Marshall was founded in 1830 by land speculator Sydney Ketchum of Peru, Clinton County, New York. It’s named after the U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall of Virginia, one of the longest serving and most influential justices to sit on the Supreme Court. In 1847, state politicians were determining where to put the state capital, while many local politicians fought hard to make Marshall the capital even laying out a tract of land calling it “Capital Hill”. Unfortunately, Marshall lost by one vote to the undeveloped land in the center of the state soon to be named Lansing. Marshall Capital Hill, south of downtown is now the oldest county fair grounds in the state.
Southern Michigan and Marshall’s architectural influence was based on the New England & New York heritage favoring Federal Style and Greek Revival which was at the height of fashion and most popular with Marshall builders.
From inception, Marshall has served well as the midpoint between Detroit & Chicago allowing for excellent travel accommodations. An important Stagecoach stop then by 1844 railroad travel.
Marshall today, is a quaint small town full of renewed energy and charm. We have several impressively kept historic museums and homes, unique shops, and breweries & wine tasting. Additionally, for the nature lovers, we have a 1.6 mile River Walk along the spectacular Kalamazoo River also accessible by boat, canoe or kayak.