Mount Ida is a dominant feature in the landscape of Historic Downtown Marion. As you slowly cruise along North Main, towards the southern side of town, you’ll literally stop to admire the view of “where Main Street meets the mountains.”
Regional photographers and artists recognize the lasting and distinctive impression this image creates for all of us. There are many varieties and views of this landmark. Two of the most memorable are given to us by local photographer Roger Engelke and Marion native Craig Greene.
Roger’s winter scene depicts a fairytale portrait that is slightly glazed with twinkling ice cycles and rime frost. Hollywood couldn’t have improved on this breathtaking shot! Craig’s painting is often mistaken for a photograph, because of his careful attention to detail included in each nook and cranny of his portrayal. The City of Marion purchased the original for residents to enjoy when they visit City Hall. Prints of both interpretations may be purchased at the McDowell Arts Council Association located downtown at 50 South Main Street.
While you’re enjoying downtown, park the car and walk around. You’ll find a music store, restaurants, coffee house, gift shop, the arts council and artisan shop, and other retailers. There are several historic buildings that have been restored and used today for new purposes. The Crooked Door Coffee House was once the Eagle Hotel, originally built at the turn of the 19th century. Historic Downtown Marion is included on the National Register of Historic Places.