This house was likely built in stages between around 1855 and 1885 and reflects the prominence of David and Laura Rice Lester. David Lester (1823-1890), a shipbuilder, a ship owner, and a salt producer, played a key role in Marine City's economic and civic development. As a young man he scouted timberland for shipping magnate Eber Brock Ward. Then, in 1855, Lester built the FORREST, the first vessel constructed at his own Marine City shipyard. Nearly two decades later thousands of people attended launch of the 233-foot steamer V.H. KETCHUM, the largest ship on the Great Lakes at the time. Lester and his brother Philander built 62 ships and helped make Marine City an important shipbuilding center.