MARION, Kan. (KSNW) — The first stop of the day was in Marion. What a warm welcome to start the trip! The town gave the KSN team quite the greeting with a party. We had such a blast. They had all sorts of goodies for us to snack on, so thank you Marion!

Some of the fun that was planned, included:

  • A bounce house, firetruck spray, snow machine, bubble stations, live music, and face painting
  • Popsicles and chocolates at the Historic Elgin Hotel.
  • Sample pastries and purchase breakfast burritos at Chef’s Plate at Parlour 1886.

Marion has a lot of history. The town’s first residents were settlers who arrived in covered wagons in 1860. A surveyor in Emporia pointed them to the area, calling it the best land in the territory. The town didn’t get a name until it got a post office in 1862. It was first called Marion Centre. It dropped “Centre” and became Marion in 1882.

Railroads brought lots of people to the town. In 1880, the population was almost 12,500.
These days, the town has about 2,000 residents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income is just over $50,000.

One of the rich attractions is the library. The town transformed the 1912 Santa Fe depot into the library and opened its new doors in 2002.

Another landmark is the Historic Elgin Hotel. It was built more than 130 years ago at a cost of $25,000, which in present day, is equivalent to about $800,000. The hotel has changed hands many times over the years. For three decades, it was used as apartments, before it was restored to its former glory.

In 2006, a couple bought it and invested nearly $2 million to restore it to its glory days before it was sold again in 2016.

Its current owner says guests come from all over the world.

“Our vison has been to be one of the most sought after vacation destinations here in Kansas,” said Tammy Ensey, hotel proprietor. “And we’re really on the road to become that.”

The hotel originally had 42 rooms. Now it has 12 suites, a restaurant and a ballroom for weddings and events.

Marion County is also home to two lakes. Marion calls itself “the town between two lakes.” There’s Marion County Lake and Marion Lake, formerly known as Marion Reservoir. The reservoir sits northwest of town and the county lake is southeast. The county lake is home of a Guinness world record for the most marshmallows roasted at the one time.

Thank you to the wonderful people who showed up to say hello. Also, thank you to those who organized such a fun event to coincide with our visit!

Things to do and places to visit in Marion:

Community & Government:


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