“Unrecognized Properties” showcases the buildings (and perhaps other types of historical assets) in the Port Huron area that have not been recorded or officially recognized. This page is updated off-and-on and we’re aware that there are many properties deserving of recognition that aren’t listed here yet (most of Port Huron could be in one historic district of another). So, if you don’t see a property listed here that you think should be, please contact us about it using the contact form below! No home is too small (in other words, don’t think that the large ornate houses of the wealthy have a monopoly on historical significance).
Port Huron was a large, active city historically in Michigan. Unfortunately, many of its more significant buildings have been destroyed. Because Port Huron does not have a historic resources list, aside from those structures found in two historic districts, many still extant and notable buildings have not been recorded or recognized in any way.
520 Griswold (at Sixth). Endlich, in her 1981 book about historic Port Huron, writes that this home was built ca. 1840 by H.L. Stevens, and that it originally stood at Military and Chestnut. It was moved to its present location and the grand stone house that is still extant, the Dr. Mortimer Willson home, was built in its place.
1603 6th Street, Port Huron, the Judge William T. Mitchell house. Circuit Judge Mitchell and his wife moved to Port Huron (via Romeo, Macomb County, but he was from New York originally) in 1847. The home, on a rise of ground at Griswold street, could date from that year but research is needed to determine a more exact date, if possible. The judge, being active virtually up to his death at the age of 98, died in the home in 1915. His wife, Fannie French Hosmer Mitchell (of Ohio), died the next year there at the age of 83. Mitchell was active in the Democratic party and was a high ranking Mason.
1504 Water Street. Home of Captain Ed. J. Kendall, who became a Marine Reporter of some renown, having published much via the Associated Press. He was also deputy collector of customs in Port Huron for four years, starting in 1888. The house has a tentative build date of 1888; he was married to Hattie Webster in December 1880 (History of the Great Lakes, volume 2, as reproduced at linkstothepast.com; many thanks to the current owner, who provided this information..).
1013 Huron Avenue.
Another Second Empire style home at 1005 Huron Avenue (next door to the 1013 home above). Note the curved window on the first floor’s left side. An undated black and white photo of this home in Burnell and Marcaccio (p 66) shows the same window configuration. According to the same source, it was built in the late 1890s by N.S. Boynton, the namesake of Boynton Beach, Florida. It was purchased by the Meno family in the 1940s, who still lived in it in the 1980s.
Pere Marquette Railroad Station at what is now Desmond Landing. The building has been modernized, but is still much like its original circa 1912 self. This depot might not seem particularly significant because of the changes made to it, but it’s still locally notable for being one of the few depots still standing (Port Huron had many, and a number of round houses, too).
2333-2339 Gratiot Avenue, Port Huron. This two-story brick commercial building, with “1882” etched into its central date stone, sits completely alone in the shadow of the Blue Water Bridge. Neoclassical Italianate.
South Park, the Factory Lands planned community (first platted in 1901). Please see South Park Historic District Moving Forward.
817 Pine Grove Avenue. Built in the 1880’s by John Twiss, but primarily lived in by the McLaughlin (McLachlan) family; it was always known as the McLaughlin house. Restored after being purchased by Willard and Susan Arquette in 1977. It is now Noord Lofts, divided into 3 units (the carriage house is a 4th) and maintained by Sanctum Contracting.
1101 Pine Grove Avenue. One of the few large homes still remaining from the various McLaren hospital expansions; the only one still left directly across from Pine Grove Park. Just as the wealthy lined Military Street south of downtown, they also lined the prime real estate along Pine Grove Avenue north of the city center. Maintained by Kearns Insurance.
1426 Griswold Street, Port Huron. Two-story Italianate (1840-1885) built and owned by the Petit family–one of the oldest settlers of Port Huron. It is located within Edward Petit’s estate, and his son Marshall lived there by 1885.
2828 Military Street, Port Huron. Home of nationally significant Bina West Miller, founder of the Woman’s Benefit Association, now Woman’s Life Insurance Society. Known as “Westhaven,” this large home saw the entertainment of the Governor of Michigan and others. Built 1916-1917 at a cost of $15,000 ($341,101 in 2018 dollars, which is not at all reflective of the replacement cost today).
517 Rawlins, at Superior. House of John G. O’Neill, one of the long-time business owning O’Neill family in town, and one-time mayor (1880s). Prior to living at this house starting in 1887 or 1888, he lived west of their business offices at Huron and Butler (now Grand River). The family’s Up River Ice Company processing building was at the end of the same street, Rawlins.
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FORT GRATIOT TOWNSHIP
PORT HURON TOWNSHIP
Pre-1859 house on Beach Road (for more information, please click on hyperlink for a short article about it).
AIA Detroit Chapter, Guide to Port Huron Architecture (no date). A fold-out brochure.
Burnell, Mary C. and Amy Marcaccio, Blue Water Reflections: A Pictorial History of Port Huron and the St. Clair River District (Virginia Beach: The Donning Co/Pub.s, 1983).
City Directories, various.
Know of a property that should be recognized? Let us know! Thank you.