Established in the 1830s, early settlers of Marlin suffered numerous attacks, with out-numbered colonists often on the losing side. Sites of such conflicts are marked about the town. In the early 1890s, drillers struck a hot artesian well whose curative qualities made Marlin a spa and health resort for thousands who came to bathe in the "miracle" waters.
Today, the water is again leading the way as residents investigate the promise of geothermal energy. A hospital and the Chamber of Commerce are heated by hot spring water. In 1903, the city built a municipal health center on the site of the first hot artesian well drilled in 1893. The pavilion became a popular gathering place for the townspeople and visitors who gathered for the "healing" waters. The Main Street program has renovated the pavilion including the building of a hot mineral water foot bath for weary visitors.
The Brazos Rehab & Fitness Center offers hot mineral water therapy using the famous Marlin mineral water.
The historic downtown area features quaint turn-of-the-century storefront buildings where shoppers find antique shops and other stores. The Palace Theatre Association produces live shows throughout the year in the restored Vaudeville-era theater.
Marlin is a vacation area with excellent fishing and golf. Two miles west of the city, Falls on the Brazos Park offers fishing, canoeing, swimming and camping.
Bed and breakfast accommodations are available in some of the historic buildings.