Michigan Road Trips: Discovering Port Huron - WNEM TV 5

Michigan Road Trips: Discovering Port Huron

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Ever heard of a gramophone? It's another name for a phonograph and the guy who invented it is celebrated at a Michigan museum.

Thomas Alva Edison moved with his family to Port Huron from Ohio when he was 7-years-old.

"In fact out of the five Edison’s who moved to Port Huron in 1854, four are still here at our local cemetery, only Thomas is somewhere else, at his mansion in New Jersey,” said Dave Dazer with Thomas Edison Depot Museum.

Edison went to work as a newsboy in 1859 for the Grand Trunk Railroad, a line between Port Huron and Detroit. He hawked a newspaper that he published, learning how to become a telegraph operator and launching him into history.

“He ended up being a telegraph operator all over the Midwest, usually getting fired, we have a map of what happened in various cities,” Dazer said.

The museum charts Edison’s many achievements.

Right down the road from the museum is the oldest lighthouse in Michigan.

The Fort Gratiot Lighthouse was originally built in 1825, but the current lighthouse went up in 1829 after the original one collapsed during a storm. 

"Having the lighthouse here and having it be the focal point of tourism in our county is something special,” said Dennis Delor with St. Clair County Parks.

The lighthouse is still operational, guiding ships off Lake Huron to the area.  The U.S. Coast Guard runs it, with one single light bulb.

“It's fully automated, it's just got a little led light bulb in there now and you can see that light for nearly 14 miles, which is more than enough for this area,” said Lauren Nelson with the Ft. Gratiot Light Station.

Directly south of the lighthouse is the huge Blue Water Bridge, an international thoroughfare between the United States and Canada.

"Um, well for the most part both for Michigan and beyond Michigan travel along I-69 or I-94 corridor, commercial traffic, bringing things to the auto industry or almost any other industry around the state it would be very important from a commercial standpoint and the commuter and tourism traffic going back and forth,” said Gregg Brunner with MDOT.

The original three-lane span opened in 1938.  A second three-lane span was added in the 1990's.  It's a bridge for motorized transportation, hovering over a railroad car museum and dedicated to the greatest inventor who ever lived in Michigan. 

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