grave encounters

Gypsy Queens, mysterious rotating marble objects and U.S. presidents:
which one does not belong? I don’t know which one you guessed, but
you’re wrong – we just trick questioned you because each one of these
has something in common with one another.

The common thread? Each of these is a description of a supposedly
haunted site in our town. The Gypsy Queen’s grave (Saint Mary’s
Cemetery), the Merchant family ball (Marion Cemetery) and the Harding
Memorial – these are all sites that we visited to attempt to get to
the bottom of some of this supposed unfinished business.

We were unsuccessful in solving any mysteries, but we were super
successful in our mission to learn a little while also getting in a
good scare session…and scare is probably not the right word, but you
may get a little creeped out – especially if your mom also breaks the
news to you that she regularly played in these cemeteries as a child.
TMI, MOM.

We first headed to Marion Cemetery, and it’s amazing to look at the
Merchant family ball and see where the marking of its original base
point is. It’s amazing because you shouldn’t be able to see it at all!
This site was also featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not in 1929 –
definitely one of our favorite lessons learned.

The Gypsy Queen’s grave is also amazing to see! People from all over
have come to leave jewelry and coins at her gravesite, and it’s said
that a group of gypsies travels through town once a year to pay their
respects to the woman and her child. We don’t know about you guys, but
we think the history in this town is pretty cool!

Last, but not least, is the Harding Memorial. You probably drive past
it all the time, so you feel like you’ve seen it, but you all need to
pull over sometime and walk around this wonderful piece of history! As
you approach the monument, you cannot even believe its size! This
thing is huge, and you begin to wonder whether you are in Washington
D.C. or Marion, Ohio. You cannot truly appreciate it until you have
seen it up close.

These are the things that seem so simple and so “marionish”, but we
completely take them for granted. We are so lucky to have as many
quirky, historical and interesting things to see and do for being such
a small town. We urge you all to go out one day and visit each of
these locations. You can even mark off these sites on your CVB Amazing
Treasures Map! It’s a great afternoon activity, although we decided
to take it the next level and head out in the evening when we could
really get our spook on. The choice is yours – happy hauntings!

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cribs: marion edition

it is in the heart of our community, but you forget that it’s there. it’s local, but world-famous. it’s simple, but still beautiful. to most of us, it’s just another house that we drive by, but in its day, the home of president and florence harding was THE point of excitement in marion. yes, the exact same marion that we live in right now! how often do you really stop and think about how significant that is for our community? if you are like us, probably close to never.

when we heard about “marion days”, we decided that this was the perfect opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the celebrity home…FOR FREE. it’s kind of like a local episode of cribs…well maybe not cribs, but it was still extremely cool to tour the famous home and to think about the life that was lived there. imagine if the presidential candidate – future president of the united states – lived right around the corner from you today…how crazy would that be?!

since we hadn’t visited the home since probably about the time of elementary school, it was really interesting to go through it with a renewed, adult appreciation for what it truly means to marion. our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about all of the artifacts and intricacies that make the home so special. the visit truly made us feel a connection to the president that didn’t really exist before…and also a new sense of pride in one of the things our community is known for. from florence’s rose garden in the backyard to the famous front porch facing mt. vernon avenue, the harding home is a place you should definitely visit – especially if you are looking for new reasons to take pride in our community!

“marion days” are three selected dates that the harding home will be open for extended hours and offering FREE tours. the remaining two dates are july 13th & august 10th. tickets for “marion days” can be picked up at the marion area convention & visitors bureau as well as other various locations around town. we hope that you will put the harding home on your list of summer activities and help us rediscover our marion roots! and while we’re on the topic – take some time out to talk with and encourage the kids in your neighborhood! with positive influences and strong mentors, one of them could be a future presidential candidate…now THAT would be pretty marionish!

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