While surveying the first state road through the Huron County wilderness in 1861, Rudolph Papst and George Willis Pack made camp here and found a much-used and badly damaged axe. At Pack's suggestion, Papst used the name "Bad Axe Camp” in the . . . — — Map (db m211161) HM
The Gillingham Fish Company was established in 1886; the Bay Port Fish Company in 1895. At their peak in the 1920s and 1930s, they shipped tons of perch, walleye, herring, whitefish and carp to New York and Chicago in refrigerated railroad cars. . . . — — Map (db m160705) HM
Small fires were burning in the forests of the Thumb, tinder-dry after a long, hot summer, when a gale swept in from the southwest on Sept. 5, 1881. Fanned into an inferno, the fires raged for three days. A million acres were devastated in Sanilac . . . — — Map (db m160706) HM
Henry A. Hamp
As chief of right-of-way acquisition for state highways during the last 19 years of his 30-year Department career (1951-1981), Mr. Hamp supervised the acquisition of some 43,000 land . . . — — Map (db m180748) HM
Stagecoaches played an important part in developing the Midwest. Michigan’s frontier “fever” peaked in the decade from 1830 to 1840 with a 600 percent population increase. Stagecoaches attempted to fill the demand for fast and relatively . . . — — Map (db m160627) HM
and Northern R.R.
(now Grand Trunk Western)
laid about 1882
Caseville and Pontiac
On July 17 1961, this was the first rail removed when the last 6 miles of the original track from Caseville to Pigeon . . . — — Map (db m180792) HM
In 1868 the Reverend Manasseh Hickey and twelve settlers organized a Methodist Episcopal church in Caseville. Services were held in a schoolhouse until the present church was built. Upon its dedication on November 15, 1874, the Gothic-inspired . . . — — Map (db m153555) HM
"White Rock" is steeped in history and oral traditions. Henry Schoolcraft, in his Travels of 1820, speaks of the White Rock and its prominence. He says, "White Rock, an enormous detached mass of transition limestone standing in the lake at the . . . — — Map (db m68867) HM
Justice, United States Supreme Courty
Graduate Harbor Beach High School
Captain of infantry, U.S.A.
Judge, Recorder's Court, Detroit
Mayor, City of Detroit, Governor-General, Philippine Islands . . . — — Map (db m213251) HM
Corporal Curtis James Wells was born March 14, 1931, to Wilbert and Emma Wells. He spent most of his life in Harbor Beach, Michigan, where he attended school until joining the army. Corporal Wells never completed high
school because he convinced . . . — — Map (db m213493) HM
During a tremendous storm on November 29, 1966, the 60-year-old, 586 foot long Daniel J. Morrell broke in two and sank North of Harbor Beach.
The ship was plowing through near hurricane force winds and waves higher than a three-story building. . . . — — Map (db m213519) HM
Photo captions from left to right, top to bottom:
The J. Jenks & Co. General Store built in 1882. It was renamed The Mihlethaler Store in 1902. It was located on the North East corner of Huron Avenue and States Street.
Men cleaning the downtown . . . — — Map (db m213521) HM
Frank Murphy was associate justice of the U. S. Supreme Court from 1940 until his death in 1949. His earlier career included service as a judge in the Detroit Recorder’s Court and instructor in law at the University of Detroit in . . . — — Map (db m153635) HM
First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church began in Rock Falls about 1864 in a building Jeremiah Jenks built as a gathering place. In 1874 the First Baptist Church
of Rock Falls was organized with Reverend A. M. Swain. When Mr. Jenks . . . — — Map (db m213486) HM
The Sand Beach Opera House
The Opera House was built on land donated to the village by J. Jenks & Company just north of the present Community House building. There was a room for the Fire Department to store their fire truck, hose cart and . . . — — Map (db m213511) HM
During the mid 1800s, sailing ships of all sizes transported lumber, iron ore, and copper from Michigan's vast forests and Upper Peninsula mines. The
lumber was in demand to build the cities of Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and other Midwest cities. . . . — — Map (db m213505) HM
In 1920 The Huron Milling Company of Harbor Beach acquired property at the corner of Broad and First Streets, consisting of two lots, each with a frame building. With this nucleus, a hospital was started to serve their . . . — — Map (db m213522) HM
On October 25, 1876, a lighthouse was erected on the north side of the main entrance of the harbor. A light, visible for 3 miles, guided ships to the safety of the new Government Harbor of Refuge
The "skeleton" design light tower, with the lamp . . . — — Map (db m213507) HM
In 1878 the Port Huron and Northwestern Railroad began laying track from Port Huron to Minden City, where it would branch off to Bad Axe and Port Austin. J. Jenks & Co. convinced the railroad company to continue the track from Minden City to Sand . . . — — Map (db m213484) HM
The first industry in the area that would become Harbor Beach was groups of "Shingle Weavers" who cut wood shingles from trees that covered the vast undeveloped thumb area of Michigan.
