Events & Exhibits

Good Roads: Bicycles, Motorcycles & Automobiles on the Transcontinental Highway

Exhibit runs through April 29

Long before it became part of the famous Lincoln Highway, the roadway through downtown Marion hosted automobile races, bicyclists and famous tourists. Marion helped put our nation’s first transcontinental road on the map. This exhibition tells the story of the travelers who came through Marion by foot, bicycle, motorcycle, automobile and truck from 1878 to 1919. Learn about their mishaps, adventures, discoveries and endurance. See vintage bicycles, motorcycles and even Linn County’s second automobile. The exhibition features vehicles on loan from Marion friends and neighbors, Hall Bicycle Co. of Cedar Rapids and the State Historical Society of Iowa, including the first modern automobile west of the Mississippi River.

Admission to the exhibit is free courtesy of a grant from the McIntyre Foundation of Cedar Rapids.


Hometown Teams – Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit

March 18 to April 29 at the old Mt. Vernon High School gymnasium

“Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” is a traveling exhibit curated by the Smithsonian. The interactive displays and museum quality artifacts examine how and why hometown sports are more than just games. The Marion Heritage Center is participating in this exhibit along with 17 other schools, towns, and museums. Contact the Marion Heritage Center for more information or if you have an artifact, photo, or other memorabilia to loan or donate.


Board Meeting

Thursday, March 22 at 3:30 p.m.

Board meetings are held on the fourth Thursday each month at the Marion Heritage Center and are open to the public.


Stanley Steamer Demonstration

Sunday, April 22 at 1:30 p.m.

Mark Culver of Marion will be firing up this 1910 Stanley Model 70 Touring Steam Car in Marion City Square Park. He will provide a brief history of the automobile, demonstrate its startup procedure, and bring it up to full steam for operation. This Stanley Model 70 is owned by Mark’s in-laws, Keith and Ann Valesh of Oelwein, Iowa. Mark and his wife Kris have accompanied Keith and Ann on several touring trips with their vintage automobile.

Stanley Steamer Facts:
Engine: 20-hp steam engine
Water consumption: approximately one gallon per mile
Water tank: 35 gallons
Main burner fuel tank: 26 gallons (kerosene fuel)
Pilot fuel tank: 2 gallons (Coleman fuel)
Builder: Stanley Motor Carriage Company, Newton, Massachusetts

Admission to the program and exhibit are free courtesy of a grant from the McIntyre Foundation of Cedar Rapids.


Walking Tour & Dinner at the Museum

Tuesday, May 8 – 5:30 p.m.

This walking tour will head west of the Heritage Center along 6th Avenue. This was the main territorial road which lead to Cedar Rapids. Learn about the variety of interesting homes and businesses that were located along this main route, and which ones still remain. Tour will be led by Judith Hull, who is a member of the Heritage Center board of directors and the Marion Historical Preservation Commission. Judith has also compiled several books about the history of Marion’s homes and businesses, including “The Territorial Road – A History of Sixth Avenue West.”

Following the walking tour a dinner will be served at the Heritage Center. Reservations are $15 per person. Call the Marion Heritage Center at (319) 447-6376 or email to reserve your spot. Limited to just 40.


Pancake & Egg Breakfast

Saturday, May 12 – 7-11 a.m.

Tickets $7 in advance  –  $8 at the door  –  12 years and younger free

Don’t miss our 6th Annual Pancake & Egg Breakfast Fundraiser. This popular event features a delicious breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and sausage, plus a chance to visit with your friends and neighbors! (Gluten-free breakfast options will be available.) Tickets are available at the Heritage Center. Contact the Heritage Center at 447-6376 for additional sponsorship opportunities or more information. Special thanks to our event sponsors: Hills Bank & Trust, Quaker Oats, Hy-Vee, Quinn Tents, Weber Paint & Glass, Kiwanis Sunrisers, Iowa Popcorn Company, and First United Methodist Church.


Art by Your Friends & Neighbors

Exhibit Opens: Saturday, May 19 – 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Exhibit runs through Saturday, July 28.

See our 17th annual exhibit featuring the work of local artists and artisans. Each year more than 60 paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, sculptures and other original art are submitted for the show. Vote for your favorite artwork. The People’s Choice award, sponsored by Hills Bank & Trust, will be awarded to artist whose piece receives the most votes by the end of the show. Free admission courtesy of Hills Bank & Trust and the McIntyre Foundation. Artists interested in exhibiting in the show should contact the Heritage Center at 447-6376 by April 30.

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