PICHER, Oklahoma - Authorities say a former museum building burned to the ground early Tuesday in Ottawa County. 

Officials believe the Picher Mining Field Museum was destroyed by an arsonist. 

Former residents of the old mining town of Picher says the fire marked an end to 90 years of history. The structure was built in 1926 and housed mining employees. In the 1950s it also doubled as the town's health department. In 1979, the museum was opened. The building was sold in 2008 as part of the Picher buyout.

Shortly thereafter, artifacts and documents on display at the museum were moved to Pittsburg State University and Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum.