Located just forty-five miles north of Ohio's capital city, Marion is a hub for agriculture and industry in Ohio. The city is conveniently positioned off of major highway State Route 23 and serves as a throughway to many of the region's surrounding markets. There is a deep-rooted sense of history in this small town of approximately 35,000, home to the nation's 29th president, Warren G. Harding. The Marion Star daily newspaper, founded in 1877, still serves the city and its surrounding communities.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
More than 80 percent of Marion's land is dedicated to the farming of corn, soybeans, hogs and dairy cattle. Substantial agricultural companies such as Ohigro, ConAgra and Bunge reside in Marion, creating many employment opportunities. The largest dryer manufacturer in the world, Whirlpool Corp., is the No. 1 industrial employer in the area. Other major industrial employers include:
- Silver Line Windows and Doors
- Wyandot Inc.
- Nucor Steel Marion Inc.
- General Mills
- Harding Memorial: This grand marble structure is the final resting place for both President Warren G. Harding and first lady Florence Kling Harding. The structure was built in 1927 and was the last major presidential tomb of its kind to be built.
- Wyandot Popcorn Museum: Marion is proud to be the "Popcorn Capital of the World." This museum houses the largest collection of vintage popcorn wagons in the United States, all restored to their original state.
- World War II Monument: Dedicated in 2001, this monument is the largest World War II memorial in the world, except for the one located in Washington, D.C.
- Veterans Memorial Park: This one-of-a-kind park commemorates each war that the United States has fought, with a separate monument for each. The park includes a memorial specifically for women. The most recent memorial built commemorates the War on Terrorism.
Due to its proximity to the main campus of The Ohio State University, Marion has its own regional branch of the major university. Marion Technical College and the Tri-Rivers Career Center can also be found within the Marion city limits.
Marion maintains its strong sense of community by hosting many events and festivals year round:
- Night at the Museum, bringing world history to life at Heritage Hall. (March)
- Marion County Fair, a celebration of agriculture and family fun. (July)
- Waldo Fireman's Festival, hosted by the local fire department. (July)
- Marion Popcorn Festival, with entertainment, rides and plenty of popcorn for the whole family. (September)
- Saturday in the Park, featuring educational and live entertainment in Lincoln Park. (September)
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Due to the small population located within Marion city limits, the town extends its community to many surrounding villages with populations of less than 500 residents. Towns such as Prospect, LaRue, Caledonia, Morral, Green Camp and Waldo are located within Marion County but remain separate townships. With a population of just over 300, Waldo is known worldwide as the home of the first fried bologna sandwich, still enjoyed by visitors at the G&R Tavern.
There is also Downtown Marion: This area of town has a life all its own with locally owned restaurants, charming shops and entertainment.
- Harding Home and Museum: Home to the Harding family and the site of Warren G. Harding's first campaign speeches, this historical monument is open to the public.
- Palace Theatre: This traditional 1920s theater once served as a movie house and now hosts local concerts and theatrical shows.
- Marion Union Station: Now used as a museum, the Union Station building sits at a unique meeting point of all the main rail lines in Ohio, and more than 100 trains pass by it every day.
- Huber Museum: A collection of both gas and steam tractors as well as historic road-building equipment is on display at the Huber Museum.
DID YOU KNOW?
This small Midwestern town was home to many notable historical figures:
- Warren G. Harding, former U.S. president and publisher of Marion's local newspaper, the Marion Star
- Edward Huber, inventor of the gasoline-powered tractor
- Gerry Mulligan, jazz artist known as "Juru"
- Mary Ellen Withrow, 40th treasurer of the United States
- John Dean, Nixon administration official
- Lincoln Park: Covers 80 acres, including 12 baseball diamonds, a swimming pool, five shelters, a basketball court and play equipment.
- McKinley Park: Extends over 23 acres of land and houses a sand volleyball court, basketball court, a playground, two shelters and a fishing pond.
- Sawyer Ludwig Park: Covers 110 acres and is home to two softball diamonds, a playground, two shelters and six buildings for use by local service clubs.
- Glenwood Park: Covers 20 acres and has a playground, one shelter and two baseball diamonds.
- Garfield Park: Stretches over 16 acres and has play equipment, a basketball court, a softball diamond, nine horseshoe pits, one shelter and a service building