The “Recognized Properties” page displays individual and multi-site (district) properties that have already been recorded and have had an official historic designation. Properties covered by this organization’s mandate are listed, and not all those found in St. Clair County. This page is updated off-and-on; if you see an omission, we’d be glad to read your feedback.
Nationally Recognized Designations
Below are sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and two that are also National Landmarks. The National Register is not a listing of sites significant to overall national history, but those which meet any of a wide variety of criteria. Recognized as nationally significant properties are National Landmarks.
St. Clair River (train) Tunnel, connecting Port Huron to Sarnia, Canada, at the south-central area of Port Huron. Listed in the National Register in 1970. National Landmark nomination and designation, 1993.
Wilbur F. Davidson house, at 1707 Military Street, Port Huron. Built in 1890 and listed based on its local significance in architecture, the style of which is Queen Anne. Listed in 1972.
Federal Building, 526 Water Street, Port Huron. Originally built as a federal customs house (with additional offices), carrying out the functions needed in one of the four customs districts in Michigan. Built in the years 1874-76, by Alfred B. Mullett. Classical Revival/Neoclassicism with Italianate features. Listed in 1974.
Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, 2750 Omar Street, Port Huron. Listed in 1976. “This lighthouse, oldest in Michigan, was built in 1829 to replace a tower destroyed by a storm. Lucius Lyon, the builder, was Deputy Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory and later a United States senator from Michigan. In the 1860s workers extended the tower to its present height of 84 feet. The light, automated in 1933, continues to guide shipping on Lake Huron into the narrow and swift-flowing St. Clair River” (Michiganmarkers.com).
The lightship Huron (lightship No. 103), 1115 Sixth Street (Pine Grove Park), Port Huron. . . . Listed in 1976. Designated a National Landmark in 1989, it being the last remaining such lightship.
Grand Trunk Western Railroad Depot, 520 State Street, Port Huron. . . . Listed in 1977.
Site of Fort Gratiot, address restricted (within Port Huron city limits). The fort was completed in 1814. The site holds the potential to reveal prehistoric and historic information. Listed in 1980.
Harrington Hotel, 1026 Military Street, Port Huron. . . . Listed in 1982.
Ladies of the Maccabees building, 901 Huron Avenue, Port Huron. Listed in 1982.
Howard Block, 201-205 Huron Avenue, Port Huron. . . . Listed in 1994.
Military Road Historic District, Port Huron. Notable architectural styles are Art Deco, late 19th and 20th century revivals, and Late Victorian, with periods of significance ranging from 1874 to 1949. Listed in 1998.
Seventh Street-Black River Bridge, Port Huron. Listed in 2000.
USCGC Bramble, 2336 Military Street, Port Huron. Listed in 2012.
Michigan State Recognized Designations
Some historic sites recognized in the past by the State of Michigan are also National Register listed sites. Those will be noted, in which case please see the information about them in the National Register listings section. The state register program was discontinued and the state provides no online listing of their sites, but those with markers can be found around the internet. Sites qualified to have a marker, but without one yet, are not listed anywhere. See end note for more information.
Shiloh Baptist Church, 2801 John L Portis Drive (Nern Street), Port Huron. Listed in 2006. From the plaque: “On September 15, 1918, members of Port Huron’s African American community organized Shiloh Baptist Church in South Park, one of the city’s first black neighborhoods. By the early 1920s the church had acquired the current building from a white Baptist congregation Though the racial and ethnic composition of South Park has changed over time, the church came to be regarded as the symbolic center of Port Huron’s black population.”
Fort Gratiot, also in the National Register. Listed in 1956.
Fort St. Joseph, under the Bluewater Bridge, Port Huron. Listed in 1956. Despite its English name, the short-lived fort (1686-1688) was built by the French.
St. Clair River Tunnel, also in the National Register. Listed in 1956.
Tom Edison at Grand Trunk, also in the National Register as Grand Trunk Western Railroad Depot. Listed in 1966.
Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, also in the National Register. Listed in 1971.
First Baptist Church, “Erie Square,” Port Huron. No longer extant. Listed in 1971.
Lightship No. 103, also in the National Register (Lightship Huron). Listed in 1973.
Wilbur F. Davidson house, also in the National Register. Listed in 1973.
Saint Johannes Evangelische Kirche, 710 Pine Street, Port Huron. Listed in 1980.
Harrington Hotel, also in the National Register. Listed in 1981.
Ladies of the Maccabees Building, also in the National Register. Listed in 1982.
James A. Davidson house, 1229 Seventh Street, Port Huron. Listed in 1983.
C. H. Wills & Co., 840 Huron Avenue (Blvd), Marysville. At Chrysler plant. Listed in 1983. C. Harold Wills, engineer and metallurgist, was the designer of Ford’s automobiles until he left that company in 1919. He left to make his own cars and to develop a village, Marysville. His logo, cars, and ads were all classy and beautiful, but his use of the strong and light molybdenum steel proved to be too costly. Between 1921 and 1926, his factory produced 14,000 cars (michmarkers.com and Burnell and Marcaccio 1983:109).
