Established in the 1830s, Marlin suffered numerous conflicts with Native Americans, with outnumbered settlers often on the losing side. Sites of such conflicts are marked. In the early 1890s, drillers struck a hot artesian well that became the center of a spa and health resort for thousands who came to bathe in the curative "miracle" waters. The Main Street program has renovated the site of the first hot artesian well drilled in 1893, including building a hot mineral-water foot bath. The historic downtown area features quaint turn-of-the-century stores offering antiques and other goods. The Palace Theatre Association produces live shows throughout the year in a restored Vaudeville-era theater. Bed-and-breakfast accommodations are available in historic buildings.