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James Beard: 1905

James Beard: 1905

Circa 1905. "Port Huron, Michigan -- Black River." An array of interesting signage in this view. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


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Hello, Gracie

The Grace Dormer appeared in this previous Shorpy photo.

Grace, James & Omar

Our Inland Seas, by James Cooke Mills, 1910.

At the foot of Lake Huron, where the flow of the broad lake narrows to the St. Clair River, there is a ferry between the city of Port Huron and Sarnia, a town on the Canadian side. Since 1868, the little steamer Grace Dormer has maintained a ferry service, to which was added, in 1873, the ferry-boat James Beard; and in 1882 the new steamer Omar D. Conger was built for the passage of the swift current at this point. The Conger is of two hundred gross tons' register, and is one hundred and two feet long by twenty-six feet beam.


24 April 1882 - The ferry Hawkins (wooden propeller ferry, 73 foot, 86 gross tons, built in 1873, at Au Sable, Michigan) was renamed James Beard. She had received a thorough overhaul and was put in service between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, on 25 April 1882. She lasted until 1927, when she was abandoned.

Damm v. Vincent (Mich. 1917)

As suggested by the well-weathered sign, the William Fraser livery stable in Port Huron was in poor condition in 1907 and 1908. That came as a surprise to Ontario resident Charles Damm, who had been convinced by Mr. Fraser in 1907 that it was in good shape when Damm paid Fraser for it, sight unseen. Fraser died right after the sale, and Damm eventually brought a fraud suit against one of Fraser's co-venturers, Edward Vincent. In 1917 the Michigan Supreme Court ruled against Damm, finding that his delay in disaffirming the sale after he learned the true condition of the business barred his fraud claim.

Steamer Omar D. Conger met a sad end

The Ferry Steamer Omar D. Conger, named for a US Representative and Senator from Michigan, was built in 1882. It was destroyed when its boiler exploded at dockside in Port Huron on March 22, 1922. Four crew members lost their lives and more than a half dozen people on land were injured. Several waterfront businesses were damaged. One house was demolished when what was left of the the boiler went through its roof. Only rubble remained of what had been the Conger.

Many Men Smoke But Fu Manchu

A blurry ad for Sure Shot Chewing Tobacco appears on the wall of the shack-like structure at the extreme left of the photo, I found 2 advertisements for that product. One is a tri-fold advertising counter card . The other a store display tin that held loose Sure Shot Chewing Tobacco which, I guess, was sold by the pinch to those that imbibed.

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