"The Mill that Changed the North"
In the autumn of 1838 Illinois lumbermen David Hone and Lewis Judd arrived in the St. Croix River valley. Attracted by the area's abundant forests, they selected this site to build a sawmill and named it after their hometown, Marine, Illinois. Less than one year later on Aug. 24, 1839, the Marine Lumber Company became the first commercial sawmill in what was to become the State of Minnesota.
In 1885 a huge log jam, tornado damage and a low-water summer combined with the strains of a bad economy caused the sawmill to close. By 1895, after a few years of intermittent operation, the mill closed permanently. Today what remains are portions of the stone engine house and large wheel dating from 1873 as well as the stream that powered the mill.