The Michigan Village Where Teenaged Thomas Edison Got Thrown Off a Train, 1860s
Smiths Creek is one of those cool Michigan names that may make someone think of a 'Walton's' atmosphere. Some references refer to the name with or without an apostrophe, so for rebellious reasons, I will not add an apostrophe to 'Smiths' throughout this article.
You can find what's left of this little village in St. Clair County, twelve miles west of Port Huron. The village of Smiths Creek was named after the actual Smiths Creek, which was named after early landowner Elisha Smith. The village received its first post office in 1861, with John McSweeney performing duties as postmaster.
By the 1860s, the village was also a railroad station along the Grand Trunk Railroad, aptly named 'Smiths Creek Station'. This little community must have been doing something right, for it became the county seat in 1869. That honor was short-lived, however, when the title was removed and given to Port Huron in 1871.
Smiths Creek does have a pretty cool claim-to-fame, however. This was the village where a teenaged Thomas Edison was kicked off the train for experimenting with chemicals around 1862-65. His deeds started a fire in the baggage compartment and he was ejected from the train unceremoniously at Smiths Creek (the 1940 movie "Young Tom Edison" starring Mickey Rooney says he made nitroglycerin). You can read a little bit more about that here and see a few more pictures of the village.
Now THAT would make a good selfie – standing at the historic spot where Edison was left all alone in a strange place...just a suggestion.
Now take a look at a few past & present photos of this quiet little place...most of the great old downtown buildings are gone, but the historical value will make it worth your while.
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