1888 St. Clair County Histories: county, cities, towns

The following histories are taken directly from L.A. Sherman & Co.s county and city directory of 1888.  PHAHPA is not attesting to the accuracy of the histories, but is providing them for reference.  While a typo or two might have gone unnoticed, the passages were typed as-is, archaic grammatical differences and all.  None of the images are from the historic directory.


The Lower Peninsula of the state of Michigan, as it now exists, with the exception of some changes in its southern boundary, was detached from the territory of Indiana and given a separate territoria existence in 1805, William Hull being the first governor, with the seat of government at Detroit.  Up to the year 1818 the territory now comprised within St. Clair county formed the township of St. Clair, and was a part of the county of Wayne.  In that year the county of Macomb was organized, St. Clair constituting a portion  of it.

St. Clair county, including the territory now constituting Sanila county, was organized by proclamation of Gov. Cass, may 8, 1821, its area being about 1,500 square miles, and its population some 80 families, settled almost entirely along St. Clair river.  The county seat was located at St. Clair, where there were half a dozen houses at that time.  james Fulton and William Thorn agreed to build a court house, but failed to do so, and for several years court was held in Mr. Fulton’s house.  Mr. Fulton built a jail for the county in 1821, for which the contract price was $35, the hinges and bolts, furnished by Andrew Westbrook, costing $6.62 extra.

The location of the county seat was not satisfactory to the residents of either the northern or southern sections of the county, and a movement for its removal to Newport (now Marine City), began almost immediately.  Commissioners appointed for the purpose investigated the matter, and reported to the legislative council of the territory, january 19, 1825, in favor of the retention of the county seat at St. Clair.  Subscriptions amounting to $637.50 were made for the erection of buildings at Newport, if the county seat should be located there, but this movement also failed.  Previous to the action of the legislative council retaining the seat of justice at St. Clair, Thomas Palmer and David C. McKinstry had pledged themselves to built a jail and court house  which they did, the building being of hewn [page 10] logs, about 24×34 feet in size, with living rooms for the jailer and cells for prisoners on the ground floor, and a court room on the second floor.  It was accepted by the board of supervisors September 3, 1827, although no constructed according to contract.  This building was used until 1853, when it was destroyed by fire.  The brick building erected in its place was used for county purposes until the removal of the county seat to Port Huron, in 1871, and the fail continued to be occupied for keeping prisoners until the completion of the new jail, 1884.

An unsuccessful attempt to remove the county seat to Port Huron was made in 1842.  In 1868-9 a proposition to remove the county seat to Smith’s Creek was carried, but no steps for its actual removal were taken.  In 1870 the board of supervisors voted by a two-thirds majority to remove the county seat to Port Huron, and the proposition was ratified by the people by a majority of 532.  The first meeting of the board of supervisors at the new county seat opened April 27, 1871.  The City of Port Huron subsequently built the present court house and city hall, at a cost of nearly $40,000.  The present jail built by the county in 1884, at a cost of about $15,000.

Organization of the townships of the county as they now exist was effected at different times, exact particulars being given under the township headings preceding the township directory portion of this book.  [These entries are brief and not included here; see St. Clair County during the Territorial Period for early township divisions.]

There are conflicting theories as to the origin of the name St. Clair, as applied to the lake and river bearing that name.  The one most generally accepted is, that in the year 1679 the crew of the schooner Griffin landed on the shores of Lake St. Clair on the feast day of Sainte Claire, and named the lake in honor of the founder of the Poor Claires.  Another is that the name came from an officer named St. Clair, who was on duty i this section in the American service after the Revolutionary war.  St. Clair county wa named after the river which forms its eastern boundary.

One of the chief industries of the county from the time of its earliest settlement by English speaking white men, until the timer had all disappeared, was lumbering.  Between 1840 and 1870 many fortunes were made in the lumber industry by citizens of the county, most of who are now dead, or have long since removed to other localities.  Since 1873 very little lumber [page 11] has been cut in St. Clair county except from logs brought down in rafts from points on Lake Huron.

The marine interests of the county have always been important, many vessels having been built at the river towns.  A large number of vessels have also been owned in the county at all times since the lake marine became fairly established, and hundreds of its citizens follow what may be called a “lake-faring” life during the season of navigation, in all capacities, from captain down.