The lumber companies followed to harvest the trees and cut . . . — — Map (db m213514) HM
1916, August 26 - James H. Lincoln born in Sand Beach Township, three miles south of Harbor Beach, to Burr and Esther (Hoare) Lincoln.
1934 — James Lincoln graduated from Harbor Beach High School.
1935-1937 —James H. Lincoln . . . — — Map (db m213506) HM
1890: Born William Francis Murphy in Harbor Beach in April 13, 1890.
1914: Received a law degree from the University of Michigan.
1917-1919: Served in the U.S. Army during World War I achieving the rank of Captain with the . . . — — Map (db m213475) HM
Bruce Gardner Johnson was born on July 15, 1937, in Harbor Beach, Michigan. He was the eldest of four children born to Claire and Lucille Johnson. Throughout his early years and into young adulthood, Bruce distinguished
himself in all his . . . — — Map (db m213495) HM
In the 1880s, Sand Beach was a very busy port city. Ships delivered supplies, and products produced in the area were shipped out. The large amount of ship
traffic required that a life saving service station be built.
The original station was . . . — — Map (db m213520) HM
Major Louis J. Sebille was born in Harbor Beach, Michigan, on November 21, 1915. He was the son of Louis Joseph August Sebille, M.D., and Edna I. (DeLish) Sebille. In 1934 he enrolled at Wayne State University in Detroit,
Michigan, where he was a . . . — — Map (db m213489) HM
A hostile climate confronted Americans of Japanese descent following the attack on Pearl Harbor that led to United States' entry into World War II. Despite their loyalty and distinguished service in our armed forces, Japanese Americans were . . . — — Map (db m213218) HM
The North Park Pavilion has been an integral piece of Harbor Beach life for more than a century. In 1905 the Pavilion was built across the road in what is today, North Park Campground. In 2015 it was moved to its present location as part of the . . . — — Map (db m213518) HM
PFC Brian J. Backus grew up in Harbor Beach, Michigan and graduated from Harbor Beach High School in 2008.
In June 2010, Brian joined the US Army and became a Combat Medic. He arrived at Fort Drum, New York in December. In March of 2011 he . . . — — Map (db m213501) HM
Aaron Cutler Elandt was born November 13, 1980, Paul and Linda Elandt in Port Hope, Michigan. He graduated from Harbor Beach High School in 1999. He joined the Army on March 30, 2000, as a 19D Cavalry Scout and was assigned to G Troop, 5th Squadron, . . . — — Map (db m213499) HM
Since man first inhabited the thumb area of Michigan, Lake Huron has been the most important mode of transportation. Long before there were wagon trails or railroads the lake provided a method for Native Americans and pioneers to travel and . . . — — Map (db m213508) HM
In 1914 Frank Murphy graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and joined his father's law practice until he left to serve in World War I. In 1920 the elder Murphy died and the law office was locked and remain unchanged. Almost all . . . — — Map (db m213479) HM
On the Great Lakes, November is well known for its horrendous storms which turn the lakes into a boiling cauldron of wind and waves. There is one storm which was the deadliest and most destructive storm to ever occur on the Great Lakes; "The Great . . . — — Map (db m213510) HM
The Grice House Museum Complex consists of three buildings: The James Grice House, the Adams Schoolhouse, and the Agricultural History Building.
The James Grice family emigrated from England in 1872. James operated a shingle mill where North . . . — — Map (db m213517) HM
Bring Back The Light!
Augustin-Jean Fresnel (pronounced Fruh-nell), a nineteenth century French physicist, is credited with inventing the compound lenses which are still widely used in lighthouses.
