The history of the Lacey Museum is closely tied to the history of the City itself. By 1979, the 13-year old City of Lacey had outgrown Lacey City Hall, a historic farmhouse on Pacific Avenue. The new City Hall campus at 3rd Avenue and College Street was ready for staff to move in by the end of September. Meanwhile, a group of passionate citizens concerned for the preservation of the historic farmhouse banded together to save it. In 1979, the Lacey Civic Committee, with funding from a federal grant and local service groups plus individual donations, moved the house to a site donated by the Lacey Women’s Club near their clubhouse.
The Lacey Museum was dedicated on October 26, 1980 and opened to the public in 1981.
Fred and Minnie Russell built the little house on Pacific Avenue in 1928. The Russells operated a cigar, confectionery and billiards store nearby. They later opened a service station to take advantage of the location near Pacific Highway. Designed by Minnie Russell and constructed by I. H. Olmstead, the Craftsman style house was originally clad in stucco and featured all local materials including lumber from Springer Mill in Olympia.
By 1935, E. J. Johnson owned the house. In the 1940s, it was owned by Clara Rohde. State Fire Marshall Rex Jordan and his wife, Martha, owned the house in the 1950s.
As the population grew after World War II, the Lacey Volunteer Fire Department, which started in 1948, purchased the house in 1953 for its headquarters.
After Lacey incorporated as a city in 1966, it became the first City Hall, housing the fire department, police department, and city offices each on different floors.