History is made in Marshall

Marshall embraces its historic past while remaining committed to economic growth and innovative technology.


Due to its prime location, Marshall was set up for success when it was founded in 1830 by brothers Sidney and George Ketchum. To give you reference, Calhoun County was established in 1829 and Marshall was made the county seat in 1831. Most settlements at that time were founded for agricultural or industrial reasons, but the Ketchum brothers dreamed of a community of professional politicians, doctors, lawyers, and businessmen.

As a major stop on the stagecoach route and then the switching station for the powerful Michigan Central Railroad, Marshall has a rich transportation history.

In 1835 two early Marshall residents, Isaac Crary and Rev. John Pierce, developed a public school system for Michigan which became a model for the country.

Adam Crosswhite was an escaped slave who arrived in Marshall with his family in 1844 by following the Underground Railroad.

Shortly after its founding, the thriving town was expected to become the capital of Michigan, but lost to Lansing in 1847.

Many creative and successful thinkers have come from Marshall, including authors, inventors, and restauranteurs.

Harold Brooks began the preservation movement in the late 1920’s, only he called it “city beautification.” He bought, restored and then sold at least 20 key structures. He also gave a prize for the best garden in town.

Marshall has eight museums that you can explore, each with different displays for you to look at and interesting stories to hear.

The Marshall National Historic Landmark District comprises an outstanding collection of remarkably intact nineteenth and early twentieth century architecture in a small-scale American city.

Explore Marshall by following a self-guided historic walk, visiting town for the annual Historic Home Tour, or in other fun and unique ways.

Today, Marshall continues to embrace its historic past while remaining committed to economic growth. When you visit, we’re sure you will agree…History is made in Marshall!