Friday, August 28, 2009

Marion's Lost Treasure

The former E. J. Hayward Mansion. Picture on the left is the front entrance, and picture on right is of the side entrance on N. Walker Street.

As I was out on one of my early morning picture taking jaunts I once again drove by the former Hayward family home, located on North Walker Street. Stopping and getting a closer look, one can see that we, as a community, have lost a one-of-a-kind treasure that could have graced our city for many years to come. I used to say "if I win the lottery, I want to renovate the old Hayward home to it's former glory." But as it stands now, it would probably cost close to 2 million dollars to do this.

The history of this building is as follows:
  • E. J. Hayward, a prominent business man of Marion had this home built for his family in the year 1904. It was to be a type of colonial built home with buff brick, white mortar and stone trimmings. The roof would be of black slate. The cornices and corners are finished in store effect and are sufficiently large to break the line of the roof in a pleasing manner.
  • The porches are all of stone with stone steps and buttresses with artificial stone steps. The columns to the porches are also of solid stone. The entrances to the resident are protected by porches giving access at front and sides through vestibules entered directly into the front and side halls.
  • The rear entrance is through a vestibule into the kitchen. The entrance to the cellar is from the outside and also from the side hall.
  • The main hall or reception room in 14x35 feet, located in the center of the building and forms a large sitting room as well as giving access to stairs, side hall parlors, library, dining room and breakfast room
  • The Library is on the left of hall as you enter and occupies the front part of the house being 15x19 feet in the clear with connecting sliding doors into hall and reception hall.
  • The parlor is 15x15 on the opposite side of the reception hall, finished off in white with gold trimmings.
  • The dining room is at the rear of the reception hall on the left and is 17x19 feet circular at one side, forming a bay window. The combination of rooms allow an opportunity of throwing the parlor, reception hall, side hall, library and dining room into one large room for reception purposes.
  • The second floor has five large bed rooms, bath room, linen closet and den. The attic is one large room plastered and floored making a large playroom for the children, with light and ventilation from four sides.

The Hayward family lived here until 1915, they sold the house and relocated from the city of Marion. In 1921 the Marion Board of Education bought this home and renovated it to make it usable as the city High School. It served as a high school from 1921 until 1938.

In 1943 it was purchased for the purposed of being Marion and Crittenden County's first, and much needed, hospital. The building was once again renovated and made usable as a hospital. It housed the local hospital until 1972.

Since that time it has sit empty, with staircases and fixtures being stolen or sold. As each day goes by the honorable old building decays more. This old building has served it's community well, first as a stately home to a loving family, then a notable school for educating our young people, and last a much needed hospital for the care of our citizens. What a shame it has to end its life of service in this manner.

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