The Downtown Digest

  November 2011

Main Street Collectible Christmas Village Buildings for Sale!



Makes a very special holiday gift!

Each building is approximately 8"x6"x6" and includes a cord and light.

Contact the Main Street Marion office to arrange pickup and payment, or purchase online here.


Feature Story:
Swayzee Love House
 by Loretta Walker

Marion, IN, once known as Queen City of the Gas Belt, still has several crowning jewels.  The Swayzee-Love Mansion is one of them.  The house 

is an incredible structure and an example of Greek Revival Architecture in Marion. Several of Marion's famous have owned this home, and it has undergone a few changes with each transfer in ownership.  Aaron Swayzee constructed the home in the 1850s.  It was put on the National Register of Historic Places and on the Indiana State Preservation list by the Love family.  You too, could be the lucky resident of one of these properties, as many are presently on the market!

It was a pleasure to meet the Sherbondis, present owners of the Swayzee-Love Mansion and especially to speak with Mrs. Sherbondy about the history of the house.


Loretta: When did you purchase the house?

Mrs. Sherbondy: 1997


Loretta: What is attracts you most to the house?

Mrs. Sherbondy: The history and the architecture


Loretta: How much time do you spend on general weekly maintenance in this house?

Mrs. Sherbondy: Yard work is about four hours a week.  Plus, a few hours of normal house work.  The challenges of maintaining are not that different from any other home.  Being continuous in maintenance is the key.


Loretta: What are your feelings about the neighborhood? 

Mrs. Sherbondy:  It has gone down some.  Families have moved out, and it is mostly rentals now.


Loretta: What do you see for this area in the future?

Mrs. Sherbondy: I think it is dependent on the city plans.


Loretta: What is the future of this house?

Mrs. Sherbondy: We want someone that appreciates the architecture and history to purchase it.  We do not want to see it broken up into pieces, but we have little to do with the selling of the home.  Allen Johnson from Tucker Realty is our realtor.


Loretta: Do you welcome the opportunity to give tours of the home?

Mrs. Sherbondy: Insurance is different for homeowners and giving tours.  We do not want to go in the business of giving tours.  We do not give regular tours of the home, but we have given a few tours over the years. We had an Antique Study Group meet here, and I did a walk through with them.  Most recently, Main Street Marion meet here, and we were pleased to walk through the house with them after the meeting. 


Loretta: Let's talk about the history.  Walk us through from the first owner to you.

Mrs. Sherbondy: The Swayzee's owned the home first in 1855. They lived there.  Their daughter inherited it after her parents passed.  Her Husband was a Senator George Steele.  He brought the U.S. Veterans Affairs to Marion, IN and co-founded the First National Bank.  He lived in Washington D.C., but kept permanent residence here at the Swayzee house.

In 1902, the house was sold by Steele's.  Mr. Horace M. Miller, Boston Store mastermind, purchased the home next.  He went to Europe and purchased the stained glass windows, leather wallpaper, and numerous renovations.  Mr. Miller is responsible for most of the beautiful design you see inside the home.

In 1920, Mr. Miller sold the home to Mr. Erlewine.  Henry L. and Anna Louise Erlewine closed off the gazebo structure on the roof.  Prior to that, they did have parties up there.  The Erlewines lived there until 1960, but the caregiver remained in the house until Mr. Love bought it in 1965.

Edwin and Barbara Love worked hard to refurbish the home.  Mrs. Love did the research on the property and placed it on the National Historic and State Register's.

Then, my husband and I purchased from her in 1997.


Loretta:  How much property was there in the beginning? 

Mrs. Sherbondy:  Mr. Swayzee started with close to forty acres with the house standing in center.  Then, he had over 100 acres when he died.  There are now four different additions that are considered the Swayzee additions.


Loretta:  Were you aware of the house's rich history before purchasing the home?

Mrs. Sherbondy: Some, but most of my research was done after purchasing the home.


Loretta: Why are you selling?

Mrs. Sherbondy: We are selling because my husband is not well.  They prefer to stay in the country area. 


For more information, on the Swayzee-Love Mansion visit -


You can also learn more about the history of the house by visiting -


Thank you.