The development of the salt industry dates from 1882, when the Marine City Stave company put down a well to the salt rock, found at a depth of about 1,700 feet.  To Crocket McElroy, of St. Clair, who was president of the Marine City Stave Company at that time, is due all the credit for the discovery and practical demonstration of the value of the vast bed of salt rock which underlies St. Clair county.

The agricultural advantages of St. Clair county were slow in developing, compared with those of interior counties where the surface is more rolling and the soil more diversified.  The country adjacent to St. Clair river, and extending back from 10 to 25 miles, is flat, and slopes very gradually toward the river.  Without a doubt in past geological ages it has been covered with water, and as the lake receded sand ridges were formed in places, and many square miles of the surface still remains covered with drift sand, to a depth varying from a few inches to several feet.  Such soil is of course not very strong; but by far the greater portion of the surface is clay, or clay loam, or clay and sand mixed.  The subsoil everywhere is clay, which has a depth of 100 feet or more at nearly all points where borings have been made.  On the whole the soil of the county is strong and rich, and with thorough drainage St. Clair county will come to rank high as an agricultural section.

The first railroad built through the county was the Grand Trunk, from Port Huron to Detroit; the second the present Chicago & Grand Trunk; the third the St. Clair branch of the Michigan Central, from St. Clair to Ridgeway; and the fourth the Port Huron & Northwestern, having three branches or divisions within the limits of the county.

With few exceptions the wagon roads of the county have not yet been made permanently good.  Some plank roads were [page 12] built between 1850 and 1870, but these have mostly disappeared.  Gravel roads have been built to a limited extent, but the scarcity of gravel, except in the southwestern portion of the county, greatly retards this most desirable public improvement.

The first permanent white settlement on the St. Clair river appears to have been at Port Huron, so far as there is any positive record.  Seven French families settled there in 1790, their names being given in the historical sketch of Port Huron in this book.  It is known, also, that the families of Capt. Cottrell, Capt. Alexander harrow, Capt. William thorn and a Mr. Paschal resided is [sic] what in [sic] now Cottrellville township as early as 1796, but the precise date of their settlement there is not known.  A full sketch of the pioneers of the county, or of pioneer life here, does not come within the scope of this work, nor would such a sketch be of special value for reference.

Portion of Corps of Engineers map made in January and February 1889, by B. H. Muehle. On file in the Michigan Room of the St. Clair Public Library (main).


In the year 1686 a French military post was established at the point where Fort Gratiot was formerly located, near the northern limits of Port Huron city.  This fort was called St. Joseph, adn was occupied for about two years.  After its abandonment no further settlement was attempted at this point until 1790, 104 years later.  During that time, and, indeed, for some time afterward, the ground on which the city of Port Huron is built was a favorite camping place for the Indians, as many as 3,000 being in camp here at one time.  In the summer of 1790 seven Frenchmen with their families located here, their names being as follows:  Anselm Petit, Francois Lerviere, Baptiste levais, J. B. Duchesne, Michael Jarvais, J. B. Courneais, and Peter Moreaux.  M. Jarvais built a saw mill on what is now called Indian Creek, then known as La Riviere Jarvais.  [This creek has since been covered over].  Black River was then known as La Riviere Delude.

During the war of 1812 the settlers were obliged to leave their homes, but they returned in 1815 with reinforcements, and again took possession of them.  [To find out more about the early settlement of Port Huron and the War of 1812, see . . . who was Anselm Petit and The Edward Petit House.]

Edward Petit, it is supposed, was the first white child born within the territory now included in the city of Port Huron.  He was a son of Anslem Petit, and was born in a log house near the foot of Court street, February 7, 1813.  Anselm Petit built the first frame house here, in the year 1819.  The same year Daniel B. Harrington located here, and John Riley, a half-breed, who claimed ownership of the land, built a house near the point where Military street crosses Black River, on the southwest corner of Military and Water streets.  At that time nearly the whole of the territory of Michigan was a wilderness.

Originally the village and township were called Desmond.  The township was organized in 1826, a meeting being held on [page 22] Monday, May 6, at Fort Gratiot, when the following officers were chose:  Supervisor–Martin Pickens; Assessors–Jeremiah Harrington, Isaac Davis; Highway Commissioners–Morris McGarvey, Isaac Davis, Richard Stansbury; Constables–Reuben Dodge, Lews Facer, Francis Duchesne.

