Created from the shell of an old railway depot, this museum now embraces the past of one of the city’s most famous residents, Thomas Alva Edison. This unique museum follows the journey of young Edison’s life from his beginning years in Milan, Ohio to his family’s relocation to Port Huron. Get ready to step back in time at the Thomas Edison Depot Museum located in Port Huron, Michigan. As you venture through the first few decades of Edison’s life, learn of the struggles and achievements he experienced.
In 1847, the seventh child of Samuel and Nancy Edison was born by the name of Thomas Alva. It was in the quaint town of Milan, Ohio that he lived for a short period of time and soon the family moved over 150 miles north to Port Huron, Michigan.
Thomas attempted to attend school as most children traditionally did. After facing struggles in school and from his teachers, Nancy Edison decided to educate the child herself. It was his mother that encouraged Edison to read, experience and explore the world around him. She created the spark in Edison’s mind that would one day lead him to being a successful inventor and businessman.
At a young age, Edison worked aboard trains that ran from Port Huron to nearby Detroit. The trains were similar to the one in the photo below. On these trains he worked to sell newspapers and various other items. Eventually he even worked his way up to a telegraph operator position at a train station.
Edison spent most of his earnings on equipment to complete science experiments. Some of these experiments were very successful while others were not. In one instance he accidentally started a fire in a train car where he happened to be conducting an experiment.
Thomas Edison lived in Port Huron until he was 19, when he moved to Louisville, Kentucky to work for Western Union.
With a strong background in railway work and having lived in the local area, this museum was founded to commemorate Thomas Edison.
Originally the depot was owned by a local railroad company that also employed Edison in his youth called the Grand Trunk Railway. In fact, young Edison worked at this depot from 1959-1863.
This historic depot was later used as an office building and then opened in 2001 as a museum. This attraction is owned by the Port Huron Museum and located under the popular Blue Water Bridge that links the United States and Canadian borders.
The museum features access to the interior of the station building, artifacts from Edison’s childhood home that once stood nearby as well as a railroad baggage car that is available for exploration.
Not only is the unique attraction a great place for learning about the railway history of Port Huron, Michigan and the young life of Thomas Edison, but also a lot of good photo ops too!
The museum is located right under the Blue Water Bridge at 510 Edison Parkway in Port Huron.
For more information about the museums current hours, admission prices and other details click here.
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