The City of Marlette was founded in the 1850's. In 1859, Marlette Township was created from what was then Sanilac & Buel Townships. The cores of the businesses were located on Main Street and the intersection with the Marlette Road. The major trunk line (M-53) runs north/south through the city. Marlette is located 21 miles north of Imlay City, 19 miles Southwest of Sandusky, the county seat, and about 80 miles North of Detroit. Marlette is located in the southwest portion of Sanilac County, which is the Heart of the Michigan thumb. Marlette derived its name from the name Marlatt, found carved on the end log of a shanty built across from the Rudd farm, which was located just North of what is now the Marlette City limit.
In the mid-1800's a few settlers began coming to the area as a result of stories that circulated in Ontario. The stories told of tall timber and fertile soil that were almost free for the asking.
In 1854 the first government claim was made on land which is known as section 2, town 10 of Marlette.
In 1856, a committee petitioned the county board of supervisors to have a portion of Sanilac County set aside as a township, it was decided to choose the name of a non-resident. A farmer suggested Marlette because he found "Marlatt" carved on the end of a log shanty across from his property.
The name was carved by two brothers, who along with their mother came from Ontario to build a mill in the area but were unable to complete their plans and returned to Canada.
Marlatt was the name of the mother and one of her sons. "Marlatt" later became Marlette Township.
Recognition of Marlette as a village came in 1865 and incorporated in 1881. We became a city in 1984.
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