In 1835 portions of the territory south of Black River were platted and offered for sale by Edward Petit and Messrs. White & Harrington, the village so laid out being called Peru.  In 1837 Major John thorn platted a small piece of land on the north side and called in Paris.  The name Port Huron was first applied by mr. D. B. Harrington to his plat, the owners of other plats following, and thus consolidating the whole under one name.

The former site of Fort Gratiot, on the northern limits of the city, was occupied as a military post in 1814, by a detachment of regulars and militia under Maor Forsythe, of the regular army.  Capt. Gratiot was the engineer officer who built the first fort, and after whom it was named.  The cost of the work was about three hundred dollars.  in 1822 the post was abandoned, and the buildings in it were turned over to two Presbyterian missionaries named hart and Hudson.  in 1828 the post was reoccupied by the military, when the buildings and grounds were improved and strengthened, and thereafter, until 1876 or thereabouts, the barracks were generally occupied by one or more companies of United States troops.  The land was sold the P.H. & N. W. R’y Co. in 1880, and the fort finally abandoned.

The first school house was built by Francis P. Browning, on the north side of Black River.  The first hotel was built in 1827, of logs, and was located on Quay street.  in 1833 Military street was laid out and the first bridge across Black river built.

Port Huron was organized as a village in 1849, L. M. Mason being its first president.  martin S. Gillett, Wellington Davis, J. W. Campfield, John Wells, H. L. Stevens and Robert Hickling constituted its first board of trustees.  Its subsequent president[s] were as follows:  M. S. Gillett, 1850; D. B. Harrington, 1851; Alonzo E. Noble, 1852; Wellington Davis, 1853; Alvah Sweetser, 1854; Newell Avery, 1855; John Miller, 1856.

[page 23] Port Huron become [sic] a city in 1857, the first city election being held April 6th of that year.  Lists of city officers are given on subsequent pages.  The original charter of the city has been several times amended.

The Grand Trunk, Port Huron’s first railway, was completed between Port Huron and Detroit in 1859.

The Port Huron & Northern Michigan railroad was projected in 1836, and a company was formed in 1841, but nothing was done toward the actual construction of the road.  In 1856 another company was formed, a line located and considerable work done.  A new company purchased the franchise of the road in 1865, and the road was opened to Lapeer June 6, 1871.  Subsequently it was extended to Flint, and after consolidation with the Peninsular road, and the construction of a link from Flint to Lansing, finally passed under control of the Grand Trunk and became the present Chicago & Grand Trunk, extending from Port Huron to Chicago, a distance of 335 miles.  Port Huron city voted nearly $80,000 aid to the road.  William L. Bancroft took the lead in the construction of the road, and was its manager until a year or two before it was sold to the Grand Trunk.  This road has been of great value to Port Huron.

A railroad to Saginaw was projected in 1872, and $100,000 was subscribed in Port Huron as its capital stock, but nothing was done toward its construction.

The Port Huron & Northwestern road was projected in 1878, and the first section of the road, from Port Huron to Croswell, was opened May 12, 1879.  March 8, 1890, it was opened to Carsonville, and September 13, of the same year, the first regular train was run to Sand Beach.  The East Saginaw line was completed February 21, 1882; the Almont line October 3; and the Port Austin division December 11, 1882.  In 1881 the iron railroad bridge at the mouth of Black river was built [this is not to be confused with the present iron bridge, which was built in 1931], with the passenger and freight depot on the south side of Black river, and since that time all regular passenger trains of the Grand Trunk, Chicago & Grand Trunk and Port Huron & Northwestern have passed over this line.  the Port Huron & Northwester road, and the river front line, were the work of citizens of Port Huron, and have proved of the greatest advantage and benefit ot the city.

The Port Huron street railway, which originally ran along [page 24] the river front through Pine Grove park to the Grand Trunk depot, was opened in 1867.  It has seen many changes since that time, and is now the Port Huron Electric railway, extending north to Gratiot beach, a distance of nearly four miles.

