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History of Harbor Beach

The City of Harbor Beach was first settled by two lumbermen in the spring of 1838.  John Allen and Alanson Daggertt settled on the east side of the thumb south of the current city.  They named the area Allen’s Creek, which is now Rock Falls, and built a water-powered sawmill.  That same fall Michigan Geological Expedition of Detroit sent Bela Hubbard to explore the area for salt springs.

Pack, Jenks & Co. purchased the mill in 1864, and operated the business until the partnership was dissolved in 1876.  The Carrington and Pack mill property at Sand Beach was then purchased by Jeremiah Jenks of Pack, Jenks & Co.  This was the beginning of the J. Jenks & Co. Salt Block and Flour Mill, which became the Huron Milling Co. in later years.  The settlement of Rock Falls ultimately moved north to Sand Beach.

Sand Beach became the County Seat in 1859, when Huron County was organized.  In 1860 the first court house was built, only to be burnt down in the fire of 1864.  The County Seat was then related to Port Austin.  However, Sand Beach continued to thrive and became a village in 1882.

When the Harbor of Refuge was completed in 1898, the village name was changed to Harbor Beach.  A petition was sent to the Governor in 1899 requesting Harbor Beach be incorporated into a city.  On April 4, 1910, the charter was granted.

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