The Marion County Park and Lake started as an idea in the minds of a number of Marion County sportsmen in 1933 and 1934, which blossomed into action in the form of a tax-payer petition to the Board of County Commissioners asking for a bond election to buy land for such a lake site.
The election in November 1934 carried by a large majority. Three possible sites were suggested, an engineering study was made of each, and final selection was made at the present location.
Plans went forward through 1935 and in February of 1936, a 300 man CCC camp moved in to start work. Marion County furnished materials, site and construction inspection; the federal government furnished labor, equipment and supervision.
The dam was finished by the end of 1937, the growing lake was stocked with fish, the work of grounds improvement continued, and on May 26, 1940, the park and lake was officially opened to a crowd of more than 10,000 persons, including almost two thousand registered fishermen.
The park area includes approximately 300 acres, with water depth in the 153 acre lake ranging up to 40 feet.
Some 275 homes and cottages have been built, with more under construction. There are 235 year around residents and this number grow steadily. A fine, large trailer park and camping grounds have been added.
The lake is encircled by a four-mile all blacktopped road, plus several miles more of rock inlet roads furnishing easy access to every part of the park and lake area.
Thousands of beautiful trees enhance the beauty of the park, making it one of the most attractive spots in the state of Kansas.
Marion County Park and Lake is the result of two FDR New Deal programs that were born during the 1920's depression. The Civilian Conservation Corps and Work's Progress Administration's goals were to put men to work and conserve our natural resources.
The lake, and surrounding park facilities, were built by the officers and men of CCC Black Veteran Company #4755 under the command of Lt. Robert Horsley. These men were all veterans of World War I.
Today, there is a monument (pictured above) to these men that worked for three years to build the Marion County Park and Lake that we enjoy today. A museum which depicts their life and the early history of the lake is scheduled to open on October 30th, 2007.