Photo provided by the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission

Looking Back: Miller Marina, St. Clair Shores

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published June 12, 2021


ST. CLAIR SHORES — In the early 1930s, William C. Miller was running a small motor repair shop in St. Clair Shores. He soon turned to selling outboard motors and acquiring land. In 1934, he opened Miller Marina, building a dock with 2x4s and planks and renting out fishing boats. He constructed a seawall across the outer end of the harbor and got truckers who were hauling rubble from Detroit to bring it to the harbor. “Rubble from elimination of streetcar tracks in Detroit, the old city hall and Hudson Motor Co. soon became seawalls of the St. Clair Shores harbors…” according to a 1969 newspaper article on Miller.

When Miller died in 1969, suggestions were solicited for a proper memorial. In 1971, a navigation light was first illuminated on the top of the 28-story Shore Club apartments building. Named the William C. Miller Memorial Beacon, it honors the man who opened the first marina in St. Clair Shores.

The Miller family also operated Shore Boat Harbor and still runs Miller Marina today, at 24770 Jefferson Avenue.

This undated photograph from the marina shows lakeside cabins and a wooden boat.

To view this and other historic photographs, visit the Digital Archives at

— Submitted by Heidi Christein, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library