The Port Huron Museum of Arts and History was founded in 1967, and through a community-wide volunteer effort, opened its doors in 1968. Housed in an historic Carnegie Library (built in 1904), the Museum provides exhibitions and programs relating to local history, fine arts (with an emphasis on regional art), decorative arts, natural history, and Great Lakes marine lore. The Museum is the only year-round, multi-disciplinary cultural institution in Michigan’s Thumb Region (a five-county area). The Museum began as a completely volunteer-operated organization, and now employs a staff of seven full-time, three part-time, and seasonal part-time staff during the summer months. In addition to serving our own community, the Museum is recognized throughout the state of Michigan and nationally as a center for research in folk arts, archeology, and Great Lakes marine lore.
In 1990, the Museum opened its first off-site facility at the HURON Lightship, a National Historic Landmark now located in our nearby waterfront park.
In 2001, the Museum opened its second satellite facility, the Thomas Edison Depot Museum, to interpret the early life of Thomas Edison in Port Huron. The new museum is housed in the historic railroad station where Edison was employed, and it is based on some 19 years of archeological research sponsored by our institution.
In 2003, the Museum opened its third satellite, the US Coast Guard Cutter (Retired) BRAMBLE Museum Ship, which was closed to the public in 2011, due to economic conditions.
In 2010, the Museum entered into an agreement with St. Clair County Parks and Recreation to be the operating partner at the Fort Gratiot Light Station property. This 5-acre, 6 building site, including the historic 1829 tower, was closed in 2008 due to the conditions of the buildings. In 2010, the property was deeded from the National Park Service/US Coast Guard to St. Clair County. Restoration has begun, and the Museum will begin operations with a gift shop, tours and exhibits in mid-2012.
PORT HURON MUSEUM MISSION STATEMENT
The Port Huron Museum celebrates the history and culture of the Blue Water Area and fosters an appreciation of other peoples and places. Through exhibitions, education, and public programs, the Museum inspires knowledge of the past, participation in the present, and an imagination for the future.
Our visitors and treat them with respect
Preservation, research, and promotion of our unique community history and culture
An understanding of Port Huron’s place in the larger world
Integrity, authenticity, and relevance in our exhibits and programs
A safe learning environment that provides experiential opportunities for visitors of all age Dedication, commitment, and professionalism in staff, Board, and volunteers
Mutual trust, creativity, respect, and fun
Collaboration with other regional organization
Fiscal responsibility and maintaining a sustainable funding base