When work began on the first Welland Canal it was necessary to obtain a better water supply as ships neared Port Robinson on the Welland River. In 1829 a Feeder Canal was dug between the Welland Canal and Dunnville, along the Grand River. The canal workers, many of them Irish immigrants settled their families on land close by and several small communities developed.
The Village of Marshville was the largest community within the township of Wainfleet by 1830. The village, situated along the banks of the Feeder Canal boasted a town hall, schoolhouse, church, a mill, a post office, a hotel, a blacksmith shop and several stores.
One of the earliest settlers to the area was Edward Lee who was born in the county of Monaghan, Ireland on the 4th of November, 1811. In 1826 Edward immigrated to Ontario. At the time of his arrival work had begun on the Welland Ship Canal and the young Edward Lee was able to view the first two ships, one an American and one a Canadian, that passed through the canal.
In the fall of 1832 Edward Lee, under the guidance of William Hamilton Merritt settled in Marshville. At the time there were limited roads and the only inhabitants in the area were the labourers building the feeder canal. The area was a dense wilderness of swamp and forest.
Edward Lee proceeded to build a cabin that would serve as the very first mercantile business in the area. Much of the land was drained producing fertile farmland. In 1837 Edward married Margaret Hershey of Bertie Twp. and together they would raise five children.
Around 1866 Mr. Lee was appointed Justice of the Peace and worked as the Post master for Marshville for 45 years. Edward Lee passed away at his home in Marshville on April 5th, 1887 at the age of 76.
Eventually a hotel built by Alex Lattimore was situated across from Edward Lees Mercantile. The hotel had big verandahs on the east and north side and many of the area workers and farmers found this a good location to congregate and share the news of the day.
A livery stable was built to house the horses of the guests that would stay of the Hotel. Charles Fritz, a wagon maker from Germany operated a wagon makers shop. The first post office in Marshville was in a store owned by J. Graybiel, who also was the Post Master.
Next to the store was a flour and grist mill. The mill which was several storeys high was powered by water from the Feeder Canal.
The first school in the village was built of logs and was east of Edward Lee's store on the south side of the Feeder Canal.
Some of the earliest settlers to Marshville included; Graybiel, Lee, Lattimore, Jones, Brown, Gifford, Cooper, Leeder, Pentelow,Simpson, Henderson, MacOuet, Haymes, Overholt, Fralick, Haun, Dayboll and Owens.
There were also several black families, descandants of escaped slaves who found work on the Welland Feeder Canal. Some of their names were Bright, Flowers, Wilson, Williams and Brown.