The Fresnel lens appears much like a . . . — — Map (db m213482) HM
In the early 1800s, "White Rock", a point well known to the Indians and early voyagers, played a significant role in defining settlements.
The Act establishing the Territory of Michigan was passed January 11, 1805, and took effect June . . . — — Map (db m68866) HM
At 7 A.M. Sunday, July 17, 1988, 27 year old Vicki Keith departed from Harbor Beach on an epic swim across Lake Huron. Vicki swam on through July 17, July 18, and onward into the early hours of Tuesday, July 19th. She arrived on the sand beach . . . — — Map (db m213503) HM
The White Rock in Lake Huron, opposite this stone, long venerated by the Indian tribes of Michigan, marks the northern line of the territory released by them to the United States under the treaty made at Detroit, Nov. 17, 1807. This plaque replaces . . . — — Map (db m213219) HM
Named after a boulder in Lake Huron that was used as a landmark in the Indian Treaty of 1807, the village was settled about 1860. Destroyed in the Great Fire of 1871, the town was soon rebuilt, including a schoolhouse. The present building was . . . — — Map (db m154098) HM
The Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse and Lifesaving Station aided mariners for over a century, beginning in 1847. That year the United States Lighthouse Service built the first lighthouse on this site to mark the turning point of Lake Huron into . . . — — Map (db m41201) HM
St. Mary of Czestochowa Roman Catholic Church
The Polish refugees who immigrated to Dwight Township in the 1840s in order to escape Prussian domination worshipped at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Port Austin. In 1903 in an effort to . . . — — Map (db m153627) HM
In 1882, as three new railroads began to lay track in Huron County, two cousins from Saginaw, John G. and John S. Owen, bought land in the Columbia Swamp. The following year, they opened a sawmill to harvest the native oak. John G. Owen hired Quincy . . . — — Map (db m160803) HM
The Pigeon Depot was constructed in 1908 and served two railroad lines. In 1883 the Pontiac, Oxford and Port Austin Railroad, a north-south line, had been extended to Caseville and a depot was built at Berne, one mile north of here. Around 1886 the . . . — — Map (db m160812) HM
A native of New York, contractor Charles G. Learned helped build New York City’s waterworks system and the Erie Canal. Around 1857, Learned and his brother-in-law purchased several thousand acres of pine land in Michigan’s Thumb area. Two years . . . — — Map (db m160068) HM
During the mid-1850s the firm of R. B. Hubbard and Company, which included Connecticut-born entrepreneurs Langdon Hubbard, his brother Watson, and cousin Rollin B., built a steam-powered sawmill on Willow Creek. The company . . . — — Map (db m160462) HM
This chimney was built in 1858 by John Geltz. It is all that remains of the lumber mill established that year by William R. Stafford. Port Hope grew up around the mill. For a score of years this town was a center of lumbering in the Thumb. It also . . . — — Map (db m41202) HM
John C. Liken
One of Sebewaing’s most prominent citizens, John C. Liken (1832-1920), came here in 1865 from New York State where he owned a cooperage. Lured by Michigan’s bountiful forests, he opened stave and sawmills in Sebewaing, . . . — — Map (db m160752) HM
In memorial of
the founders of
April 4, 1853.
J. Friedrich Luckhard
Jacob F. Ruehle
The Indians had named
the crooked river
This . . . — — Map (db m180670) HM
Sebewaing Township was organized in 1853. In 1877 the board resolved to use “liquor money” to build this township hall. The atypical two-story town hall included voting booths, a courtroom, a jury room, a jail, and a meeting hall. The front door . . . — — Map (db m131775) HM
Here, on July 1, 1845, three Lutheran missionaries, Rev. Johann J.F. Auch, Rev. J. Simon Dumser, and Rev. George Sinke, arrived. The Lutheran leader, Rev. Friedrich Schmid, sent them from Ann Arbor to evangelize the Chippewa Indians. A log chapel . . . — — Map (db m131772) HM
Built in 1907 by local contractor David Pierce, the Citizens Bank Block also housed a harness shop and a library. Albert Sleeper (1862-1934), who served in the Michigan State Senate and as governor, cofounded the bank with his uncle A. W. Merrell, . . . — — Map (db m160467) HM