Nearly all permanent public improvements of which the city is now possessed have been introduced since 1870.  A brick high school building (since burned and rebuilt) had been erected previous to that time, as had also the second ward school building, and two wooden swing bridges across Black river (both since replaced by iron bridges) were built in 1869.  In 1870 the Port Huron Gas Light Company completed its works, and a portion of the streets of the city were lighted for the first time.

In 1871 the agitation for the construction of water works began, and the proposition received the approval of the Common Council and citizens the same year.  The opposition of Mayor John Miller caused delay, however, and it was not until the summer of 1873, after the election of John Johnston as mayor, that the works were finally completed and put in operation.  The machinery was built by the Holly company, of Lockport, N. Y., and the first pipe was laid by Walker & Rich.  The works have proved a great success.

The city hall and court house was completed in in 1873, costing nearly $40,000.  The city grants the use of the first and second stories free to the county, retaining the basement for city purposes.

Original city hall, built 1873. It was later expanded, but then destroyed by fire in 1949. From Art Work of St. Clair County (poor copy, filtered, of an online digitization by Hathitrust. The original book photos are very clear. No page number.)


The corner stone of the [federal] Government building, in which are located the postoffice, customs and other Government offices, and the U. S. court room, was laid October 8th, 1874, and the building was completed two years later.  Its cost was $250,000.

The building of sewers, the laying of pavements, and the graveling of several streets, has been in progress since 1876, and these improvements have greatly benefitted the city.

The sale of the Fort Gratiot military reservation in 1871 gave the city an opportunity to grow to the northward, and the present populous fifth ward is the result.  The sale of the remnant of the reservation to the P. H. & N. W. Ry. Co. took place in 1880.

the Port Huron Telephone exchange was opened in 1880, and electric lighting was introduced into the city in 1884.  The practical development of natural gas dates from 1886, when [page 25] Edgar White introduced it into his residence for heating purposes.  The laying of pipes for the distribution of natural gas began October, 1887.

The lumber business, which until 1873 was the chief industry of the city, decreased rapidly after that year, the great fires having killed most of the timber along Black river and its tributaries, and in recent years all the logs cut in the city have been brought in rafts from points along lake Huron.

The grain trade, which is now very large, has grown up entirely since the Chicago & Grand Trunk and Port Huron & Northwestern railways were built.

The shipbuilding business, which at one time included the construction of many new vessels, has of late years been confined almost exclusively to repairs, but still employs a large number of men.  the marine interests of the city also continue large, and its wholesale trade is steadily increasing.  Its manufacturing interests are also important and growing.


ADAIR.  A post-office in Casco township, on the M. M. division of the Michigan Central railroad, eight miles west of St. Clair.  The population is estimated at 60.  Henry Boldt, postmaster.  Mail daily.

ALGONAC.  A village located at the mouth of St. Clair river, in Clay township, having a population of 850.  It was settled in 1832.  It has three salt blocks, a steam flouring mill and other industries; and enjoys a considerable mercantile trade with surrounding country.  There are nine general stores, two drug stores, three meat markets, and other establishments of the kind and one hotel.  The village has four churches, Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal and Christ’s.  there are four school districts and four school houses that in district No. 1 being a graded school, employing four teachers; George D. Tapson, principal; Miss Edith Taylor, grammar department; Miss Ida McKay, intermediate department; Miss Etta Robinson, primary department.  Considerable property on Harsen’s Island changed hands last year, in anticipation of the island becoming a summer resort; and William La Croix has platted ans surveyed out 60 lots on the south channel of St. Clair river side of the island, and is selling them to Detroit parties for summer residences.  Thomas Cuthbertson has platted the river front of his farm, just above Algonac, into lots for summer cottages.  Capt. S. B. Grummond has a dock and a large grove for excursion parties.  During the year 1888 this will be a great summer resort.

ANCHORVILLE.  [page 246]  A village in Ira township, located at the most northerly point of Anchor bay. 25 miles south of Port Huron.  New Haven, 7½ miles distant, is its nearest railroad shipping point.  It has a Catholic church and institute.  Considerable grain, hay and produce are shipped during the season of navigation.  Population estimated at 400.  George Christe postmaster.

ATKINS.  Known as Kingsley station, on the Port Huron & Northwestern railway, 11 miles northwest of Port Huron, in Clyde township.  F. O. Reynolds postmaster.