Women’s Benefit Association Building, 1338 Military Street, Port Huron. Listed in 1988. The group still exists and at their website claim the building was added in 1989; also, the name is “Woman’s” not “Women’s.” Built between 1915 and 1917, with a large rear addition made in 1921.
Gratiot Park United Methodist Church, 2503 Cherry Street, Port Huron. Listed in 1988. From plaque, front and back: “This congregation dates from 1849, when people worshipped in log barracks within Fort Gratiot. Known as the Mission of Fort Gratiot, it was served by circuit riders until 1859 when the Reverend Samuel Clemens began his tenure. The present church building comprises one erected in 1866, and named Gratiot Park Methodist Episcopal Church, as well as contemporary additions. In 1968 the church was formally renamed the Gratiot Park United Methodist Church.” “In 1859 the Reverend A.E. Ketchum established a Methodist class at the Fort Gratiot Mission. Church “brothers” ventured to remote areas seeking new members. As industry and business came into the area, the church’s ministries enjoyed new success. In 1866 a chapel had been built at Fort Gratiot; three years later the Methodist Episcopal Church, Detroit Conference, appointed the first fully independent pastor to the Fort Gratiot Church.”
Port Huron High School, 323 Erie Street, Port Huron. Listed in 1988. The high school building is now home to St. Clair Community College.
Jefferson Sheldon House, 807 Prospect Place, Port Huron. Listed in 1990.
Grace Episcopal Church, 1213 Sixth Street, Port Huron. Listed in 1991.
E. C. Williams House, 2511 Tenth Avenue, Port Huron. Listed in 1993. This is from bluewater.org: “E. C. Williams built this double house in 1890-91, in what was then the village of Fort Gratiot. Williams published the Fort Gratiot Sun, a newspaper that circulated primarily among railroad passengers and crew. In 1894 the village merged with the city of Port Huron, and Williams renamed the paper the Port Huron Sun. In 1894 he helped charter the local chapter of the Typographical Union of North America. The building is a rare late-nineteenth-century example of a duplex in Port Huron.”
Graziadei-Casello Building, 307 Huron Avenue, Port Huron. Listed in 1995.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1517 Seventh Street, Port Huron. Listed in 1996.
Port Huron to Mackinac Race, 300 Quay Street, Port Huron. Listed 2015. “In 1924, members of the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit raced a schooner named Lloyd W. Berry and won a 731-mile race from Newport, Rhode Island, to Bermuda. Later that year, members of the Bayview Yacht Club, Port Huron Yacht Club and other sailing clubs organized a long distance fresh-water race on Lake Huron. The first annual race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island was held on July 25, 1925. Steamships towed boats from Lake St. Clair sixty miles up the St. Clair River to the starting line at Port Huron. Twelve boats began the 261-mile race to Mackinac Island, but only six boats finished due to high seas, strong winds and broken equipment” (from Michmarkers.com).
Port Huron Statement. The site in Lakeport State Park was approved for marker in 2014.
Locally Recognized Buildings and Sites
Olde Town Historic District, Port Huron. (A map with current boundaries will be provided when available.)
Military Road Historic District, Port Huron. See the National Register entry. This district is also a Michigan Main Street, but the program boundaries differ. See map.
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End note: Site owners who could afford a state marker (which is quite expensive!) are listed at a few different sites on the web, but not at the Michigan History Center’s website. Instead, you can buy a guide book of marked sites. From a practical historic preservation standpoint, it seems that the state program is more interested in making money than preserving sites (this may not be the fault of the preservationists working for the state, of course). Currently, in order to be considered for the state register a site owner must agree to purchase (submit a down-payment for) an expensive marker before the site will even be considered. That is the only way to become a recognized historic site in the State of Michigan at this time (and no one will know about your site until the marker is actually placed). Feel free to contact the Michigan History Center, and/or your state representative, asking that they make information from tax-payer funded programs available to the public and that the historic register program be restored (without the necessities of state-required markers). The markers must be privately paid for, but the sites are approved by the Michigan Historical Commission.
Burnell, M. C., & Marcaccio, A. (1983). Blue Water Reflections: A Pictorial History of Port Huron and the St. Clair River District. Virginia Beach: The Donning Company Publishers.
Creamer, M. L., Gaffney, T. J., Bromley, S., & Williams, S. (2006). Port Huron, Celebrating our Past: 1857-2007. St. Clair: Sight Creative, Inc.
Eckert, K. B. (1993). Buildings of Michigan. New York: Oxford University Press.
Endlich, H. (1981). A Story of Port Huron. Port Huron: Self-published.
Gaffney, T. J. (2006). Postcard History Series: Port Huron, 1880-1960. Charleston: Arcadia.
Wikipedia. (2016, May 31). St. Clair Tunnel. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Clair_Tunnel
Wikipedia. (n.d.). David Syme House. Retrieved June 13, 2016, from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Syme_House