wyandot Popcorn Museum opened in the fall of 1981 at 135 Wyandot Avenue, and their collection included donated, loaned, and purchased antiques from all areas of the country. They received a commercial popper used by Suzan Popcorn in Cherbrooke, Quebec, and later transferred to Montreal, and the popper was being used to manufacture caramel corn at the time of its donation to the museum. The antique originally came from now no-longer Long-Eakin Company in Springfield, OH.
The Wyandot Popcorn Museum also received a volume tester that was designed and created by the Cracker Jack Company in 1931 to determine the expansion of their popcorn, and the tester would shake the grain in a wire basket and measure the expansion in a glass tube. Since the opening of the Wyandot Popcorn Museum, they have received two older antiques, and they're the 1896 Kingery steam-driven wagon, an 1892 Olsen store-type dry popper hand-turned with the original patent for a squirrel cage dry popper, and their featured antique is an 1899 Cretors No. 1 wagon and it's the third oldest surviving Cretors popcorn machine. There were 35 popcorn and peanut antiques ready for the opening in Marion, and the Factory Outlet/Wyandot Popcorn Museum operated at that location until 1985 when the museum moved to the Southland Mall in Marion, OH where the hours would be more appropriate for the public. After three years at the Southland Mall location, the antiques were placed in different locations around the country for people to be able to see the antiques.
In 1989, a 90-year-old U.S. Post Office building in downtown Marion was available for purchase, and it was an ideal choice for the Marion County Historical Society and the Wyandot Popcorn Museum. The Wyandot Popcorn Museum trustees offered the Marion County Historical Society to financially support 40% of the main floor to be used for the Wyandot Popcorn Museum. In nearby Mansfield, an individual had housed in a tent that was 25 by 60 ft with a 12 ft ceiling in red, white, and blue canvas, and the look of it became an idea to provide a good solution for the museum's need for an attractive display and gave the museum a circus theme. The Wyandot Popcorn Museum's tent is 30 by 75 by 14 ft high, and the museum is able to showcase large antique pieces that couldn't be displayed in previous locations.