Starting from the east side of downtown, past the park and atop a hill sits the handsome stone Hill School which dates from 1873. This makes it the oldest schoolhouse in the state still in use and it is one of several local landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places.
A block west at 501 East main is an old church dating from 1887 which is now the local historical museum. Apparently the interior has been impressively restored, but the museum is only open from May to October so it was shut during my visit.
Next along Main Street is shady Central Park on Luta Creek. You can still visit the spring which was a watering hole for pioneers long ago. Across the street from the park is an old fashioned diner and ice cream parlor, Big Scoop, which no doubt is a favorite watering hole for local teenagers!
Marion competes with Alma in Waubaunsee County as being the 'stone town' of the Flint Hills and a walk along its fantastic Main Street will take you past many beautiful buildings.
Take a turn up 3rd Street to the intersection with Santa Fe to see the old Elgin Hotel, a NRHP landmark from 1886 which is now an apartment block. You'll spot several historic stone homes nearby and you won't be far from some interesting churches and the Art Deco city auditorium.
Staying on 3rd but crossing Main Street the other direction and you can't miss the enormous Marion County Courthouse of 1907 with its extravagant carvings. Behind it is the old train depot of 1912, now the city library.
Gambinos is a small franchise of pizza parlors you'll see around Kansas, based as they are in Wichita.Pizzas with a choice of crusts and toppings, pasta, salad, calzones and sandwiches are on offer for lunch and dinner. If you go to the Gambinos company website you can find a branch and print off a...more
At Marion's Old Settler's Days celebration the last Saturday in September I saw these kids selling 'pocket tacos'. It was seasoned taco meat put in to a small bag of doritos corn chips or fritos. There were other people on the street selling baked goods and snacks during the parade.more
I can't say enough good things about the Kingfisher Inn. We got excellent food and excellent service there at a very fair price.KingFisher Inn is on the edge of the Marion County Lake. From our table we could see part of the lake while we ate. 'Tidbits' are a kind of appetizer for $2.50.more
Here's a real throwback to the Fifties, an honest to God local grocery store.
Even when I was a kid (we're talking 20, er, 25 years ago) these small town operations were few and far between, so it's great see this type of community store still providing a friendly service. And I mean really, really friendly.
The cashier, the shelf stacker, the baker...everybody who saw me welcomed me with a big smile and a sincere 'good morning!'. That's one big thing I miss about Kansas, the way everyone who works in a shop or restaurant gives you a friendly greeting and offers to help.
What to buy: At the back of the store they have got a deli counter and bakery, perfect for breakfast or lunch.
When I came through the bakery assistant was just serving up fresh doughnuts and pastries which were still piping hot. YUM!