Marion has been, to a considerable extent, absorbed within the urban area of Cedar Rapids, its larger neighbor to the southwest. Located on Indian Creek, Marion started out both as the county seat in 1839 and as the site for water-powered mills; later it served as a division point for several railways. Andreas in his 1875 Illustrated Historic Atlas of the State of Iowasuggests a picture of the city which still holds true today, calling it “beautifully located in what appears to be an archipelago of groves, or forest-bound prairie, interspersed with fine residences, stores, churches.” 40Many of the dwellings still remain, but such major buildings as the stone Linn County Courthouse (1855) and the tall cupola-topped masonry schoolhouse (1869) are now gone.
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