Our mission is to Bring history to life in the Port Huron area
In the public interest, this organization shall carry out the following activities: (1) gather and disseminate historical and social-scientific information and data, and (2), study, report on, and nominate for recognition historic sites, structures, buildings, and districts.
501(3)c status will hopefully be granted by the end of 2017; all donations will be retroactively tax deductible. Beginning Directors and Board Members are:
Vicki Priest, President and Acting Secretary; founder
Having moved back to her home state of Michigan in the fall of 2015, Vicki found Port Huron to be both historically amazing and frustrating. Port Huron has a rich and significant history, and after discovering how much had already been lost (historic buildings and neighborhoods, and historic and prehistoric archaeological sites) and how much goes unrecognized and therefore in danger of loss, her time and energy became focused both on research and developing a group for the sake of preserving Port Huron’s past–particularly through its remaining neighborhoods. Vicki had moved to California, where laws and regulations relating to the recording of threatened prehistoric and historic sites had been enacted decades ago, in order to work in the Cultural Resources field. She worked in that field for 14 years (producing all aspects of reports as an employee and as a consultant), receiving her BA in anthropology and MA in history during that time. Vicki also has worked as a state-certified Victim Specialist (domestic violence) for a nonprofit organization in Family Law Superior Court, and has had training in nonprofit grant-writing and organization/management. To learn more about Vicki, see the profile below or visit her LinkedIn Profile.
Zakery Stiegemeyer, Vice President
Having grown up in Southern California, experiencing the historic nature of the buildings and environment in Port Huron for the first time was an exciting eye-opener for Zak, who now calls Port Huron home. Discovering that much of the city’s historic assets are now gone was the opposite of exciting for him, however. He is more than happy, therefore, to serve the community through the programs and projects of the Port Huron Area History & Preservation Association. Zak is currently employed by the St. Clair County Library system and has completed pharmacy tech training. He is also partner in a successful and growing YouTube channel.
Lynne Secory, Treasurer
Marilyn Hebner, Director
Marilyn is a life-long volunteer and leader, and has a love for preserving history in all its different forms. She is President of the St. Clair County Family History Group, a genealogical nonprofit, and has served on that organization’s board since 1979. She was one of the founders of the Friends of the Library, Port Huron branch of the county library system, and still serves on their board. Marilyn is Past President of the Michigan Genealogical Council, and with her husband, had founded the Huron County Genealogical Society. If all that wasn’t enough, she was President of the now defunct Museum Guild (Port Huron Museum) for over 27 years, and had served in all sorts of school, after-school, and parent/school capacities while her children were growing up.
Dave Shamaly, Director.
Dave is an assistant manager with Blue Water Habitat for Humanity in their ReStore, Port Huron. He is excited to be a part of another nonprofit that seeks to assist in both the stabilization and improvement of the area’s neighborhoods. Prior to working for Habitat, Dave had a long career in the insurance industry, receiving many achievement awards in that field and owning his own agency. He also operated his own dry cleaning establishment for a decade. He graduated from Central Michigan University in 1976 with a BS in Business Administration (marketing major, psychology minor). Dave also spends his time being a Career Placement Independent Recruiter.
Profile Vicki Priest
For 14 years Vicki worked in the field of cultural resources management–prehistoric, then historic—conducing field studies and research, writing, and making graphics for the resulting reports. She has a master’s degree in history (University of California, Riverside; subemphasis in political science) and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology (California State University, Long Beach, and Central Michigan University), with an archaeology major and history minor. Some of her work is described below.
While Vicki took many years off from working in this field due to a shortage of relevant work within driving distance of her Southern California residence (she took time to homeschool her son during the hiatus), she’s excited to renew her research and documentation efforts now that she’s back in her home state of Michigan. Vicki considers it an honor to bring to life the busy and wonderful past of her new home town, Port Huron, and to help residents discover the stories of their homes and neighborhoods. She hopes to inform, educate, and inspire.
Accomplishments and Events of Relevance
- Research for, submittal, and acceptance of National Register of Historic Places Preliminary Questionnaire for South Park Historic District. May, 2016. Planning for the remainder of the research, documentation, and submittal of the full National Register nomination is under way (funding is being sought). National Register nomination of the Jenkinson-Cady-Secory House, 2016.
- Service on local committees: Fort Gratiot Hospital Heritage Committee, April 2016 to present, and the Design Committee of the Port Huron Main Street Program, February 2016 to April 2016 (the Main Street manager resigned and the city has not contacted the committee about resuming its work).
- Development of the Port Huron Area History & Preservation Association (PHAH&PA.ORG). 2016 and ongoing.
- Nonprofit-related training: Starting a Nonprofit (Gale instructor-led course, 2016); Grantwriting: Writing Successful Grant Proposals (3 full-day course led by president of most successful grant consultant firm in California, 2013); volunteered, then was employed by the nonprofit Community Service Programs, Inc., as a Victim Specialist (1994-1998).
- Publications and studies, recent or notable: “Suitable Witness” in Seek (November 2015); “Simone Weil” in The Chorus by Aerie Choi (a poetry anthology, 2014); contributor (under the name of Vicki Solheid) in Mexican Potters of Prado (Statistical Research, Inc., 1995) (a review of it in Historical Archaeology [Vol 31, No 4, 1997, pp 126-127] calls it “excellent”); Co-researcher and writer, Guide to the Historic Landmarks of Riverside County, California (Riverside County Historical Commission Press, 1993); Historic Sacred Structures and the Unreinforced Masonry Building Law of 1986 (Preservation Science and Technology Unit [now defunct], UCR, 1993) (Master’s Thesis, 1992); Successful National Register of Historic Places nomination of “Mission Court Bungalows” (listed in 1993). While I have done numerous studies, I am particularly proud of this one. Two others before me attempted to have this multi-structure property accepted to the Register. I was very happy to have succeeded in having this bungalow court listed for its owners.
- Other: Employed 3 years as an office and accounting assistant (2011-2014); had tax training as well. Was the National Christian Apologetics Examiner at examiner.com (2010-2011) and did other online writing gigs. While my son was young I had hobbies like making hand-made hardcover books (I made the entire book—text, graphics, covers of cloth, ribbon, and beads, including embedded ribbon bookmarks), multi-media hanging art, and jewelry. Was awarded “artist of the year” in high school and was elected into the national honor societies of Phi Alpha Theta (history) and Phi Kappa Phi.
Page last updated on March 25, 2017
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