Construction began on the Monroe County Courthouse in 1903 and offices moved from the old antebellum courthouse on the square to the new building in 1904. When To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960, the building gained national fame. In 1963 county offices moved to a new building on the square, and the community started looking at preserving the old courthouse with the idea of starting a museum. In 1968 a museum opened as a small part-time attraction. In 1991 the museum opened full time, and the first production of a play adapted from To Kill a Mockingbird was performed in the courtroom. Renovation of the building also began in 1991, and the $2.5 million project was completed in 2002.