Built in 1884 at a cost of $12,300, this edifice has served continuously as the seat of local government. Marine City was incorporated as the village of Marine in 1865. It became Marine City in 1867. The first village president was David Lester, a prominent shipbuilder. Shipbuilding was the principal industry for about half a century, employing several hundred men. During the era of wooden ships, this city was one of the largest ship building centers in the Great Lakes area, with an output of nearly 250 vessels by 1900. The discovery of salt on Catholic Point in 1882 proved to be another prosperous business with major salt companies springing up as a result of this important find.