Cheering for Marquette

Every ice cream table was occupied as coffee drinkers flocked to the City Sundries on a recent morning.

Located in the Marquette’s downtown block of late 19th century buildings, many have been repainted to their original colors with decorative metal trim-work in the style of the town’s Scandinavian heritage. They are part of the Washington Street Historic District, a state historic site.

Traveling into town off of U.S. 56, the road crosses the Smoky Hill River, and what strikes the visitor are the faces staring out from the upstairs windows of businesses. There is George Washington and Abe Lincoln, Amelia Earhart and Martin Luther King. Across the street is a smiling Lucille Ball, Shirley Temple and Judy Garland.

The 30 enlarged photographs cover windows that were once boarded up.

Like any small community growth comes with the challenge of having enough jobs to draw people to town. But back in 2004, Marquette Development Company decided to promote the town as a good place to live and commute to work in places like McPherson and Salina. They began offering a free land program of building lots to interested families who were “looking for a small town, in the heart of America,” according to

(Read more: Hutch News)