When the first three families to settle Marion Centre (the William Billings, George Griffith and William P. Shreve families) arrived, they knew they were where surveyors had told then was the "best land in the territory". Their wagons stopped at the crest of a hill, on the east side of "Luta Creek." Below they saw the fertile valley of the Cottonwood River. Within the rocks of the bluff was a spring that supplied cool, clear water for their campsite. Today, that first campsite is Marion's Central Park.
Levi Billings settled in Marion Centre in 1865 and owned this
land until 1894, when it was sold to the community for $1,000. The
spring continued to flow until the devastating flood of 1951, when
it's course was changed. Stately elm trees were part of the lush
vegetation, during early settlement years.
the years, other attributes were added to this focal point of the
community. In 1884, a fountain was added to the park, and still
stands today. Several Chautauqua meetings, ice skating in winter
months and swimming in the summer, were common activities at this
gathering place. A lighted Memorial Fountain was constructed years
later, adding to the charm of the park.
Hard work has gone into maintaining the natural beauty of the park, located just east of our Central Business District. All improvements, including playground
and a new stage with public restrooms,
have been strategically placed to blend with their surroundings.
From "Chingawassa Days," to "Art in the Park" and "Old Settler's
Day", to everyday activities, the park receives much use. This six
acre park is a favorite location for family picnics, weddings, and
park also has a shaded fishing bank for residents and visitors to
enjoy a day of fishing.
Please send us your fish photos from Central Park! We will continue to work
on improving this area and your fishing experience. Thank you, Marion Parks
Per Day – For Profit or Business Use $25.00
Per Day – Non-Profit Use (Maximum 2 Days) Free