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Paint the Town 

$1,500 Matching Grant

The Historical Society has offered mini matching grants for several years now. It started with the $200 grants for applicants to get help with supplies and paint for exterior work on their homes. Later the amount rose to $500 per matching grant for "Paint the Town" grants. Many people and including business owners took advantage of these grants and we could see a definite uptick in the appearance of the buildings.

Later, the Gingerbread Grants were initiated and these were for more extensive work where owners needed to repair or install architectural details to the exterior of the building. We have given out 5 of these to date!

Applications for the Paint the Town Project can be downloaded here or obtained from LumberJack in Marine City. All projects must be completed by the end of October that year, although extensions may be applied for.

The recipient can match the grant by:

1) Providing more supplies (receipts will be required)

2) In-Kind labor (description required)

3) A combination of both

To apply, fill out the application and mail to:

Historical Society of Marine City

P.O. Box 23, Marine City, MI 48039

The winners will be announced at Maritime Days on August 4th!

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The buildings pictured here have been recipients of both Paint the Town and Gingerbread grants for a total of $5,500 in beautification support.

The Historic Marine City Hall Maintenance Endowment Fund


The Historic City Hall Maintenance Endowment Fund has been created by the Historical Society of Marine City and its purpose remains as such providing the property ownership is retained by the City of Marine City. Any funds requested will be directed to the Historical Society of Marine City and managed by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.

Our first goal is to raise $250,000 in the next 3 years and to date has already received $25,000 even though we have barely begun the effort.

The new Endowment Fund will be chaired by Georgia Phelan and assisted by Heather Bokram. They are currently in the Silent Phase of the project, and have been meeting with all the major nonprofits in town as well as the Chamber of Commerce, The Notary, The Lions Club, and The Washington Life Center.

The next phase will be to meet with individuals and then finally get the information out to the general public. More information will come out in early Summer 2024.




Mackinac Island Giveaway Fundraiser


Support the Historical Society and purchase a raffle ticket for a Mackinac Island Getaway!

* Raffle tickets are $20 each and we're only selling 300 tickets!

* The Winner will receive a $1,500 gift certificate to the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island Mi - good through 2025!

* Winning ticket will be drawn during Marine City's Maritime Days on August 4th.

* You can buy tickets by calling 810-765-3567 or purchasing at one of our local shops - VeraGrace & Etta Mae's

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Historic Walking Tour

Do you know the history of this town? What better way than to walk the town and take in the sights. Walking Tour Books can be picked up at the Marine City Area Chamber of Commerce.


About the Author: Judith Ann White is a graduate of Wayne State University, BA and the University of Michigan, MA. She was Professor of Humanities at Macomb Community College for 32 years where she taught Instructor Humanities courses and Art History. Since retiring, she has done volunteer work for several non-profits including the Marine City Chamber of Commerce, the Marine City Historical Commission, the Friends of City Hall, and the Marine City Music Festival, Inc. Her interests include travel, cooking, antiques, 19th century architecture, photography, and classical music.


Outdoor Maritime Museum


Original photo of  The Carrier Ship.

18-Ships Mosaic in the Parks-006 - Copy.

Mosaic of The Carrier in Marine City.

Nine years ago Heather Bokram created eight drawings of 8 different wood hulled ships built in Marine City in the 1800’s. At that time Marine City was a very busy hub for ship building and one of the major industries in the town. Pride and Heritage Museum is well worth a visit to see their Diorama of the large number of shipyards that peppered the banks of the Belle River during the 1800’s and into the mid 1900’s.

These drawings were to be converted to large mosaics and be a part of a project called the Mariners Maze. That project unfortunately proved to be so expensive that the Historical Society did not feel they could ever be able to succeed in carrying it out. Maybe in the future! Two summers ago, Laura Scaccia of The Mariner Theater, and Joyce Milaszewski of JGM Property Group, both approached the society and encouraged us to find a way to display the Mosaics in our downtown parks, also offering to become major donors. Simultaneously, an anonymous donor from the Port Huron area, also wished to become a donor and see this project fulfilled. We were more than delighted with these wonderful offers.


The real work began in earnest! The drawings were enlarged and sent to an expert in crafting complex mosaics. The search for such a person was no easy feat, but finally we found the talented fingers of Allison Eden, in Brooklyn, New York City. She worked on the eight mosaics over the next 12 months and did a wonderful job. She created movement in the sky and the water with her artistic curving lines of the colored glass pieces. The extremely detailed rigging, down to the fine elements of the superstructure and figures on the ships, faithfully replicated the artist’s images.

Then a second search began to find the right person to do the actual work of creating the best way to display these Mosaic murals in our waterfront parks. We interviewed 3 businesses and after careful consideration, chose Jeff Ward of the Jeff Ward Construction Company, who not only understood immediately what we were
trying to accomplish, but also agreed to put in the mosaics for us.


This was an enormous undertaking requiring an expert who could work with aggregate cement and glass tiling, and whose work would become part of the art project itself. It took several days a week over the next month to complete the platforms and install the Mosaics. You can follow the steps taken by looking at the photos.


All that was left to do was to put the finishing touches into the landscaping. We feel a great sense of achievement in succeeding to get this project finished and are most grateful to all our donors and to all the people who worked so hard to get the Ships Mosaics in the Parks completed.


Major Donors are: Laura Scaccia, Joyce Milaszewski, an anonymous donor, Sherrill Zimmer and Heather Bokram.

We still have 3 ship mosaics available for adoption. They are, The Northerner, The R G Coburn and The Maude. To adopt a ship for your family, for your organization, or in memoriam for a loved one, the cost is $4,000.00. A bronze plaque will be made to your specifications and no other name can be placed with that Ship Mosaic.
A second way to adopt a Ship Mosaic is to share it with 3 other donors at a cost of $1,000.00 for each of 4 people. Four one line plaques will be designed for each name and placed together with the surnames in alphabetical order.

Check it out on EBW.TV - Local Artist Adds Beauty to Marine City Riverfront.

See the phases of design for each Marine City Ship -

Original photo - Painting - Mosaic

Construction Process of the Mosaics in the Parks.

Other Projects Enhancing Marine City


The Historical Society also maintains and beautifies Drake Park's amphitheater and landscaping, as well as Watchman Park's landscaping and sculpture.  We are also proud to participate with Save City Hall, Heritage Days, and MerryTime Christmas Parade. 


Email us if you're interested in volunteering!

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