Marquette, Kansas is a small, picturesque town located alongside the banks of the Smoky Hill River in central Kansas. Early settlers started a flour mill on the banks of the Smoky Hill River in 1873 and in 1874 the town charter for Marquette was signed.
For several years the town grew steadily until it was struck by a devastating tornado in 1905 and much of the west side was destroyed with a total of 31 people losing their lives.
Today, Marquette, Kansas features a historic downtown area with several Victorian style buildings that are registered with the Kansas State Register of Historic Places as well as several original Victorian homes that survived that devastating tornado.
Located just off of Highway 4 and not far from Salina, Kansas, Marquette is a great stop for those traveling across Kansas. The town features several museums including the Kansas Motorcycle Museum. The Marquette City Museum is housed in an old library building and there is also the Railroad Depot Museum housed in a restored 1910 railroad depot and the Range School Museum in a one room school built in 1906.
The “main street” of Marquette is Washington Street and features the “Opera House Block” which is an area of downtown buildings registered as a State Historic District. Across from the “Opera House” is the two early 1900 buildings that house the Kansas Motorcycle Museum which features over 100 vintage motorcycles as well as motorcycle racing memorabilia. Continuing south on Washington Street you will also find the “Artspace” art studio and gallery as well as the Washington Street Emporium, a gift shop featuring items made by local craftsmen that is housed in an1886 Bank Building where you can still see the original teller windows, safe and other bank fixtures.
Other local attractions include “The Gas Pump” which features Oil and Gas memorabilia and signs as well as Steve’s British Motorcycle Museum which has over 40 British, BSA and Triumph Motorcycles on display.
Tours are also available to see the Hanson-Lindfors Home, a beautiful 19 room Victorian style home built in 1888.
Every year Marquette hosts a CFRA sanctioned Rodeo as well as the “Thunder in the Valley” Motorcycle Rally and races. Both Kannapolis State Park as well as Mushroom Rock State Park are within easy driving distances for someone who wishes to experience the unique natural beauty of this area of Central Kansas. Other close by attractions are Coronado Heights and nearby Lindsborg, Kansas.