Marshall’s 41st state historical marker will be dedicated in a ceremony at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 8, at the Brooks Memorial Fountain.
One side of the new marker describes the iconic fountain located in front of Marshall’s city hall, 323 W. Michigan Ave. The other side recognizes the fountain circle as the location of the first Calhoun County courthouse which stood there from 1837 to 1872.
Thomas Truscott of the Michigan Historical Commission will attend the event. Special guests will be the three of the six surviving grandchildren of Harold Brooks who donated the fountain to the city in honor of his father Charles Brooks. This was done in 1930 in connection with Marshall’s centennial celebration.
Local actor Alan Elliott will portray Brooks at the ceremony. Brooks, Marshall’s mayor from 1925 to 1930, commissioned architect Howard Young to design the fountain in the style of the Temple of Venus at Versailles, France.
Brooks also was responsible for other civic projects including saving the Honolulu House and converting a former livery stable into city hall. His grandchildren who will be at the event are John Twist, Alison Yarger and Feef Dillon. Also being recognized will be Jennifer Rupp who co-chaired a 2009 community fund drive with Dillon to make extensive restorations to the fountain.
The fountain now has a year-round multi-color light display and in warm weather shoots water to varying heights. The area around the fountain is the site of the annual Fourth of July celebration and other community events.
There are now more than 1,700 state historical markers. Only Detroit and Lansing have more than Marshall.
Bob Lowman, volunteer curator for Marshall’s historical marker program, has been managing it since 2005 with assistance from Marty Overhiser This has included applying for new markers and maintaining the existing ones. Funding for the marker project has come from sales of a DVD version of a 1940s movie about Marshall.
Information about Marshall’s historical markers can be found on the Marshall Historical Society’s website www.marshallhistoricalscoiety.org. Two videos have been made with local residents telling the stories of Marshall based on the historical markers. Copies of the two versions of “Where History Is Alive” are available at the Welcome Center in city hall.