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Friends of the Port Hope Depot

Formed in 2012, Friends of the Port Hope Depot is a dedicated group of volunteers who, with the help of the community, have moved the depot from its original location to its new site in Stafford County Park.

The mission of the Friends of the Port Hope Depot is to preserve, maintain and promote the heritage of the Port Hope community through its historic train station. The Depot is a classic example of the stations designed by the railroad company that were economical to build; typical frame construction with board and batten exterior. Inside the original depot was a passenger waiting room, a stationmaster's office, a second service or luggage room and a slightly elevated freight room. Restoration of the interior includes all of the rooms except the freight room. The original baggage room is now a new restroom and kitchenette. The building is ADA compliant and eventually a lift will allow access to the second floor. Although restoration continues on the inside, the the Depot was officially dedicated on September 15, 2015 as an historic landmark.

Our key activities include:
  • Form a long-term, non-profit organization
  • Develop a budget and secure funding
  • Acquire the building proper
  • Secure a suitable and appropriate location
  • Move and renovate the structure
  • Develop programs and refine uses

The Depot is located just off M25 in Port Hope, Michigan. Turn east on State St. and you’ll find it down the hill and on the right.
To view the Port Hope Depot location in a larger map.

The train depot now sits adjacent to Stafford County Park on the shores of Lake Huron. Plenty of parking, camping and trailer hookups are available at the park.

The Port Hope Depot - a restored train station adjacent to Stafford County Park, Port Hope, Michigan.
Port Hope's National Historic Register Sites
The Stafford Lumber Mill chimney located in Stafford County Park is the last chimney still standing from the State’s great lumber era and is also a prominent symbol of the survival of Port Hope during the two great fires of 1871 and 1881. It was built in 1853 by John Geltz.
The Masonic Temple Hall, now the Rubicon Township Hall, 4425 Main Street. It is the oldest non-residential building in Port Hope. It is an excellent representation of mid 19th century vernacular classical architecture. It was built in 1867 for the Masonic lodge No. 138 F & A.M. It has served multiple uses over time. The second floor was used by the Masons, and the first floor has served as a community social, civic and religious center. After the fire of 1881 it served as a relief distribution depot for the area.
The oldest commercial building on Main Street is Milligan’s Store, originally known as the Agriculture Hall. (Main Street Antiques). A typical late Victorian building. Built in 1884.
On the corner of Main and School Streets is the Dr. R.C. Ogilvie building, (Northern Attic Antiques) It illustrates a late Victorian storefront, built in 1903.
On the corner of Main and Portland Streets is the former Herman House Hotel, built in 1900 to accommodate railroad passengers on the new railroad line being extended from Harbor Beach to Port Hope. Over time additions have been made to enlarge the building, now the Port Hope Hotel.
There are two significant historic church buildings in Port Hope, the former Methodist Episcopal Church and the St. John’s Lutheran Church. The Methodist Church, (red church) on the corner of School and Second Street is a late Victorian Gothic style structure. It was the first church built Port Hope. (1880 -1882)
The brick Gothic style church on the corner of Second and State Street is the St. John’s Lutheran Church, built in 1899. It replaced their former framed church. It has served the German American community from the 1860’s when they started arriving in Port Hope.
The other remaining historical buildings are residential. On Main Street is the William R. Stafford Place 4467 Main St., built in 1866-68. It is Italianate style. The home has remained in the family for four generations.
The house next to the W. R. Stafford Place is the Frederick and Elizabeth Stafford house, built in 1886-87 as a wedding gift from W.R. Stafford. Its design is Eastlake or stick style architecture.
On the corner of School and First Street is the Isaac Leuty house, a true example of a Victorian Gothic styled house. It is thought to have been built in 1874.
In the 1870’s there was a cluster of six small two storied houses painted blue that were built for the families of workers who were employed mainly at the salt block operations. The location was called Blue Town. Of the six the only remaining Blue Town house is number 8022 Cedar Street.
Local Points of Interest
Locals and visitors alike can enjoy a wide variety of events and activities along the path of the former rail trains. Here are just a few jumping off points.
Port Hope, Michigan
Located on Lake Huron in Michigan's Thumb, Port Hope truely is The little town with the Big WELCOME!
Phone 989-428-4554 - email - Don Finkel
Stafford County Park
Stafford County Park is located on Lake Huron in “The Little Town With the Big Welcome”, Port Hope, MI. Stafford County Park features 73 sites & 6 camper cabins on 38 acres.
Thumb Area Tourism Council
Michigan’s Thumb Area includes the counties of Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola, and is outlined by the Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. The Thumb Area is a great ‘staycation’ for Michiganders and Canadians. We’re just a short drive north of the metro Detroit area and only a half hour east of the Great Lakes Bay region.
BlueWater Area CVB
Along the eastern shores of Michigan lies a collection of communities that are boastful about the color blue. 140 miles of shoreline unites the quaint towns of Clay, Algonac, Marine City, St. Clair, Port Huron, Lexington, Port Sanilac, Harbor Beach and Port Austin.
Travel Michigan
The place where Pure Michigan travel comes first. Here Pure Michigan tourism lets unspoiled nature and authentic character revive our spirits.
The Huron City Museums
Point Aux Barques
The Pointe aux Barques Keeper's house and tower have been completely restored and contain history and artifacts from a bygone era. The Museum is open to the public free of charge with donations kindly appreciated to help fund the Society's projects.
Historical Society of Michigan
The Society helps to connect Michigan’s past to students, educators, historical organizations and the public through educational programs, conferences, publications, awards, workshops, referral services, networking opportunities, and support for local history organizations.
Tip of the Thumb Heritage Water Trail
The Mission of the Tip of The Thumb Heritage Water Trail is to develop, maintain, and promote a water trail that highlights natural, cultural, and historical attributes to drive tourism, economic development, and recreational opportunities in Huron, Sanilac, and Tuscola Counties.