Port Crescent State Park is one of southern Michigan’s largest state parks. The park, located at the tip of Michigan’s “thumb” along three miles of sandy beachfront of Lake Huron Saginaw Bay, has outstanding fishing, canoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, birding, and hunting possibilities. It’s a popular tourist site, and because it’s a Dark Sky preserve, it attracts stargazers on clear summer evenings. However, a little-known fact about this park is that it is built on the site of a former Michigan lumber town and steamship port.
Sand Operations For Glass Manufacturing
By 1894, all of the buildings in Port Crescent were gone, leaving few traces of the town behind. Nathaniel Bennett Haskell, who owned the sawmill and salt plant on the west side of the river died at age 82.
Haskell’s daughter Elizabeth “Lizzie” Haskell began to realize the value of the local sand quality for copper-smelting and glassmaking. The Haskell docks became a sand quarry and shipping operation utilizing the large docks for freighters to load.
The unique sand along the beach was exhausted in the 1930s and the operations were abandoned. Lizzie died in 1936 in nearby Sandusky in Sanilac County, Michigan.
Today the site of the former lumber town and sand mining operations is known as Port Crescent State Park. There remain some concrete slabs of the pier and a huge dock that dominated the site in the early 1900s.
Want to Know More About Port Cresent?
Michigan Ghost Town In The Thumb – Port Crescent State Park – One of the largest state parks in Michigan was once a thriving lumber town with over 500 residents.
A Michigan Shipwreck Off Port Crescent In 1887 Yielded A Lot Of Dough – One of the most unusual stories about the ghost town of Port Crescent was the result of a shipwreck just off-shore. Its cargo was dumped in an attempt to save the ship. It ended up a windfall for the locals.
Dark Skies Project For Michigan Upper Thumb Stargazing And Nightlife – At the tip of Michigan’s Thumb, Port Crescent State Park is one of six Dark Sky Preserves in Michigan. The park’s designation as a Dark Sky Preserve is another unique element. Visitors can experience this without having to drive further north or to the Upper Peninsula.
5 Of The Top Huron County Beaches Of The Upper Thumb – Huron County’s 93 miles of shoreline plays host to 17 public beaches. Here are our top five beaches and notable mentions of Michigan’s Upper Thumb