History of Marysville

In 1843, Edward P. Vickery purchased land from Cummings Sanborn and erected a sawmill at the point where Mud Creek flowed into the St. Clair River, near the foot of the present Huron Boulevard.  He named his operation Vickery’s Landing.  As the settlement grew larger, it was renamed Vicksburg.  In 1859 the name was changed to Marysville, after Nelson Mill’s wife Mary.  Vickery sold his mill in 1852 to Lewis Brockway and Horace E. Bunce, who in turn sold it in 1854 to Nathan Reeves, Myron Williams and Nelson Mills.  Mills became the sole owner in 1862.  Nelson Mills operated three specialized mills on the St. Clair River near the mouth of Mud Creek.  These continued to function until about 1900.  The Williams-Mills operation was the largest enterprise in Marysville up until the arrival of C.H. Mills.

From 1853 to 1883, Vicksburg was also a shipbuilding town.  Myron Williams built the following schooners; Marry-88 tons and the Mary Williams-88 tons.  These small schooners were built to transport lumber from Vicksburg to Detroit and other Lake Erie ports.  In 1862 Williams built the schooner Emeline- 121 tons and in 1864 the tug Tawas.

Following the lumber era from 1900 to 1919, Marysville was a quiet little village extending from the river west to what is now Michigan Avenue.  There was no industry at that time, but there was a rapid transit system to Detroit and Port Huron.

In 1919, C. Harold Wills, a millionaire motor car engineer from Detroit, changed the face of the village.  Within two years his “Dream City” had become a reality.  New streets were laid out and new homes built.  C.H. Wills and Company built a factory to produce the Wills Sainte Clair (from1921 to 1926) Automobile, whose design and engine were far ahead of its time.  Unfortunately, due to the high cost of production and a severe economic depression, the operation failed.  The building Wills had constructed was later purchased by Chrysler Corporation and houses the Mopar operation there today.

Marysville was first made  a village in the year 1919 and then as a fifth class city in 1924 under the city manager form of government.  The population has grown steadily and is approximately 9,959 today.  New businesses have sprung up in the area, attracted by our fine school system, efficient police and fire departments and excellent municipal services.

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