Marquette’s Grand Old Man of the Pacific

This house, located at 343 E. Arch Street in Marquette once belonged to Robert Dollar.

The Robert Dollar Home today

Captain Robert Dollar (1844-1932) was a Scottish lumberman who produced timber for the English market. He came to Marquette from Canada in 1882 and soon after built this home. He only remained until 1888, however, when he moved to San Rafael, California due to ill health and the difficult winters.

In California, Dollar became a prominent lumberman and ship-owner and pioneered trade between North America and the Orient. He was given the honorary title of “Captain.” In 1914, he was considered one of the fifty greatest men in the United States, even being featured in Time Magazine. When he died in 1932 at the age of 88, he was affectionately known as the “Grand Old Man of the Pacific.” At the time of his death, California Governor James Rolph Jr. said, “Robert Dollar has done more in his lifetime to spread the American flag on the high seas than any man in this country.” His fortune upon his passing was estimated at more than $40 million.

Although Dollar remained in Upper Michigan for only a short time, his legacy resulted in the town of Dollarville, Michigan, where he once worked as the general manager of a logging camp, being named for him. His memoirs discuss his time in the Upper Peninsula and can be read at:

A full biography of Dollar, including the names of his numerous ships, can be found in his entry at Wikipedia:

For more about Marquette’s historical homes and their fascinating residents, read My Marquette.

Explore posts in the same categories: Marquette History, Marquette's Historical Homes, Upper Michigan History

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