Captain Aaron Peer founded Grindstone City as a company with quarry operations in 1834. The fine stone was used in the pavement of Woodward and Jefferson Avenues in Detroit. In 1836 he claimed 400 acres of land, which included the stone quarries, and in that year, he made the first grindstone and established the works to advance the business.
Aaron G. Peer of Grindstone City is one of the earliest settlers of Huron County and holds title to many of the “firsts” in the Upper Thumb. Peer installed the first steam engine used in quarry operations at Grindstone City. The engine was prominent among the first “things” of Michigan”, as it was the first built at Detroit, and was the motive of the “Argo,” the first steamer that plied between Port Huron and Detroit. The land he “claimed” in 1836 was the first deed entered in Huron County.
He brought the necessary help and facilities and shipped the products to Chicago and other points. The mills now standing also contain machinery for the manufacture of whetstones, which is of the most improved character. He employed about 40 men when conducting the works himself. They have been rented since 1881, the lease running until 1891
More On Captain Aaron Peer & Grindstone City
The farm of Capt. Peer contains 225 acres, with 120 acres under cultivation, devoted to grain and hay. A fire-proof stone building, 28 x 50 feet in dimensions, was erected by Capt. Peer at Grindstone City, in 1884. It is two stories in height, and he has his residence on the upper floor. The lower story is occupied as a store.
The marriage of Capt. Peer to Euphemia West brook took place on his farm near Marine City, St. Clair County, in 1839. Four children were born to them.: Arthur H., who resides in Chicago and has been the owner and captain of a vessel for several years; Charlotte E., the wife of William H. Cooper, a merchant at Port Austin. Two children are deceased.
The mother died in 1859 at Port Huron. She was the daughter of Capt. Andrew Westbrook was prominent in the war of 1812.
The second marriage of Capt. Peer took place at Port Huron, Nov. 16, 1869, to Sarah L. Hawkins. She was born in Geneva, N. Y. Capt. Peer is President of the Pioneer Society of Huron County and has been a member since its organization.
Being, of all the residents of Huron County, probably the one most deserving of a representation in the portrait gallery of this recognition, as a conspicuous pioneer and still a most prominent citizen, the publishers of this work take special pleasure in placing a likeness of the Captain in connection with the above brief history.