BELLE RIVER.  Located in Berlin township, 20 miles west of Port Huron and 4 1/2 miles south of Capac.  Population estimated at 75.  Mail daily via Berville.  M. B. Granger postmaster.

BERVILLE.  A station on the Almont division of the P.H. & N. W. Ry., 26 miles west of Port Huron, in Berlin township.  Population estimated at 150.  John C. Moorehouse postmaster.

BLAINE.  This place, commonly known as Grant Centre, is located in Grant Township, on the P.H. & N.W. Ry., 15 miles north of Port Huron.  It has Methodist and Baptist churches, several stores and shops, and an estimated population of nearly 400.  Thomas Myron postmaster.

BROCKWAY.  A village located in the southern part of Brockway township, five miles south of Brockway Centre, five miles north of Emmet station on the C. & G. T. Ry., and 20 miles from Port Huron.  There are several stores, a large flouring mill owned by W. H. Ballentine, extensive carriage and wagon shops, and other industries.  The Michigan Bell telephone office is in w. H. Ballentine’s store.  John W. Gustin postmaster.  Population estimated at 375.

BROCKWAY CENTER.  [page 247]  This village has an estimated population of 1,000.  It is located on the Saginaw division of the P.H. & N.W. Ry., 25 miles northwest of Port Huron, near the center of Brockway township.  The village was incorporated in the spring of 1885, the first election being held on the 27th of May, of the same year.  John W. Lamon was elected first president of the village, James Wallace the first clerk, and Mart T. Grandy, treasurer.  The councilmen of that year were, H. F. Leonard, John Holden, Rudolph Andrae, jesse A. Morrill, Wm. N. McKenna and Wm. R. Scott.

The village has three churches, Christian Advent Church, corner of North and Kennefick streets, Elder J. H. Paton, pastor; Methodist Episcopal, on Jones street, between Wood and Mechanic streets, Rev. C. W. Barnum, pastor; M. P. Church, on North street, west, Rev. J. M. Crandell, pastor.

There is one lodge of Masons, one lodge of Odd Fellows, one tent of Maccabees, one public school (graded), three hotels, Michigan Bell Telephone office, telegraph office, one bank, one roller process flouring mill, one flax seed mill, one woolen mill, one stone grist mill, one plow foundry.  the village is one mile square.  The school census for 1887 showed 274 children of school age in the village.  The officers of 1887-8 are as follows:  President, John D. Grinnell; Clerk, Erwin H. Drake; Treasurer, dolph Andrae, Jesse A. Morrill, George W. Bell, D. Mills, Hiram Allen and Wm. H. Rollins.

CAPAC.  [page 249]  This village is located in Mussey township, on the C & G. T. Ry., 26¼ miles west of Port Huron.  It does a prosperous mercantile business with the surrounding country, and ships large quantities of grain and produce.  It has a handsome brick school building erected at a cost of $8,000, with a graded school; Methodist and Baptist churches; two planing mills, one flouring mill, one foundry, one sash and door factory, one wagon manufactory, one creamery, and other industries.  It has a Masonic lodge, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, a tent of Maccabees, and a W. C. T. U. [Woman’s Christian Temperance Union] society.  The Michigan Bell telephone company and the Western Union telegraph company have officers here.  The Capa Journal (weekly) is published by Hunter & Parker.  Postmaster, Julius A. Jonas.  The population is 600.  The village was incorporated in 1873.  D.C. Walker being the first president.

Capac area of Mussey Township, as published in the 1876 Combination Atlas Map of St. Clair County, Michigan (Everts & Stewart, Philadelphia).

CASCO.  [page 250-251]  A village having a population of over 300, located in Casco township, 20 miles southwest of Port Huron.  Lenox station, on the Grand Trunk railway, seven miles distant, is the nearest shipping point.  It has Congregational, Lutheran, Methodist and Baptist churches.  Chas. Lindke, postmaster.

COLUMBUS.  [page 251]  A post-office located in Columbus township, 20 miles southwest of Port Huron, and two miles from Lenox station.  It has a Congregational churches, a flouring mill and blacksmith shop.  Mail tri-weekly.  Henry P. Hunt, postmaster.

DOYLE.  A post-office located in Riley township and a station on the Almont division of the P.H. & N. W. Ry., 23 miles west of Port Huron.  Andrew Martin, postmaster.

