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Marion NC

Marion NC “Where Main Street Meets the Mountains”


Town of Marion NC

Marion, North Carolina is filled with activities for all ages! Here you can find shopping, dining, annual festivals, trails and much more! Resting at the bottom of Mount Ida, Marion is a great place to visit. Walking downtown you can find many restaurants, coffee houses, gift shops and other retailers. Several historic buildings have been restored and are used today for various purposes and the downtown area is included on the National Register of Historic Places. Purchase some fresh produce from farmers at the Historic Downtown Marion Tailgate Market that is held during growing season. You can also catch the First Friday Night Concerts series that is held in the summer months on the courthouse lawn. Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor activities, Marion is the perfect bridge between Main Street and the Mountains! . 



History of MarionNorth Carolina
Though Marion was established in 1844 as the county seat, it was not until 1845 that the official name was selected. The city was named in honor of Brigadier General Francis Marion, an American Revolutionary War Hero. General Marion was well known for his services with the Continental Army and the South Carolina militia. The first town residents were Alfred M. Finley and Samuel J. Neal. After their arrival, Marion began to grow due to the multiple wagon trails found throughout. Marion was the “end of the line” for the new railroad, which made it a frequent stop for travelers. In 1894 the town was almost completely destroyed by a fire that swept through the downtown area. The timber that was used as the primary building material was very flammable and almost every building burnt to the ground. The original county courthouse and many of its documents were lost in the great blaze. The town pulled together and was able to overcome this setback. The Industrial Revolution had a huge impact of the community. The town shifted from being a small mountains town to becoming an urban mill town. The Southern Railway that was constructed linked Marion to the city of Asheville, helping boost its economy and industries. Many mills sprung up around town, drawing workers and providing jobs for many. The mills also provided the town with water, streets, parks, and homes turning Marion into what was known as a “mill village”. Marion has continued to grow and evolve in all aspects. Today, the history of Marion is well preserved by many of the citizens. The historically significant architecture, cultural and natural resources are all placed at a high value in this little mountain town. 


Mountain Glory Festival
Covering three blocks of downtown Marion, this festival is held to celebrate the arrival of autumn. Visitors can browse through original crafts from more than 125 artists, view a variety of entertainment, or enjoy a snack from one of the many food booths. Local bluegrass bands will be playing traditional mountain music, followed by the haunting melodies of Native American music. Come out and enjoy a best dressed pet show, foot races and the popular “Children’s Arena”. 



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