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PH Museum debuts new Lakeside Cemetery Tour

Photo courtesy of Port Huron Museum/Facebook The all-new walking tour of the Lakeside Cemetery in Port Huron on Saturday, Oct. 1 promises to be both informative and interesting.

Tickets still available for Oct. 1 event.

By Barb Pert Templeton

When you consider some 40,000 souls have been laid to rest at Lakeside Cemetery in Port Huron it’s a given that there are certainly some interesting stories to share.

Doing just that is what Andrew Kercher, the community engagement manager at the Port Huron Museum, has in mind when he hosts an all-new walking tour at the cemetery on Oct. 1 beginning at 5 p.m. and lasting about 90 minutes.

Tickets for the event, which are $8 for museum members and $12 for non-members, must be purchased in advance online at Eventbrite. The link can be found on the Port Huron Museum website of the Facebook page. 

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Kercher said cemetery tours have grown in popularity over the last few years and there have been many conducted at Lakeside Cemetery which is the largest graveyard in St. Clair County. 

Photo courtesy of Andrew Kercher/Facebook
As the Community Engagement Manager for the Port Huron Museum, Andrew Kercher strives to share the history of the city with the public.

In fact, the late Marcia Haynes, a founding member of and frequent volunteer with the Port Huron Museums led historic tours at Lakeside Cemetery for several decades

The upcoming tour will include hearing about the history of cemeteries in Port Huron in general plus stories about how thousands were moved from older cemeteries across town to their new final resting place at Lakeside in the 1880s. 

Kercher said he will talk about cemeteries in general, 19th century grave symbols and how mourning practices have changed over the years.

A variety of interesting tales about local notables resting at Lakeside Cemetery will also be shared. Kercher said they will visit the gravesite of some Thomas Edison descendants and learn the origin of local prominent families like the McMorrans’.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Library of Congress Collections
Henry McMorran is one of the prominent Port Huron pioneers who will be featured in the upcoming walking tour of Lakeside Cemetery.

“For the McMorran family for example people wonder why they know that name, why local places are named after them and even why they have such a big marker in the cemetery,” Kercher said.

Henry McMorran was born in Port Huron in 1844 and he was a prominent businessman and Republican who served five terms in the United States Congress representing the 7th District from 1903 t0 1913. He married Emma Caroline Williams and they had five children.

McMorran wore many hats including president of the local savings bank, city alderman and Port Huron City Treasurer amid day-to-day tasks that included a number of successful business ventures. After World War I he was a founder of the Great Lakes Foundry that was a major supplier for Chevrolet.

The family had a large three-story mansion on the St. Clair River and in 1920 had presidential candidate, Howard Taft, pay a visit for dinner. 

Henry McMorran died in 1929 at the age of 85. Today, the city’s largest sports and concert center bears his name, McMorran Place was opened and dedicated to the pioneer in 1960. 

The tour will start near the chapel, directly north of stone street. The event will be held rain or shine, in cooler temperatures so participants are reminded to dress accordingly.

Lakeside Cemetery is located at 3663 10th Avenue in Port Huron.

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