EAST GREENWOOD.  A post-office located in Greenwood township, 20 miles northwest of Port Huron and three miles from Fargo station, on the P.H. & N. W. Ry.  Mail by stage from Fargo twice a week.  John t. Knox, postmaster.

EMMET.  A village located in Emmet township, on the C. & G. T. Ry., 18 miles west of Port Huron.  It has several stores, and does a thriving trade with the surrounding country.  It also has flouring and saw mills, carriage and wagon works, brick yard and charcoal kiln.  the Emmet District Agricultural Society has fine grounds and a race track, one of the best in the county.  There is a Catholic church and a public school.  Michigan Bell telephone and Western Union telegraph offices are located here.  William E. O’Neill, postmaster.

FAIR HAVEN.  A village located on Ira township, on Anchor bay, 28 miles southwest of Port Huron.  New Haven, nine miles distant, is its nearest railway shipping point.  It has Catholic and Lutheran churches, stores, sawmill, etc.  Also Michigan Bell telephone and Western Union telegraph offices.  Henry C. Schnoor, postmaster.

FARGO.  Located on the Saginaw division of the P. H. & N. W. Ry., 18 miles northwest of Port Huron, in Greenwood township, the station being known as Farr’s.  It has several stores, flouring and saw mills, etc.  Andrew Killgore, postmaster.

GOODELL’S.  [page 252]  A station on the C. & G. T. Ry, in Wales township, 13 miles west of Port Huron.  It has stores and blacksmith shops, and a Baptist church.  The county poor house and farm are located near the station.  George Egerton, postmaster.

HARTSUFF.  A post-office, and station known as Green’s Corners, on the Saginaw division of the P. H. & N. W. Ry., 16½ miles northwest of Port Huron, in Greenwood township.  Population 100.  Samuel Strevel, postmaster.

JEDDO.  A village having a population of about 200, located in Grant township, on the P.H. & N. W. Ry., 17 miles north of Port Huron.  It has several stores, a grain elevator, flouring mill, etc, and a Methodist Protestant church.  Nelson Potter, postmaster.

KENOCKEE.  A post-office in Kenockee township, 15 miles west of Port Huron.  Amos A. Haskell is postmaster and keeps a general store.

KIMBALL.  A station on the Almont division of the P.H. & N. W. Ry., nine miles southwest of Port Huron, in Kimball township.  Daniel Pace is postmaster and keeps a general store.

LAKEPORT.  A village located on the shore of Lake Huron, 10 miles north of Port Huron, in the township of Burtchville.  It has a Methodist church, several stores, a flouring mill, hotel, blacksmith shops, etc  The nearest railroad station is Grant Center.  Population 300.  James Bingham, postmaster.

LAMB.  A station on the Almont division of the P.H. & N. W. Ry., 15½ miles west of Port Huron, Wales township.  It has a lumber and flour mill, two grocery stores, blacksmith shops, and a Methodist church.  B. M. Jenne, postmaster.

LYNN.  A post-office in Lynn township, four miles south of York’s station, on the Saginaw division of the P.H. & N. W. Ry.  It has two stores, a saw mill, blacksmith shop, etc.

MARINE CITY.  [page 253-254]  This flourishing city is located at the confluence of Belle river with the St. Clair, 45 miles northwest of Detroit, and 20 south of Port Huron, the county seat, eight miles north of Algonac, and eight south of St. Clair.  At present it has no railroad, but solicitors are at work on a proposed line from Detroit to Port Huron; passing through Marine City and St. Clair, and it seems probable that such a line will be built during the present summer.  St. Clair is now its nearest railroad point on the American side of St. Clair river, with which it is connected by stage in the winter.  The traveling public also find the Erie & Huron railway on the Canadian side of the river, a convenient means of ingress and egress.  A ferry connects marine City with this railroad at Sombra, one mile distant.

Daily communication is had with Detroit, Port Huron, and the American shore of Lake Huron during the season of navigation.  Two daily stages run to Port Huron and St. Clair during the winter.  Telephone connections with the Michigan Bell Telephone Co., and telegraph via Western Union and United Lines.

Ship building is one of the principal industries, the city having fou ship yards, out of which have been turned 38 sidewheel steamers, 63 propellers, and 70 sailing vessels.  There are now (January, 1888), three large propellers in course of construction there.  The vessel interests are very extensive representing one of the finest fleets on the lakes, 56 in number.

