On August 28th, 1972, the Governing Body of Marysville passed legislation
protecting the black squirrel and making it the Official Town Mascot. It has the
freedom to trespass on all City property, immunity from traffic regulations and the first
pick of all black walnuts growing within the city.
Entering Marysville from any direction, there are signs proclaiming, "Marysville,
Kansas - Black Squirrel City." Be on the lookout when driving around town for the
black squirrel has the right-of-way on all streets, alleys and railroad crossings. The
fine is $25 for harming one.
The exclusive profusion of black squirrels in Marysville is a curious phenomenon. The
most likely explanation involves a traveling carnival which passed through town in the 1920's
and stayed for a few days in the City's park. Among the carnival exhibits was a cage
full of black squirrels. One night a child opened the cage and the squirrels escaped.
Since then, the squirrels have increased their ranks. About 1/5th of Marysville's
squirrel population is now black. Whatever the reason for their presence in Marysville,
residents and passersby seem to love them.
Many residents have squirrel boxes attached to their trees, fence posts and porches.
The community thinks they are beautiful and some think they bring good luck.
One of the best places to look for black squirrels is in our City Park. These little
bundles of energy are most active just after dawn and in the late afternoon. Their
highways are the power lines that run through the town. They can cover a lot of territory
safely by running over these lines, stopping at favorite trees here and there. They
love to sleep and sun themselves on high branches during the day, but often come to earth to
forage in the shade.