The Jay House, owned by the Marion Public Library, is a two-story brick house located at 118 W. 7th Street, on the northeast corner of 7th and Boots Street.
The house was built in 1888 by Abijah C. Jay, a prominent citizen in Marion and Grant County. Mr. Jay played a significant role in obtaining a gift in 1901 from Andrew Carnegie to build a public library in Marion. He held several offices in public service and was a Commissioner of Grant County at the time the present Court House was built; his name appears on the cornerstone.
The gabled Jay House is a fine example of the Queen Anne style of Victorian architecture. The front porch has been altered which resulted in the removal of the original Moorish-arched trim as shown in the picture, but otherwise few exterior alterations have occurred. The interior features a beautiful open staircase, original woodwork, elegant mantelpieces, and hardwood floors.
The property was originally purchased by Marion Public Library in 1990 to provide library parking, but the quality of the structure and its significance to our local history have resulted in the effort to preserve the Jay House and to use it as a part of the Library’s historical and cultural services. The house will provide a location for the Community History Project, meeting room space for community events, and additional space for historical purposes.
Additional grant assistance will be sought to complete rehabilitation of the Jay House.