Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Inventing a Good Time

by Julie Royce /
Julie Royce's picture
Nov 17, 2008 / 2 comments

The Thomas Edison Depot Museum, located underneath the Blue Water Bridges on Edison Parkway in Port Huron, Michigan, chronicles the life and history of the city’s most notable and perhaps favorite son. Thomas Alva Edison, inventor, scientist and youthful entrepreneur worked on trains selling newspapers and snacks from 1859 to 1863 in order to finance the cost of his experiments and burgeoning quest for knowledge. The museum is housed inside the historic Fort Gratiot depot built in 1858 by the Grand Trunk Railway; it was the actual depot out of which Edison toiled beginning at age twelve.

Thomas Edison Depot Museum 


Trains connecting at this location carried passengers and freight between Port Huron and Detroit, Sarnia and other destinations.

Your museum experience will include several hands-on interactive exhibits as well as a sit-down theatre, written displays, conversations, and live science presentations - all of which will help familiarize you with the intriguing story of Edison and his struggle along the route to becoming the famous inventor we revere today. His story includes his family’s move from Ohio to Port Huron, the place that became the focus of many of young Tom’s boyhood and school experiences. Tom’s mother was often his greatest supporter, others were not so encouraging, but Edison charted his own territory and we continue to be grateful for his efforts.

Thomas Edison Depot Museum 


One of many stories told about the young inventor was that his love of science caused him to spend a great deal of energy carrying out experiments. To avoid having anyone disturb his lab he marked all of his vials with the word, “POISON.” Apparently it was an effective deterrent and no one touched his things.

The museum’s gift shop is located in a restored baggage car. The museum is open seven days a week during the summer and Thursday through Monday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm the rest of the year.


Thomas Edison Depot Museum


Julie Albrecht Royce, Michigan Editor, is the author of Traveling Michigan's Sunset Coast and Traveling Michigan's Thumb, both published by Thunder Bay Press. She writes a bi-weekly column (monthly in winter) for wanderingeducators.com, entitled Michigan's Small Town Treasures.

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Comments (2)

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    15 years 7 months ago

    Julie - we definitely need to go! you're putting port huron on our to-do list for summer! thanks.


    Jessie Voigts

    Publisher, wanderingeducators.com

  • Ed Forteau

    15 years 7 months ago

    There is definately plenty to see in Port Huron.  We need to plan a trip there soon.

    Ed Forteau

    Co-Publisher, WanderingEducators.com

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