History in the Hills

The historic Elgin Hotel will transport you back in time with its Victorian-era antiques and charm.


In the middle of the Flint Hills is the small town of Marion, and in the middle of Marion is the Elgin, a historic hotel. The Elgin is a three-story limestone building that was commissioned in 1885 and built a year later to stimulate an economic boom. It proved to be more symbolic of the small town’s aspirations than its achievements. But the Elgin is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been given a new life thanks to current owners Jeremy and Tammy Ensey, who purchased the property in July 2016. 

While the windows and the limestone building itself are the only original attributes that remain intact, The Enseys restored some of the Elgin’s original Victorian charm by replacing many of the furnishings with antiques and replica items. Prior to the Enseys purchasing the property, its previous owners, Jim and Nancy Cloutier, spent almost two million dollars renovating the hotel’s interior to what it might have looked like in the late 1800s with dark woodwork, stained glass, transom windows, chandeliers, and more. “It was their [The Cloutier’s] vision to restore it,” Tammy says. “And then it became our vision to run it.”

On our visit, things were quiet—they handed me the keys and went home for the night. While retaining its period charm, the hotel now offers several modern amenities, like smart TVs, wifi, jacuzzi tubs, a full-service bar and a restaurant. A separate limestone building in the back of the property that was once a changing room in the early twentieth century has been converted to a game lounge with billiards, a poker table, darts and leather sofas. 

“We try to mix the modern amenities with the antiques,” Tammy says. “We know it’s not comfortable to sleep in an antique bed. But when we put in the library on the third floor, we tried to keep that old-world feel with the old-style wood.”

GO: 115 N. Third St., Marion. Typical rates start at $140. historicelginhotel.com.