The most extensive salt bed in the world was discovered here in July, 1882, at a depth of 1,633 feet.  The thickness of the bed is not known, although it has been penetrated 11 feet.  There are eight salt wells and nine salt block, with a capacity of 3,000 barrels per day.

Its manufactories are represented by one stave mill, seven cooper shops, one heading and two planing mills, one hoop factory, on flouring mill, two brick and tile yards, two saw mills, one boiler ship, one machine shop and foundry.  There are four churches:  Catholic Methodist, Episcopal, German Lutheran, and Episcopal; two public and two private schools, one lodge of Masons, one Knights of Pythias, one Odd Fellows, one A. O. U. W. [Ancient Order of United Workmen], one K.O.T.M. [Knights of the Maccabees], and one G.A.R [Grand Army of the Republic].  There is one bank, and there are four hotels, and a liberal supply of stores.  The press is ably represented by two newspapers, the Magnet and the Reporter.

Marine City was incorporated as a city June 8th, 1887, and the first election was held July 11h.

A good farming section surrounds the city the soil being of an extremely rich black as well as loam clay, commanding [page 254] from $50 to $200 per acre.  It has afine brick city hall, a splendid system of water works, and a fire department consisting of three companies.  The present bonded indebtedness (water bonds) is $32,000.

Mayor, Frank McElroy; Clerk, John H. Ihnken; Treasurer, John Drawe; Marshal, Martin V. Brown; Collector, Henry G. Streit; Board of Aldermen, Rovt. Leitch, Adam Scott, A. Bower, A. Friedericks, David Emig, Chas. F. Zimmermann, P. Minor and Wm. Baird.

Chief of fire Department, Andrew Bower; Superintendent, of Water Works, E. M. Clark; Chief Engineer of Water Works, John Minnie.

Catholic church, Rev. Fr. Maschino, pastor.  Methodist Episcopal church, Rev. J. B. Lucas, pastor.  Episcopal church, Rev. G. W. Bloodgood, rector.  German Lutheran church, Rev. E. J. Buehrer, pastor.

Superintendent of Schools, Prof. E. M. Fisher.  Population of city, 3,000.

MARYSVILLE.  [page 256]  Located on the St. Clair river, between five and six miles south of Port Huron.  It is on the line between Port Huron and St Clair townships, mostly in the former.  The lumber mills of the N. & B. Mills furnish the chief industry of the place.  Population estimated at 300.  The river lines of steamers touch on signal during the season of navigation.  Telephone and telegraph offices are located in the store of N. & B. Mills.  Nelson Mills, postmaster.

MEMPHIS.  Located on the Almont division of the P.H. & N. W. Ry., 19½ miles southwest of Port Huron, in Riley township, on the Macomb county line, a portion of the village being in Richmond township, Macomb county.  The village has Congregational, Methodist and Adventist churches, a graded school, flouring [page 257] mill, grain elevator, machine and wagon shops, saw mill, and other industries.  It is surrounded by a fine farming country, and enjoys a prosperous mercantile business.  There is a Western Union telegraph office at the depot, and a Michigan Bell telephone office in the village.  George Roberts, postmaster.

MOUNT SALEM. [page 257]  A post-office located in Emmet township, 24 miles west of Port Huron, and 6½ miles from Capac.  It has alumber and lath mill, and a store.  Mail semi-weekly.  John Lothia, postmaster.

NORTH STREET.  A post-office and flag station on the P. H. & N. W. Ry., eight miles northwest of Port Huron.  Michael Plant, postmaster.

RATTLE RUN.  Located in St Clair township, 12 miles southwest of Port Huron, and 3 ½ miles from Smith’s Creek station.  It has a general store and flouring mill.  Ira A. Edmonds, postmaster.  Mail semi-weekly.

RILEY CENTER.  Located on Belle river, in Riley township, 26 miles west of Port Huron, and 2½ miles north of Doyle station, on the P. H. & N. W. Ry.  It has a Methodist and Free Will Baptist churches, stores, planing mill, etc, and a population of nearly 300.  Mail semi-weekly.  Richard E. French postmaster.

