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Historical Society Celebrates Marion County's 171st Birthday

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MARION COUNTY -

The Marion County Historical Society is celebrating its month of Founders in January and specifically Marion County's 171st birthday on January 14.

"Well, it's our home. So you're always interested in your home," said JoAnn Lough, a member of the Marion County Historical Society. "Oh, Marion County has a lot of interesting things but the stories are much too long."

Lough had plenty of stories to share about Marion County and the surrounding area, including one that explains why the court house was built.

"With the assistance of, I don't know how large the barrel was, of whiskey. They came in, these men did, in the middle of the night and tore down that old court house," said Lough. "And then we had to have a new one and that's how this one over here was built in the 1900's."

The Historical Society is not only celebrating the birthday of Marion County in January but also the birthday of the city of Fairmont, Boaz Fleming and Francis Pierpont.

The President of the Historical Society, Dora Kay Grubb, said that it's main purpose is to teach people about the rich culture of the area.

"That is part of our mission is to promote, educate and preserve the history of Marion County," said Grubb. "Of course, it's such a unique way that it became a county."

Marion County was made after some tax grumbles of Boaz Fleming. He didn't want to have to pay taxes in Harrison and Monongalia County.

Although it did not happen in Fleming's lifetime, Marion was created from a little piece of Harrison and a big chunk of Monongalia.

"The first part of the 19th century this was a very, very important place," said Grubb. "And people don't realize how important and how many first things happened and what national things are a direct result of incidents that happened right here."

The Marion County Historical Society has numerous books available on the history of Marion County, Fairmont and all the historical figures from the area. They are also looking into some new information about if there was in fact an underground railroad in the area.