Located near the border of Louisiana and Arkansas, Marshall (population 23,935) was founded in 1841 as the seat of Harrison County. In the 1870s, the community became the headquarters for the Texas and Pacific (T&P) Railroad and became the "Gateway to Texas."
Once threatened with demolition, the historic T&P depot now houses an Amtrak station and railroad museum. Its rehabilitation is among the projects developed under the city's historic preservation plan, which was adopted in 2001.
Among them, the former public library now houses the Chamber of Commerce, an historic automobile dealership has been transformed into a business incubator, and an historic department store has reopened as a retail cooperative.
In the past year, 15 properties in the historic downtown have been under renovation, including the Hotel Marshall (1925), which has stood vacant for 30 years.
The city is also working to revitalize New Town, an African-American neighborhood that is home to Wiley College, the oldest African-American college west of the Mississippi.
To promote its heritage assets, Marshall participates in the heritage tourism initiatives of the Texas Historical Commission's Texas Forest Trail Region.
Designated a Preserve America Community in May 2004.