By the 1880's Gainesville's prosperity was well established. The city saw massive building projects started and completed during this time. The building, which houses the Morton Museum is one of these structures. It was a glorious state of the art example of workmanship. This dominating two story structure housed the city hall, firehouse, and jail. When looking at the architecture you can almost imagine the fire wagons as they raced through the arches. The horses would have been snorting, the firemen yelling, and the bell on top of the building ringing loudly as they raced to the fire.
Alas, as time comes and goes things change. A new city hall was built on Rusk Street, a new jail was built across the street from the existing jail, and a new firehouse was built behind the original firehouse. Sadly enough the building fell into disrepair. It was used on and off for storage until the mid 1960's when the city decided to demolish it. If it had not have been for Mary McCain and a wonderful group of concerned citizens this building would have been destroyed. Through generous donations from Granville C. Morton and his wife, Gladys this building was saved and became the Morton Museum. It opened on December 7, 1968. Today it stands as a tribute to those who had a vision.