Rich in Maritime Heritage

Marine City est. 1865 was the largest ship building community on the lakes, located North of Detroit and South of Lake Huron. The land had been Ojibwa territory for centuries before European contact occurred after the American Revolution. The land was deeded to settlers by the Chippewa indians in the 1780's. The American's deemed the town "Yankee Point" because most of the settlers arrived there from New England. The settlement was also known as "Belle River" which is now the name of a Marine City neighborhood. 

Although never incorporated under the name, Marine City was platted as "Newport" in 1835 and it was known as "Newport" for 31 years. In 1865, it was incorporated as the Village of Marine City and was reincorporated as a city in 1887 after significant growth as a result of the booming lumber and commodity trade.  

Growth of the lumber and shipping sector brought many workers to Marine City. The St. Clair river was teeming with lumber filled rafts ready to be worked in Marine City or Detroit. Shipyards were bustling constructing ships that would cross the Great Lakes many times over. Steamers brought passengers from village to village. Marine City's picturesque location centered on a park on the river drew Great Lakes captains to call Marine City home with their families. 

Later, as the lumber industry began to slow in the region, Marine City ships carried iron ore on a route from Minnesota to Ohio. Many of the captains that called Marine City home worked for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. 


Marine City is a border town on the mighty St. Clair River, directly across from our great northern neighbors in Sombra, Ontario, Canada. Visiting there is easy from Marine City- we have ferry service catering to vehicles, bicycles, and even pedestrians- you can’t walk to Canada from just anywhere, but you can from Marine City! Stateside, Marine City is just 15 short minutes off of the I-94/26 mile road exit - we're a great day trip destination from anywhere in Metro Detroit!


You’ll find art, gifts, and accessories at our quaint shops, both in the historic waterfront shopping district and along the M-29 corridor. Antique hunters will be in heaven here in Marine City with over a dozen antique shops alone!


Now let’s talk about entertainment! Yes, Marine City has two live theaters and two movie theaters. At the Snug and Riverbank Theatres, treat yourself to a classic musical, funny play, children's puppet show, or acting workshop. The Mariner Theater offers classic movies, independent films and documentaries while the Riverside Cinemas offers new releases. Both use state-of-the-art equipment to bring you the best sound and picture. We have free riverfront concerts, festivals and shows, and even a BEACH! Kids are welcome and shoes are optional. We have summer parades, but we also have a winter parade, holiday activities and an annual holiday home tour to put you into the Christmas spirit.


Maybe you’d like strolling one of our two museums, taking a tour, swimming in the cool, fast waters of the very blue St. Clair River or throwing in a fishing line. Good news! We have those, too. Maybe a romantic getaway or girl’s weekend is what you’re looking for. How does a 19th century Bed & Breakfast sound? Maybe a spa treatment would fit your bill- it’s all here.


When you visit Marine City, make sure you come hungry! Whether it’s fresh Great Lakes fish, sizzling steaks, specialty candies or yummy baked goods, local options for dining abound both on and off the water. Several of our restaurants offer spectacular river views and are just steps away from five waterfront parks and two swimming areas.

So, bring your boat, bring your kids, bring your appetites- Marine City combines the warmth of a small waterfront town with amenities you’ll love. This is Marine City- we’re yours to enjoy, so come - come to the river! Contact the Chamber of Commerce and we'll help you make your trip unforgettable!

Looking for the perfect place to visit...or call home?


The communities within the Marine City Area have something special whether you're a guest or resident. To learn more, visit their government websites                                     or give the Chamber a call.

China Township | East China | Cottrellville | Marine City