Our History

150+ Years in the Making

In 1807 a treaty was signed deeding the Thumb of Michigan to the United States Government.

In about 1830, lumbermen came to the area to peel bark from Hemlock trees to use in tanning leather. They built a shanty to live in the current Port Sanilac area and covered it with bark. This shanty became a landmark to sailors on Lake Huron and they called the place Bark Shanty Point.

Sanilac Township was organized in April 1848, and Sanilac County in January 1850.


A post office was established at the point in December 1854 and the name was shortened to Bark Shanty. In August 1857 the village was renamed Port Sanilac.

A circuit-riding preacher was instrumental in forming the Methodist-Episcopal Church in Port Sanilac in 1850. Residents built a school in 1852, and also used it for worship until the first church building was built on the present site in 1866.

Uri Raymond established Raymond Hardware in 1850. The business district was moved to Ridge Street from Lake Street between 1865 and 1885.

Docks were built in 1857 and shipping and passenger service continued until the docks were destroyed in the great storm of November 13, 1913.

The U.S. Congress appropriated $20,000 for the construction of The Port Sanilac Lighthouse in 1884, and it was lighted for the first time in October 1886.

With a population of less than 700, the Village Of Port Sanilac is a sesquicentennial treasure just waiting to be discovered.