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PORT HURON

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 118 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PORT HURON, a city and the county-seat of Saint Clair county, Michigan, U.S.A., at the confluence of the Saint Clair and Black rivers, and at the lower end of Lake Huron, about 6o m. N.N.E. of Detroit. Pop. (1900), 19,158 of whom 7142 were foreign-born ; (1910 U.S. census) 18,863. It is served by the Grand Trunk and other railways, and by steamboat lines to Chicago and other ports. A railway tunnel, 6025 ft. long, under the Saint Clair, connects the city with Sarnia, Canada. The tunnel, which has an inside diameter of 20 ft., was constructed by the Grand Trunk railway in 1889-1891 at a cost of about $2,700,000, and was designed by Joseph Hobson (b. 1834). Port Huron is laid out with wide streets, on both sides of the Black river and along the shore of Lake Huron; it has attractive parks and mineral water springs, and is a summer resort. Among its buildings are the court house, the city hall, and a Modern Maccabee Temple--Port Huron being the headquarters of the Knights of the Modern Maccabees (1881), a fraternal society which, in 1910, had a membership of 107,737. Until 1908 Port Huron was the headquarters of the Knights of the Maccabees of the World (founded in 1883; 283,998 members in 191o). Port Huron has large shipping interests, and since 1866 has been the port of entry of the Huron customs district. In 1go8 its exports were valued at $16,958,080 and its imports at $4,859,120. The city has shipyards, dry docks, large shops of the Grand Trunk railway, publishing houses, and manufactories of agricultural implements, steel ships, automobiles, foundry products, paper and pulp, and toys. In 1904 the city's factory products were valued at $4,789,589. In 1686 the French established Fort St Joseph, a fortified trading post, which came into the possession of the British in 1761 and was occupied by American troops in 1814. The fort was renamed Fort Gratiot in honour of General Charles Gratiot (1788-1855), who was chief-engineer in General W. H. Harrison's army in 1813-1814, and was chief-engineer of the U.S. Army in 1828-'838. The settlement which grew up round the fort, and was organized as a village in '84o, was also known as Fort Gratiot, and was annexed to Port Huron in 1893. The fort was abandoned during 1837-1848, during 1852-'866, and, permanently, in '879. The earliest permanent settlement, in what later became Port Huron, was made in 1790 by several French families. This settlement, distinct from that at the fort, was first called La Riviere De Lude, and, after '828, Desmond. It was platted in 1835, incorporated as a village in 1840 (under its present name), and chartered as a city in '857.
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