For generations, the 100 and 200 blocks of South Washington Avenue was the center of Saginaw’s entertainment district. Performers who graced the stages of the Academy of Music, Jeffers Theatre, The Auditorium, and other nearby theaters provided a brisk market for nearby hotel rooms. For several years the Marshall House, located on the northwest corner of German [is known today as Federal] and Franklin, catered to the demands of the entertainers.
Named after an early proprietor, Marshall G. Smith, the Marshall house had 120 rooms. Although in his history of Saginaw County James C. Mills notes that it was a successful business, it seems to have undergone numerous changes of management. The trade card that accompanies these pieces, notes that it had reopened April 1, 1896; however, within a couple of years, it would have a new manager. And, by July 1902 Col Michael Jeffers, owner of the adjacent Jeffers Theater had acquired the building and announced that he planned to convert it into special apartments for vaudeville performers appearing at the Jeffers Theater. However, by October of that year, the YMCA was considering the building as a new home and by November they abandoned the plan. In 1910, it was remodeled and became the Foresters Temple.
Our special exhibit, Stories of Saginaw’s Silver Screens: Saginaw County Movie Theaters, has closed to make room for our next exhibit; however, much like the Marshall, it will return for another engagement in May.