June 6, 2007


Marlin, Texas (population: 6,628), is Falls County Seat, 26 miles SE of Waco, 59 miles N of College Station, and 102 miles NE of Austin. Marlin was designated "Official Mineral Water City of Texas" by the 76th Texas State Legislature. A hot artesian spring was struck by accident in 1893, and the town became known for its curative waters.

1930s era brochure (pic from here)

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The building the mural is on was built in 1906.

In 1903 the City of Marlin built this municipal hygeia on the site of the first hot artesian well drilled in 1893. The pavilion became a popular gathering place for visitors and townspeople to meet and drink the water from the fountain. In 1971 the Marlin Chamber of Commerce constructed office space in one portion of the pavilion since tourists still stop here first on their visits to Marlin (info from here).

I'll have you know I just missed an opportunity to see Sinatra. Sinatra! at the Palace Theater (Majestic Theater from 1912-1925). Back in the '30s, you could have had a burger next door at the Palace Café before seeing your movie.

The Falls Hotel was originally known as the Hilton Hotel, having been built by Conrad Hilton in 1929. It was the eighth hotel in his chain. The 110 room hotel was connected by underground tunnel to the Marlin Sanitarium Bath House across the street which stood at the present site of the gazebo park. Bathers could walk in robe and slippers straight to their hot mineral baths. This building is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark and has a marker near its front entrance (info from here).

Strand Theater

Fire Station No. 1 (c. 1921) and City Hall

Falls County Courthouse - the fourth courthouse on this site built in 1939. It is a fine example of art deco construction made of limestone and featuring marble stairways at its entrances. Round windows on interior doors and green glass art deco wall lamps carry out the distinctive styling. Fire destroyed the third courthouse which was most well-remembered for its beautiful clock tower (info from here).

As is often the case with the various courthouses in Texas, a good view is prevented with (ironically) the state tree (pecan). Follow the link after the explanation to see a picture of it just after it was completed.

This was one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in Marlin. C.W. and H.G. Rush started a hardware store in 1891 and built their own building at this site in 1900 after Gardner and Bartlett were added as titled stockholders (info from here).
The Rush, Gardner, and Bartlett Co. landmark has spanned the decades of change evident in the ghost signs on the west wall offering buggies, wagons and farm implements (info from here).


1000Words said...

So how was the water?

Chris said...

It was warm, pure, and it cured my ailments (especially the vapors; I get the vapors real bad).