ROBERTS’ LANDING.  Located on Cottrellville township, on St. Clair river, 24 miles south of Port Huron.  W. C. & W. S. Roberts keep a general store.  William C. Roberts, postmaster.

RUBY.  A village, sometimes called Abbotsford, located in Clyde township, on the west side of Black river, 2½ miles from Kingley station, and 12 miles from Port Huron.  It has stores, flour and woolen mills, blacksmith shops, etc.  Mail daily.

ST. CLAIR.  This city, the former county seat of St. Clair county, is located on St. Clair river, at the mouth of Pine river, 11 miles south of Port Huron.  It was settled in 1828 by Thomas Palmer, and for a time was known as Palmer.  Vessel building, [page 258] brick making, and salt making are important industries of the city.  It also has a sash, door and blind factory, a large tannery, flouring and saw mills and other industries.  Its mercantile trade with the surrounding country is large.

There are five churches, two public school buildings, costing $18,000, a National bank and a weekly newspaper, The Republican, established in 1884.  The Walker system of water works have been in operation since 1886.  St. Clair is the eastern terminus of the Michigan Midland division of the Michigan Central railroad, terminating at Lenox station, on the Grand Trunk, and has ferry connections with Courtwright on the Canadian side of the St. Clair river, the western terminus of the St. Clair branch of the Canadian Southern railroad.  There are lodges of Masons, Knights of Pythias, and Knights of Labor, a tent of Maccabees, G. A. R. post, and other societies.  The city officials are as follows:  Mayor, Charles H. Waterloo; Clerk, Ethan E. Trim; Assessor, George A. Wolvin; Treasurer, James G. Wortz.  City council:  First ward—John L. Agens, Joseph H. Bruso, William E. Thompson; second ward—Frederick C. Strauss, Samuel A. Haarkness, Thomas W. Ryan.  Supervisors, Hermann Fischer, Charles H. Carleton.  Constables, Peer Akred, Charles Gliem; City Marshal, Miles C. Hickman; Water Works Sup’t, William B. Morse; Engineers, John Sawher and S. P. Gilbert: Superintendent of Schools, J. C. Shattuck.

Somerville School, for young ladies, is delightfully located in the northern section of the city, fronting on St. Clair river.  The buildings are large and splendidly fitted up for the purposes of a boarding school, and the attendance is large.  Dr. C. C. Wetsell is principal, with an able corps of assistants.

Oakland Hotel (no date), built in 1882 and destroyed by fire in 1915 (according to Burnell and Marcaccio in Blue Water Reflections, 1983), page 76, where a version of this photo can also be found. This digital photo is from Wystan at Flickr.com.

ST. CLAIR SPRINGS.  [page 260]  A post-office within the corporate limits of St. Clair city, and the location of the Oakland Hotel, and St. Clair Mineral Springs.  W. S. Hopkins, postmaster.

SMITH.  [page 261]  A post-office and station on the Almont division of the P.H. & N. W. Ry., in Berlin township, 29 miles west of Port Huron.  It has a population of over 100.  Thomas Campbell, postmaster.

SMITH’S CREEK.  A village on the Grand Trunk Ry., 12 miles southwest of Port Huron, in Kimball township.  It has a Methodist church, a hotel, stores, blacksmith shops, etc.  James Lindsay, postmaster.

STARRVILLE.  A post-office in Cottrellville township, 28 miles southwest of Port Huron.  It has a new M. E. church.  J. W. Marks is postmaster, and keeps a general store.

THORNTON.  A post-office located in Kimball township, 10 miles west of Port Huron.  Mail, daily.  william Ruddock is postmaster, and keeps a general store.

UPTON.  The location of the Upton Manufacturing Company’s threshing machine works, one and three-fourth miles west of Port Huron, on the C. & G. T. and Almont division of the P. H. & N. W. Rys.  All business is done in Port Huron.  Frank A. Peavy, postmaster.

WALES.  Located on the Almont division of the P.H. & N. W. Ry., 14 miles west of Port Huron, in the township of Wales.  It has several stores, blacksmith shops, etc.  Harry L. Lashbrooks, postmaster.

ZION.  A post-office in Grant township, at Saginaw Junction, on the P.H. N. W. Ry., 12 miles northwest of Port Huron.  Alexander W. Atkins is postmaster and keeps a general store.

Township descriptions are not included here.


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