Marion, NC

Marion, situated in McDowell County, is a city made up of 5.6 square miles.

2018 Best Guide to Marion, NC

August 7, 2017

Marion was founded in 1844 to be county seat of McDowell. 

In 1894, a fire spread through Main Street in the town, destroying the wooden buildings and causing damage to the brick buildings.  

Marion was named in honor of General Marion.  

In 1929, a shootout between a group of around 35 laborers who were on strike and local deputies left 6 workers dead. Upon testifying, the deputies claimed that the striking workers opened fire first, but no weapons were found on the bodies of the workers.  


The median resident age in Marion is 38 years. The median estimated household income is about $30,000 making it about $18,000 less than the North Carolina average. The estimated per capita is about $15,000. The average price for a home in Marion is about $90,000 (2015) which is $70,000 less than the North Carolina Average. Expect to pay about $600 a month for rent.

The racial makeup of Marion is 73% White, 13% Hispanic, 2% Two or more races, and 12% other. 77% of the population are high school graduates, with 12% holding a Bachelor's Degree or higher. 37% are married, 17% are divorced, 6% are separated, 10% are widowed, leaving 30% that have never been married.

Towns Nearby

Old Fort, NC
Glen Alpine, NC
Spruce Pine, NC
Montreat, NC
Salem, NC
Morganton, NC
Black Mountain, NC

McDowell County

Marion belongs to McDowell County in the western part of North Carolina. The county, which is named after Joseph McDowell, and is home to Lake James, which was a shooting location for the film The Last of the Mohicans, is part of the Marion, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area and the Hickory-Lenoir, NC Combined Statistical Area, has a population of 45,000. Its largest city is Marion, which is also the county seat, has a population of 7,850.

McDowell County borders Buncombe, Yancey, Mitchell, Rutherford, Burke and Avery counties.

McDowell County is made up of 446 square miles. 441 of which is land with the remaining 5 as water.


The population of Marion, NC is about 7,800. The population has been steadily increasing since its founding.


The elevation of Marion, NC is 1,404 feet above sea level.

Zip Code

The zip code for Marion, NC are 28737 and 28752.

Area Code

The area code for Marion, NC is 828.

Politics and Religion

Historically speaking Marion and McDowell County have voted mostly Republican, with 65% going to Mitt Romney during the 2012 Presidential Election. This represents the trend for the previous four or five elections, barring the 2000 election, in which Al Gore took 53% of the vote.

As of 2010, 57% of the population are religiously unafiliated (Nones). About 41% are Protestants with Catholics and Other making up around 2%.


The unemployment rate for Marion is about 5% (2015), making it equal to the state average of around 5%.

Manufacturing and retail make nearly 50% of the most common industries in the town.

Newspaper & Obituaries

McDowell News is the primary newspaper that covers the McDowell County area.


Marion Home Page

Westmoreland Funeral Home
Kirksey Funeral Home
Tom Johnson
Zip Code
Real Estate
Marion Tire
Correctional Institution
Health Plus
Countryside BBQ
McDowell High School
Club Fitness
Houses for Rent
McDowell Hospital
Tax 2000
Quality Stone
Marion Pharmacy
Import Auto Salvage
Whitson Realty
Westmoreland Funeral Home
Apartments for Rent
Catawba Properties
Fatz Cafe
Roseland Florist
Funeral Homes
Movie Theater
Morganton Pressure Vessels

Town of Marion NC
Marion on City Data
Marion on Wikipedia
Chamber of Commerce