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The remnants of some type of old factory, I think, in the town of Marion, Indiana. I liked the lighting in this photo: it was a very gray and overcast day, which to me highlighted the derelict nature of this part of town. Other areas are thriving, however. This was the birthplace of James Dean, who grew up and is now buried in the much smaller town of Fairmount, IN, about ten miles south of here. His mother, who died when he was a child, is buried here, however.

Marion is a medium-sized town (for the region, anyway) of about 30,000, in Grant County, IN, named for a Brigadier General from South Carolina who served in the Revolutionary War. It is also the home of Wesleyan University, the largest evangelical Christian university in the Midwest and the largest private one in Indiana. A bit of trivia: it was the birthplace of both James Dean and cartoonist Jim Davis, of "Garfield" fame, and was the location of the wedding of Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett in 1993. Not sure how that came about!

The town got off to a somewhat slow start for about fifty years after its founding, relying primarily on an agrarian economy, but in the 1880s, fields of natural gas deposits were discovered and it began to experience rapid growth. The economic boom was short-lived, however, and the industries soon departed. The smaller towns surrounding it were little more than ghost towns as of the 1940s. Marion's prosperity had reached its zenith just prior to World War I, and then subsequently declined, but in the mid-1950s, the booming US economy brought renewed prosperity with the construction of a General Motors stamping and tool plant.

Although it isn't growing by leaps and bounds, the town and surrounding communities are fairly stable. The region enjoys a rich history, which is a draw for many visitors. It also enjoys some tourist revenue, particularly from James Dean fans, many of whom venture north from the small town of Fairmount where he grew up (there are no hotels in Fairmount: indeed, there's only a SINGLE TRAFFIC LIGHT!) to see the site of his actual birth, in Marion. The region remains predominantly agricultural, as it is situated in the nation's Corn Belt, augmented by production of soybean, hogs and specialty crops such as tomatoes.

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Hy-Red Gasoline Station, also known as the Hy-Red Gulf Filling Station, is a historic filling station located at Greentown, Howard County, Indiana. It was built in 1930, and consists of two sections. They are a projecting canopy or porte cochere with a steeply pitched roof supported by four pillars and a one-story small office building. Both sections include multi-colored brown and beige glazed brick. From 1939 to about 1958 it operated as a Gulf Oil filling station and thereafter housed a number of commercial enterprises including a Hickory Farms cheese shop.

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.


Front of the Grant County Jail and Sheriff's Residence, located at 215 E. Third Street in Marion, Indiana, United States. Built in 1904 and since converted into apartments, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is part of a Register-listed historic district, the Marion Downtown Commercial Historic District.

Marion Downtown Commercial Historic District is a national historic district located at Marion, Grant County, Indiana. It encompasses 52 contributing buildings, 2 contributing structures, and 1 contributing object in the central business district of Marion. It developed between about 1870 and 1942, and includes notable examples of Italianate, Romanesque, and Classical Revival style architecture. Located in the district is the separately listed Grant County Jail and Sheriff's Residence. Other notable buildings are the Grant County Courthouse (1881-1883), Marion Bank Building (c. 1917), Iroquois Building (c. 1895), Dan-Mar Apartments (c. 1900), United Telephone Block (c. 1903), Cecelian Apartments (c. 1915), Marion Post Office (c. 1942), and William Smith Building / Mecca Club (c. 1917).

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1188] (2104)
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