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 Post subject: Re: Algonac History
Unread postPosted: June 9, 2017, 10:39 am 
Spending my early childhood moving from place to place as you do in a military family, I lived in Georgia, the Netherlands, Germany, and Washington state in addition to a short while in Marine City and St. Clair before my family finally settled in Algonac when I was about 12 years old. Although it did feel somewhat off the beaten path while I was growing up, I can say Algonac was nice place to live. Although I have lived in several places since moving away from there over 25 years ago, I can say it still feels like about the only place that truly feels like "home" when I pass through. It has changed quite a bit, however, with the A&P Grocery Store and M&R Drugstore in the downtown complex built during the 1970s long gone along with the IGA, Ben Franklin and several other businesses located in the city during my youth. Yes, I'm old enough to remember the Sears catalog store (something like the Amazon of that era) being there along with what I remember being told was the old A&P building just up M-29 near Henry's restaurant. If I had any complaints of growing up in Algonac it would be the onslaught of the mosquitoes in the summer and the few days of the fishflies each year.


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 Post subject: Re: Algonac History
Unread postPosted: June 9, 2017, 4:53 am 

Joined: December 6, 2014, 5:37 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Fair Haven, MI
Guest wrote:
In years gone by - the lions club raffled off a boat every year during the 4th of July fishing contest. large crowds from out - of - town folks enjoyed the carnival rides and purchased tickets to win the boat. I don't think they attract a large enough crowd to continue this today.



The Algonac Pickerel Tournament is alive and well and the Lions still have the boat raffle.

http://www.algonaclions.org/Pickerel_Tournament.html


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 Post subject: Re: Algonac History
Unread postPosted: June 8, 2017, 12:02 pm 
In years gone by - the lions club raffled off a boat every year during the 4th of July fishing contest. large crowds from out - of - town folks enjoyed the carnival rides and purchased tickets to win the boat. I don't think they attract a large enough crowd to continue this today.


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 Post subject: Re: Algonac History
Unread postPosted: June 7, 2017, 6:34 am 
If I'm not mistaken the Dyke Road once had the tracks of the interurban rail system that served the area during the early to mid-1900s. I believe these continued into town and up what is now Michigan Street to continue towards Marine City. I lived near the intersection of Michigan and Mill streets back in the 1980s and remember seeing the tracks in spots along Michigan Street where that pavement had cracked away. I had a paper route that covered the area from M-29 and Dixie to the downtown senior citizen complex and as far west as Lee Street. As such, my route covered a large portion of the northern part of the city running along the St. Clair River. Although some homes in the area, especially along the canal, were seasonal, the vast majority of of those living in the area were year long residents during that time. Living in Algonac and the Blue Water area from the late 1970s until just a few years ago, I don't ever recall ever noticing the community to have an overabundance of seasonal residents, although some of the homes on the canals, and obviously those on Russell Island certainly fit that description. While growing up in Algonac during the 1980s, a large portion of the local population was employed by companies related to the auto industry.


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 Post subject: Re: Algonac History
Unread postPosted: June 3, 2017, 12:16 pm 
I was lucky enough to spend my summers on Russell Island during the 1950's and 60's. the entire area surrounding Algonac was once marsh land. driving into Algonac from detroit one passes thru saint john's marsh while traveling along the 'dyke road' ( a road built thru the marsh using millions of cubic feet of fill dirt ). smith island ( the small island just south of russell ) was a great place to hunt frogs at night, until the corps of engineers needed a place to dump fill sand from the shipping channel. this turned a swamp into valuable property. the Algonac tax base has always been related to the boating industry. many fine boats were made by chris craft and gar wood in the area but once they left, so did the jobs and taxes which they paid. the water front in town had many stores and eating places but, once these were torn down and replaced with a park - the tax base also left Algonac. in short - the town is very active in the summer but, it's almost a ghost town in the winter.


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 Post subject: Re: Algonac History
Unread postPosted: June 2, 2017, 3:50 pm 
Let me first give you a little history to qualify my response. During the 1930s my mother, two brothers, sister, and I spent our summers in Algonac in our house on St. Clair River Dr. (M-29). Right across the road, located on the north end of the canal, was a boathouse that rented rowboats and motorboats to fishermen, most of whom came up to Algonac on weekends. In addition, the boathouse had a shop where they built small wooden boats. One of my brothers and I would barrow a rowboat two or three times a week and row along all of the canals and out into the St. Clair River to fish or just sight see, especially to watch the ore boats going up and down the river. As our father was captain of one of the Interlake Steamship Co. ore boats, when we knew he was coming by, we would row out to meet and talk with him for a few minutes. As for the origin of the canals, they were dredged out of marshlands along that section of the river. The dredged out material was used as fill dirt in creating the land surrounded by the canals and river. Because Algonac was such a popular summer and weekend vacation spot for fishing and river cruising, many people from Detroit and surrounding Michigan areas had summer homes on the islands, most with boathouses. On the south side of southern most canal going out to the river was the dirt road from main street out to the Tashmoo landing dock. On the south side of the road was a marshy area filled with cattails in which, as kids, we liked to hick through in the muddy, marshy water. I therefore presume the three islands created by fill dirt from digging/dredging the canals were once similar marshes. Since Algonac was where my father was born and all his family lived, after retirement from the Great Lakes he and my mother bought one of the houses on the northern island as a summer home from which my dad would take his boat out into the river every day to fish and say hello to the ore boats going up and down the river.


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 Post subject: Algonac History
Unread postPosted: April 28, 2017, 2:37 pm 
I grew up in Algonac and was wondering if anyone knew when and why the canals were made in the city? Were they dug into the existing shoreline or were they filled in to increase the size of the city?


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