Mackinac Island Fudge began the journey to fame in the summer of 1887, the same year the famous Grand Hotel opened for business. The Mackinac Island is located at the Straits of Mackinac where the two Great Lakes, Michigan and Huron, meet. The Mackinac Island is also famous for its transportation system, which consists only of horse-drawn carriages and bicycles.
In 1887 the Mackinac Island became an important resort and vacation center in Michigan. Sailing vessels and large passenger steam ships made regular stops and the passengers would swarm through the shops buying gifts and souvenirs. Seeing this success, Henry F. Murdick and his son Newton Jerome (Rome), sail makers and boat builders by trade, opened the Mackinac Island's first candy store. This marked the entry of chocolate candy, gourmet chocolate, chocolate fudge, white chocolate, peanut butter fudge, homemade candy, homemade fudge, Mackinac Island fudge and Mackinaw Island fudge and its varieties to swarm in this market.
Our founder, Jim Marshall, was born and educated on the Mackinac Island and his ancestry dates back to the early 1820's. His great-grandfather, William Anthony Marshall (pictured), was commissioned commander of Old Fort Mackinac during the Civil War. The original Marshall home, built by Commander William Anthony, remains on the Mackinac Island to this day, owned and occupied by the Marshall family.
During the late 1800's, Jim's Grandfather, William Marshall II was assigned as the first light keeper of Round Island Lighthouse (pictured) near Mackinac Island on Lake Huron. May be this was from where the Mackinac Island Fudge got its name from. William II was later assigned to White Shoal Lighthouse on Lake Michigan to the west. Jim began his candy career in 1923 working for Rome and his son Gould Murdick where he worked for many years perfecting his candy making skills. Jim also traveled with Gould's brother Jerold to state fairs, boat shows, county fairs, and other off-season events around the State making and selling famous Mackinac Island Fudge.
In 1952, Jim, his wife Oradelle and their son Dean opened their first candy store under the name Marshall's Driftwood Fudge on the Island's Main Street. Those were days in which homemade candy's only existed. Jerold gave Jim the Murdick's blessing with the gift of a copper kettle and a gas fired stove. In 1954, Jim and family moved to St. Ignace and opened their second store, renamed "Marshall's Mackinac Trail Fudge" (the first fudge shop in St. Ignace). By 1962, the family had added six more stores throughout the Straits area. They have also expanded their variety of chocolates, fudge and candy offered to chocolate candy, gourmet chocolate, chocolate fudge, white chocolate peanut butter fudge, homemade candy, homemade fudge, Mackinac Island fudge, Mackinaw Island fudge.
Today, the family (now 3rd generation) owns and operates a 6,000 sq. foot facility in downtown Mackinaw City, where the tradition of quality and great handmade candy making continues.