Emily Ward established the Newport Academy about 1845 to provide educational opportunities for area children. Miss Ward was a niece of Samual Ward, the founder of Newport (now Marine City), and the sister of Eber Brock Ward, a shipping magnate and wealthy steel industrialist. She conducted the academy for about twenty years. This structure, erected in 1847, was one of the first school buildings in the community. The city bought it in 1868 and moved it from a nearby corner to its present location in 1870. It has served as both a private and public school, a village hall and jail, a hose house and a church. The Marine City Public Library has occupied this structure since 1939.