Organization Committee: Holiday Traditions

Possibly the greatest gift you can give anyone is your time. Make a new tradition of any of the following downtown activities with family and friends:

  • Lineup along Washington Street, between the YMCA and Highland Bridge to watch the lighted Christmas Night Parade on Saturday, November 19th at 7:00 PM. Drop the kids off at home and attend the Season Kickoff party featuring the band Classic Voice at Folkie's after the parade.
  •  Take your hot chocolate to go and take the family through the Walkway of Lights. Open 6:00 to 10 p.m. seven days a week November 19th through December 31st, 2011. A season ticket is just $5 per car and good the entire season!
  •  Take your 1st through 6th graders to Crafts with Mrs. Clare at the Marion Public Library every other Wednesday and Saturday.
  • Instead of the pullout couch, make reservations for visiting family and friends at the Burke Place B&B located near downtown at 722 W 4th Street. More info: 765-664-7228.
  • Volunteer your time at the Grant County Rescue Mission this holiday season. Volunteers are needed 7 days a week to serve meals at 7:00am, 12:00pm and 4:00pm. More info: (765) 662-0988 or
  • Visit with old friends or make new ones while learning to knit, Thursdays at the Marion Public Library. More info: 668-2900 x145.
  • See real life cowboys in the Bull Riding Series at the heated Meijer Pavilion at the 4H Fairgrounds on Friday nights. $8 for ages 13 and older, $5 for 6-12, and free for 5 and under. 

Check out our new calendar at for more happenings downtown this holiday season. Contact to find out how to add your downtown event or promotion to the calendar!  

Aletha Dunston
President, Main Street Marion  


 Promotions Committee: Hometown Holiday

 Even though it still feels like Fall outside, Christmas is just around the corner! Before you travel out of town to do your shopping, why not save your gas and support your local downtown retailers at the same time?

Gift Ideas:

  • Browse for gifts, drink fresh roasted coffee and listen to live music at the Art Market on Saturday, November 19th from 9am to 5pm in the Centrum Mall on the 400 block of South Washington Street.
  • Get your tickets now for I Hate Christmas, a big-hearted comedy about saving Christmas, showing at the Civic Theater December 2-4th and 9-11th. Extra tickets make a great gift!
  • Browse for unique gifts at the Antique Mall on the 2nd floor of Shoe City at 501 S. Washington.
  • Give the gift of music with an instrument or gift certificate from Marion Music and Sound, located on the Courthouse Square.
  • Get creative! Give a personalized engraved gift from 2B Personalized on the Square.
  • Buy classic holiday gifts and ornaments from your downtown Hallmark store. Don't forget the wrapping paper and cards!
  • Have a photo professionally framed at our downtown framing shops - Clique Creative Services (422 E 4th Street) and Lighthouse Custom Framing (204 S Nebraska Street).
  • Stop in to the Hostess House for lunch and check out the new Christmas season inventory in the upstairs gift shop - open 11am-2pm M-F. Try the lemon poppy seed cake!
  • Attend the many downtown church arts and craft shows throughout the season for interesting gift ideas.
  • Gifts that are always appreciated: gift cards from your downtown CVS, gas stations, tanning salon, dance studios, hair salons and barbershops.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of gift ideas. There are many more opportunities to get your holiday shopping done while exploring downtown Marion.


Design Committee:

Hogs Residing!  

 The Home of Hog, Marion, has found a dwelling place for the eight new resident Hogs.  To see how the talented artists painted their favorite swine in person, please stop by these locations:

Salin Bank, Ready to Ride by Adam Lorenz


Marion Public Library and Museum, History in the Bacon by Sharon Kirkwood, Bend of the River Neighborhood Association


Marion High School, Andy Warhog by Greg Sheward and Katrina Swan, National Art Honor Society of Marion High School


Grant County Visitor's Bureau, Maid of Marion by Anne Maddox


Community School of Arts, Boar-n to be Wild by Mike and Randall Gunyon


Marion General Hospital, Pigcasso by Karen Welsh and Sara Pohlman, Grant County Art Association


City Hall foyer, Sow in Grant County by Angelina Lindahl, Grant County Economic Growth Council


2B Personalized, Me-Oink by Sharon Kirkwood, Laser Treasures


Thank you for supporting Hog Wild in the Home of the Hog!