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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Explore County Bicentennial Activities > Grant County Grant County

Grant County from Instagram

Q&A with Grant County Coordinators Mary Eckerle and Dave Huffman

What do you consider the key accomplishment(s) of your county's bicentennial celebration?

  • We collaborated with many county groups and organizations. We go the word about the Bicentennial to county schools, citizens and officials through the press and social media and several speaking engagements. We organized a successful torch run in our county as well as some other celebrations. And. we worked as a team to accomplish this. Also, our county's Legacy Projects, the Statehood Day celebration, and the County's collaborative efforts across the board.

What Legacy Project do you most like to tell people about, and why?

  • The Gas Boom exhibit in the Marion Public Library Museum is a great accomplishment of this Bicentennial year. With the help of key stakeholders in the community, particularly, the Marion Grant County Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Gartland Family Foundation and the Community Foundation, the Museum was transformed with a new, fresh, interactive exhibit that, hopefully, will thell the history of a booming time in the Grant County history and attract visitors to the community. We would also like to recognize the other projects including the Mississinewa Battlefield event, the Hog Daze event, and the Signature Quilt from the Quilter's Hall of Fame.

Describe a highlight or most memorable moment related to your county's bicentennial celebration.

  • Our County's torch run stopped at the Courthouse. We had invited the living mayor's to be there. Our current mayor, Jess Alumbaugh, was presented the torch and he, in turn, gave it to Pearl Bassett. She is 105 years old and has been instrumental in our community in race relations. She was very excited to be a torch bearer. She rode with the torch in a General Motors vehicle  (General Motors has a plant in our County) and it was memorable - many people had tears. Knowing all the planning involved in the Torch Relay and the celebration for that day, few things could top the memory of 9/28/2016.

How/where are you preserving information and artifacts related to your county's celebration?

  • The plan is to have a newspaper insert but that hasn't happened yet. Hopefully, we can create a scrapbook of our clippings, etc. We plan to preserve items at our Marion Public Library and its Grant County Museum.

Do you have a website and/or social media presence? May we share the links?

  • We have a Facebook page. Indiana Bicentennial: Grant County.

Total number of volunteers who participated.

  • Approximately 200. Many more if you count the 20 torchbearers, drivers, assistants, schools, Upland, Jonesboro, police and fire departments, EMA, musicians, speakers, vendors, committee members, etc.

Estimated total attendance.

  • This is hard to say but, with the many events, over 5,000.

Estimated dollar amount raised.

  • Approximately $2,000.

Estimated dollar amount spent.

  • Approximately $1,200.

Grant County Legacy Project

Grant County Facts

Grant County was named for Captains Samuel and Moses Grant of Kentucky.

About the courthouse: E.E. Myers was the architect, and the building was completed in 1880.

Marion is the home of Indiana Wesleyan University, the largest evangelical Christian university in the Midwest and largest private university in Indiana.

Since 2003, former Olympic skater Wayne Seybold has been Marion’s mayor. In 2013, Gas City, originally named Harrisburg, became something of a boom town when natural gas was found in the area in 1887. The Gas City Land Company was founded on March 21, 1892 and the town of about 150 people changed its name to Gas City a few days later. However, as of 2012 much of the gas is depleted.

James DeanJames Dean, a popular movie star of the 1950s in such movies as “East of Eden” and “Rebel without a Cause,” was born February 8, 1941, in Marion. He died in an auto crash at age 24.

Important paleontological discoveries, dating from the Pliocene epoch, have been made at the Pipe Creek Sinkhole in Grant County.

County Seat: Marion
Year Organized: 1831
Square Miles: 414.07County Office Building

Grant County Bicentennial Committee

  • Dave Huffman
  • Mary Eckerle
  • Layla Price
  • Bruce Bender
  • Ruthann Sumpter
  • Ed Breen
  • John Lightle
  • Betsy Cross