Harbor Beach Times Masthead

102 Years Ago in Harbor Beach History

102 years ago illustrations started to appear in the newspapers of Michigan’s Upper Thumb. The following was on the front page of the Harbor Beach Times on January 5th, 1917. Was food scarce? Coal was also in short supply causing layoffs of fisherman and the sugar beet processing plant in Mt. Clemens. It’s an interesting observation of Harbor Beach history.


Newspaper cartoons like this played a key communications role and to shape public opinion. It’s an interesting aspect of Harbor Beach history.

Why Harbor Beach is Important

Harbor Beach has a rich history. In 1883 a new harbor was completed, making Harbor Beach the largest freshwater port in the world. This one mile by three miles long harbor with 650 acres of anchorage was enclosed by three break walls with two entrances. One is the north and the other at the east. This enabled shipping protection in the long run after leaving Port Huron. The city later became home to major industries including a starch and power plant.

Harbor Beach is also home to a continuous Life-Saving Service / Coast Guard presence since 1881. A Life-Saving Service Station was established in Sand Beach then replaced in 1909. In 1935 a new Coast Guard Station was built offshore. Today the USCG is manned year-round by Coast Guard personnel.

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Michael Hardy

Michael Hardy is the owner of Thumbwind Publications LLC. Michael was born in Michigan and grew up near Caseville. In 2009 he started this fun-loving site covering Michigan's Upper Thumb. Since then, he has authored a vast range of content and established a loyal base of 60,000 visitors per month.

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