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Long dependent upon a small shingle mill, the city has benefited in recent years from development of a large oyster bed. An oyster cannery now furnishes seasonal employment to residents of the community.

Presently, Ocean Spray operates a large bottling plant, producing juice from the large cranberry harvests nearby.

The city’s name is for Simon Sterling Markham, a pioneer dairyman and cattle breeder who settled there in 1870 after spending over twenty years in Oregon. He originally came from Ohio.