Many people seem to know of the small concrete Ken-Way homes in Port Huron, but that they were a very local and very short-lived phenomenon seems less widely known. Ken-Way, or sometimes just “Kenway,” homes were developed by Kenneth Wyillie of Port Huron. They were made by assembling locally constructed pre-cast walls–which included insulation, wiring, and plumbing–at the house site (the foundation and roof were not pre-cast). The homes were built from about 1950 to 1957. These years are representative of articles or ads found regarding new Ken-Way homes in the local newspaper, but some homes may have been built shortly before or after.
An article from November 1951 (The Times Herald, page 5) reported that “several of the modernistic, flat-roofed buildings already have been erected in the Port Huron area.” A 1950 ad states that they had built a “test home” five years prior.(1) It can be assumed–perhaps wrongly–that the address of the home they provide in the ad is that “test home.” Whether it is the 1945 test or another early example, it is still standing and shown below the pictured ad.
Ken-Way Homes ad, first one discovered so far (The Times Herald 09-17-50, p 23).
We decided to announce the winners on the same page used for the entries, making it easier to find and also giving the opportunity for everyone to see all entries (if they haven’t already). It was difficult for us to finalize some winners, as judging for a contest like this is necessarily subjective to a certain degree. And we’d like to give something to everyone simply for participating and trying! Thank you all! We wanted to mention that although a couple of the entries did not meet the rules for the contest, we really liked them anyway and do not wish to discourage anyone. We have a similar contest planned for next year; it will be announced sooner and will hopefully appeal to more people. Watch out for it! The winners are announced with their photos below (images can be clicked on in order to view them in a larger size). Prizes are listed at the contest page, but we have added more “honorable mention” prizes ($10 gift certificates from the Raven Cafe) since that was posted.
Below are the entries to the Peeps in (local) History contest, in no particular order. Please enjoy looking at them, and feel free to leave comments–we’ll be reading these and taking them into consideration as we decide on the winners!
Honorable Mention. Laura White. “Phineas went all through town and he was so tired he needed to rest. He thought that this would be a great time for a selfie in front of his favorite clocks, Moshers. (After this he he went on his way to many more places in Port Huron which he may show you in the future.)” Mosher’s is at the corner of Huron and McMorran, in downtown Port Huron. The Mosher’s clock was purchased by Clarence Mosher in 1912 (it was a used clock and was originally hand-cranked), and formerly at 209 Huron Avenue.