History of Newport Academy

Built in 1847 for Emily Ward, founder of Newport Academy, by her brother Eber Brock Ward.

Original location was on the northwest corner of South Main and Washington Streets, Marine City.
Moved to present location in 1870 for use as the Village Hall. Contract to move the building went to John Bell for $147.00. Cost of repairs and upgrades to the building was $121.00.
Served as the first Village Hall on the upper floor, and jail on the ground floor, from 1870 to 1889.
During this period the building was used for:

1. Marine City Council Meetings

2. Police Station and jail.

3. Justice of the Peace Court

4. Cotterville Township elections

5. Lectures

From 1889 to 1908 the building was used for:
Presbyterian Church
Organizing St. John’s Evangelical Church
Niagara Hose Co. #2. The hose company became responsible for the building after the Presbyteriabn Church left. A two wheel hose cart was stored downstairs. The hose house was where the annex is today.
Upstairs was redecorated and a hardwood oak floor was put in for dances and other social events.
After 1908 the building stood empty for several years.
During World War One. the Red Cross used the building.
During the 1920’s and 1930’s it was used as an elememtary school for the Marine City public school system, because of a fire.
In 1939 the Marine City Library was moved from the City Hall to this building, where it remained until 1982.
The building became a museum in 1983.
The annex was added in 1992.
The Diorama was started in 2000, representing how the Belle River looked in 1885.
The Kellog Blacksmith Shop was built in 2003.
A rebuilding project was started in 2005. It represe