About The Red Rock Area

Marion County

A trip to the Red Rock Area and Marion County, Iowa, is more than a vacation…it is a memory. Families and couples make a vacation to the Red Rock Area part of the annual tradition and their scrapbooks are filled with photos of Dutch dancers, sprint cars, bald eagles, camping, windmills and so much more. These traditions of visiting the Red Rock Area make memories that last a lifetime.


The first meeting of the Marion County Supervisors took place on September 12, 1845, in the cabin of L.C. Conrey. That same year, the name Marion County was officially approved by the State of Iowa. The county was named after General Francis Marion, “the Swamp Fox” of the Revolutionary War.

The first Marion County Courthouse was constructed in 1848 at a cost of $600. The building measured 24’ x 30’. The building, located opposite of the northwest corner of the square, also was used for court, school and religious services. During the mid-1950’s, the region experienced population growth, which created the need for a larger courthouse. A two-story brick structure was built at a cost of $17,500. The structure was 48’ x 70’. The courtroom could seat up to 400 people.

In 1895, serious structural problems were discovered and so on April 6, 1895, a bond was passed, not to exceed $80,000, for a new courthouse. Voters approved the measure and our current courthouse was constructed based on architectural plans submitted by Mifflin E. Bell of Chicago. Built of Berea sandstone from Ohio, the courthouse building measures 112’ x 80’. The central rotunda extends through four stories of the courthouse.

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