POPCORN ANYONE? VISIT MARION, OHIO
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
Marion has always had a rich history of industry and politics to claim its mark over the centuries. And history is created each day we wake up. Renowned mural artist Eric Grohe captured that history by putting a paintbrush on a wall to create Marion’s own fabulous mural. You can learn more about Eric Grohe and the other murals he has painted in Ohio and across the United States by visiting www.ericgrohemurals.com.
While you are in town to see Eric’s work, visit any number of our other attractions. A must-see would be to start with the Harding Home located at 380 Mt. Vernon Avenue. Visit the home of the 29th President of the United States and his wife, Florence. This was the site of his famous campaign speeches that launched his quest for the presidency in 1920. The Hardings lived here until they moved to Washington, D.C., before his inauguration. The original press corps building behind the home is now a museum, housing more Harding memorabilia. The home was recently papered with period reproduction wallpaper in the library.
The Harding Memorial is open till dusk daily. It is located on the corner of Delaware Ave. & Vernon Heights Blvd., Marion. It is the final resting place of President and Mrs. Warren G. Harding and is the largest and most beautiful presidential memorial outside of Washington, D.C. Built in 1925, it contains 46 columns of timeless white Georgian marble and was paid for by the donation of pennies and dimes from the nation’s school children. To learn more about the Harding Home and the Memorial, go to http://www.hardinghome.org/.
Just a short distance up the street from the Memorial, in the Marion Cemetery, is the largest tribute to WWII veterans outside of Washington D.C. This is a must-see if you are visiting Marion on a beautiful summer day where you can sit and feel the depth of the tribute meant for the local fallen.
Just a short distance around the corner and down the street from the downtown mural, you can find three museums in one at Heritage Hall. You can find memorabilia from Marion’s productive history, Warren G. Harding’s history, and the Wyandot Popcorn Museum. The trip is well worth the money since the museums hold many treasures. And if you are interested in one-room school house treasures — one’s that have been refurbished to their original look and feel, call Heritage Hall and ask for your family tour.
The Wyandot Popcorn Museum is located under a colorful circus tent in the back of Heritage Hall. It is the largest, most impressive collection of popcorn wagons in the United States. These priceless wagons date back as far as the turn of the century and have been restored to their original conditions. If you want to make an appointment for a group to see the three-in-one museum, call 740-387-HALL (4255).
The Marion Union Station sees more than 100 trains pass by every day. The museum showcases an impressive collection of memorabilia and the AC Tower, which was once the main switching facility for the Erie Railroad Marion Division. The unusual nature of the station is the fact that it is located between two diamond cross-overs.
The Edward Huber Machinery Museum is located at the Marion County Fairgrounds at 220 E. Fairground Street. The museum contains examples of machinery built by the Huber Manufacturing Company and the Marion Steam Shovel Company, including steam engines, farm and road equipment, and a steam shovel. An inventor, industrialist, and philanthropist, Huber was largely responsible for Marion’s industrialization and wealth in the mid-1800s.
The biggest event of the year is The Marion Popcorn Festival. It is always held the first Thursday, Friday, and Saturday after Labor Day. The festival has been on the Food Network and the Travel Channel. Three days of free nationally known entertainers, food, a grand parade, and fun. The family event in Downtown Marion is free and open to all who love and eat popcorn. Last year’s event was taped by the Food Network and the Travel Channel and highlighted popcorn favorites. To learn more about this year’s entertainment and up-to-the-minute details on the contest, visit www.popcornfestival.com.
Plan now to visit over the summer with your family. There are many other places to visit and see in Marion, so you can learn more by visiting the Marion Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website at VisitMarionOhio.com to get all the details of the many attractions and things of interest.