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Marne, Michigan is an unincorporated locality in lower Wright Township, in the northeast portion of Ottawa County.

As an unincorporated community, there are no defined boundaries for Marne, but its location includes the area off exit 23 on Interstate 96, and would encompass a portion of the area just north of I-9, and south along 18th Avenue and Sand Creek.

Incorporated cities and villages within twenty miles of Marne include Walker, Coopersville, Grandville, Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Sparta, Ravenna, East Grand Rapids, Hudsonville, Kent City, Casnovia, Rockford, Fruitport, and Spring Lake, and the unincorporated communities of Herrington, Reno, Wright, Grand Valley, Conklin, Comstock Park, and Lisbon are within ten miles.

Although it is based in Coopersville, the Coopersville & Marne Railway is a historic railroad operating vintage locomotives and 1920s-era rail cars from Coopersville to Marne, running passenger trains from spring to winter. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the railway trains volunteers in operating and repairing railroad equipment. The railway owns about fourteen miles of track between Coopersville and Grand Rapids, connecting with the Grand Rapids Eastern Railroad, CSX and Grand Elk through an exchange at Walker. It also hauls freight for customers along the seven miles of track between Marne and Grand Rapids.

Marne also serves as a trailhead for the Muketawa Trail, a rail-trail along the Muskegon, Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad line from Marne to Muskegon.

Although unincorporated, Marne is one of the oldest communities in the county. The first documented European-American settler was Justin Walker, who came in 1838 or 1839, around the time that the township was surveyed. By 1840, several other settlers came, including Syphrus Waters, John McLain, Leonard Roberts, Charley Roberts, Edson Fuller, Charles Dumming, William P. Wells, Perley Lawton, Irene Wellmen, Jason Parmenter, John Wasson, Charley Buch, Timothy Lillie, Edward Streeter, W.J. Lillibridge, Orren McClure, A.I. Clayton, H.C. McDermott, William Averill, Edward N. Pierce, and Albert Parker, most of whom came to work in the lumber industry.

A few years later, a man by the name of Ford constructed a dam on Sand Creek to power a sawmill and a gristmill. These mills later were acquired by Ira Cole, and others but, at some point, the creek diminished in size and was no longer able to provide sufficient power.

The village itself arose on land largely owned by Mr. Ford and Enos Morgan. Originally, the community was known as Berlin, as many of its early settlers had come from Germany.

Other early businesses included a wagon making shop operated by Sam Everhardt, a harness making shop run by William Monroe, and another sawmill.

A post office was established as Berlin on September 23, 1852, with George W. Woodward as postmaster. However, due to anti-German sentiment resulting from World War I, its name was changed to Marne on June 5, 1919, commemorating the Battle of Marne, in which many American soldiers participated. The name Berlin persists in the community in several ways, such as the Berlin Raceway, the Berlin Fairgrounds, Berlin Fair Drive, and the Berlin Baptist Church.

Topics related to the community of Marne, Michigan are the focus of this category, so appropriate resources include websites representing governmental offices, such as Wright Township, and local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, and recreational opportunities, as well as informational sites featuring the community.



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