Even though I had more pressing matters to attend to, I couldn’t help but look at the historic letters that someone let me view (very graciously!) from their private collection. The last document was a bland letter from the mayor’s office, but, the letterhead is anything but bland. Look at the St. Clair Tunnel (!), an engineering wonder of the time, but now, a basically hidden thing. And while I still had other matters to attend to, this post just wouldn’t wait.
I wish I could provide you a large, high resolution banner image (when the site is redone, these types of images will be available), but for now I’ll post some no-longer-extant high-resolution details from the letterhead’s banner, below. And, below those, you’ll find the map that actually was printed on the back side of the letterhead, where Port Huron is implied to be the center of the known world (or region, at least).
As can be noted from the caption, the pictures above show an unnamed flour mill (with elevator), and the Port Huron Engine and Thresher Company’s original plant. It had recently changed its name from Upton Works, and this is the first image I can remember seeing of this factory and its grounds. Neither of these plants exist today.
The City Hall, originally the City-County Hall, of 1873 (depicted here) was enlarged and altered in 1896 (the year the letterhead was used). The change made it look Disneyesque. Disney came later, of course, but that doesn’t exculpate the sin of erasing the stately Second Empire architecture it had had. Many, perhaps most, of Port Huron’s Second Empire buildings are now gone.
The old Maccabee Temple. How often can one say “it’s so sad it’s gone”? If you “Google” the corner of Huron Avenue and Bard Street in Port Huron, I think you’ll agree that that intersection would look better if the building was still there. Thankfully, the Citadel Building at that intersection is indeed still standing and has been going through renovations.
I didn’t include the image of the “Dry dock,” since it was unnamed. There were a number of dry docks in Port Huron, building and repairing ships, none of which are now in operation. Below is the map included on the back of the mayor’s letterhead, showing rail lines. No caption was included with the image, so one can assume that the point of it “went without saying.”
PS: Because a reader requested it, below is the image of the “dry dock” (what appears to be a name, artist’s or printer’s, is in the lower right as well).