The City of Marion was founded in 1839 as the county seat for the newly established Linn County. By late-19th Century, businesses centered around the City Square Park and Marion had become the business center of the county. The arrival of the railroad helped Marion continue to grow and prosper. Today, this historic commercial area is known as Uptown Marion, Marion’s designated Main Street District. As the city continues to grow and flourish, our community’s history will be preserved through the missions of Uptown Marion Main Street and the Marion Historical Society, as well as through our partners: Marion Heritage Center and Museum and Granger House Cultural Center and Museum.
Marion Heritage Center & Museum
The Marion Heritage Center and Museum serves as a community center for educational programs, historical displays, art exhibits, and cultural events. The facility, originally built as a Methodist church in 1855, is managed by the Marion Historical Society. The mission of the Marion Historical Society is to discover, interpret and preserve Marion’s unique history and to provide activities for the community and surrounding area.
Granger House Cultural Center & Museum
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a wonderful example of Victorian Italianate architecture, the Granger House Cultural Center & Museum is the only restored 19th Century middle-class family home in the Cedar Rapids Metro Area. The House provides a one-of-a-kind glimpse into what life was like during the late-1800s. The Granger House Cultural Center & Museum hosts house tours, educational programming, and events throughout the year.
Uptown Marion Historic Milestones
Marion business men wanted a larger and more dependable railway through Marion. After serious negotiation and much hard work, the “Milwaukee Railroad” arrived in Marion in December 1827.[/vcex_feature_box][vcex_feature_box heading=”1887: New Depot and Roundhouse Built” image=”6031″]In June 1887, Marion became a Division Point for the Milwaukee Railroad which meant repair shops including switch tracks, coal yards and the very important repair shops with a Round House. There was a new Depot (the third built in Marion) built on today’s 6th Avenue adjoining 11th Street.
Did you know? There was concern when the railroad left Marion, for good, in the late 20th century, that the depot was to be torn down. In 1987 citizens acquired the building, moving the roof intact to the south side of City Park in 1988, where it stands today. Many of the bricks were cleaned and reclaimed to form the structure under the roof.[/vcex_feature_box]