Carnegie Center - Port Huron, Michigan
Carnegie Center - Port Huron Museum - www.phmuseum.org
The Port Huron Museum is actually a group of museums, each with a distinct purpose and character. The Carnegie Center is the main component of the group. The building on Sixth St. was built in 1902 to serve as the Port Huron Public Library as part of the Andrew Carnegie Library Construction project. The architectural styles of Carnegie Libraries across Michigan are unique and beautiful. At one point the building was to be demolished but local volunteers saved this magnificent structure. Nothing like these is being built today.
The Main Museum houses thousands of objects, documents and photographs. Among the exhibits is the largest collection of model ships in Michigan. With that exhibit is a reconstructed full size “hands-on” Pilot House from a Great Lakes freighter. The ships wheel turns, the lights flash and the whistles blow, great fun.
Then there is the Whiting-Moore Home paneling. The display is a replica of a parlor from a Victorian Era home. The exhibit has the usual examples of furniture, clothing and artwork, but it also has the paneling and the fireplace it surrounds. Rare as it is beautiful, the hand-carved wall paneling and fireplace mantle is the kind of craftsmanship that few if any artisans could produce today. This is not modern laminate. This is solid wood, oak I think, that was fashioned into a wall treatment and a remarkable work of art. Local history is also preserved through photographs, artifacts and stories from the first Native Americans in the Blue Water Area to the ground breaking medical advancements that took place in Port Huron.