Ray County Museum was placed in the National Registry of Historic Places in 1979 under its original name, Ray County Poor Farm.The Ray County Museum is one of Richmond’s least known treasures.
The building, built for $19,491 in 1910, was a totally modern building for its day with electricity and indoor plumbing. It served as the Ray County Poor Farm from 1910 to 1960 and was a private rest home from 1960 to 1971. The building is still owned by Ray County and is leased to the Ray County Historical Society and Museum Inc.
The Museum has artifacts from the early 1800s up to modern day, in 50 rooms on three floors. It was built in the shape of a “Y” and covers one-third of an acre. The museum contains approximately 14,400 square feet of space and has been spared major changes.
The Ray County Historical Society and The Friends of the Museum work together to keep the Museum operating. It is also the home of the Ray County Genealogy Association, which has a wonderful library housed in the museum. Volunteers from this group staff the library and are always ready to assist with genealogical research.