Photo Credit: Michael Stoltz, some rights reserved
FIRST PERMANENT SETTLEMENT
The first permanent white settlement was in 1790 when seven intrepid and sturdy Frenchmen their wives and families arrived on the spot and erected shanties for the purpose of forming a settlement. These were Anselm Petit, Francois Lerviere, Baptiste Levais ,John Baptiste Duchion, Michael Jarvais, JB Corneais, and Peter Moreaux. About the same time Peter Brandimore and M Causley, two young men in the service of a trading company, tiring of the irksomeness of their tasks, left their employment and took up their abode in the locality to follow the vocation of trappers. The settlement retained a permanent character except that during the war of 1812 the pioneers abandoned their homes for a time to seek safety under the protecting guns of the fort at Detroit. A friendly squaw, to whom the settlers had done a favor, returned the act of kindness by warning them of the meditated treachery of the British allies and saved them from probable annihilation. At the close of the hostilities the settlers returned to their homes and a fort was re established, which was then re-named Fort Gratiot.
In 1815 there was a reinforcement of the little band of settlers by the coming of an additional number of French families, including those of the two brothers Bonhomme, M. Duprey, and a man named Racine. Two years later there were some further arrivals, several families from Swan Creek in the present township of Ira, taking up homes on the north bank of Black river.
Edward Petit was the first white child born within the territory now included in the city of Part Huron. He was the son of Anselm Petit, and was born in a log house at the foot of Court street, February 7th, 1813.
The first English arrival was Jeremiah Harrington, who came here from New York in 1819.
John Riley, a half breed who claimed ownership of the land, built a house very near the point where Military street crosses Black river, on the southwest corner of Military and Water streets the same year.
The clearing with the little cluster of rude shanties was for many years known as the village of De Lude, which name in 1828 was changed to that of Desmond and subsequently in 1835 was incorporated under the name of Port Huron. In that year portions of the territory south of Black River were platted and offered for sale by Edward Petit and Messrs White and Harrington, the village so laid out being called Peru. In 1837 Major John Thorn platted a small piece land on the north side and called it Paris. The name Port Huron was first applied by Daniel B Harrington to his plat the owners of other plats following and thus consolidating the whole under one name.
Source: Souvenir History of Port Huron, Michigan