The famous explorer and navigator Captain James Cook was born to James and Grace Cook in a clay-built cottage in the village of East Marton in 1728, and he lived for a short time in the village, until the family moved to Great Ayton. A contemporary drawing of the village by George Cuit has revealed the cottage to have had significantly deteriorated by as early as circa 1788, a precursor to it being levelled by new local landowner, Bartholomew Rudd, in the 1790s. It was nearby where the original manor house Marton Lodge eventually stood, to which Rudd made many alterations; it burned down in 1832.
In 1853, the ruin and the land that is now the park were bought by the Middlesbrough ironmaster H. W. F. Bolckow (produced 'Belko'). He built a new hall, which, after serving for a short period of time as a museum, was destroyed during demolition by fire in 1960, after standing empty for several years. The site is now home to the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, opened in 1978; in addition to viewing the large collection of Cook-related objects at the museum, tourists may visit a granite urn erected by Bolckow in 1858 on the site of the demolished Cook cottage, as well as St. Cuthbert's Church, where Cook was baptized. The church is now ornamented with a stained-glass window commemorating Cook.
In more recent times, Marton has seen a development as part of the conurbation of Middlesbrough; additions include housing near the Country Club, and Retirement Housing at the top end of Marton by the Southern Cross Pub. The local pub is the Rudd's Arms, opposite the Marton Hotel and Country Club on Stokesley Road and next to the Marton Cricket Club.
Other notable persons who lived in the parish of Marton include H. W. F. Bolckow's partner John Vaughan, who lived at Gunnergate Hall until his death in 1868; Sir Raylton Dixon, a Middlesbrough shipbuilder; Henry Cochrane, an ironmaster; and Agnes Spencer, the wife of the founder of Marks and Spencer and Joel Ingram.
Marton is also the base for a junior football club; Marton F.C., founded in 1982, and for which Jonathan Woodgate and Stewart Downing, subsequent former and current Middlesbrough F.C. professional footballers respectively, once played.