St. Clair County Michigan


St. Clair, MI (Office of D. C. S. Co.) (1913) - Contributed by Paul Petosky

Yale, MI (Yale Woolen Mills) (1909) - Contributed by Paul Petosky

The Yale Woolen Mill of Yale, Michigan, one of the largest in its time, and located ideally on a river where easy transport provided raw materials and shipment ease, would fail in 1963.

The Yale Woolen Mill's prime location helped with its initial success, but this was not enough to allow the mill to remain so. At first, the products of the Yale Woolen Mill were diverse, but then in the 1920's to the 1940's they began to standardize and started making only automobile upholstery. This was quite lucrative in the beginning, but with the rise of synthetics, due to their novelty and ease of care, they began to overshadow traditional fibers like wool. This became especially apparent after World War II when these synthetic fibers began being used in the automobile industry for upholstery because they were cheaper. The company tried to shift to making apparel, but unsuccessfully. Diversification had come too late; their focus on a single product was their downfall. They closed down in 1963.

(Excerpt) Pendleton Woolen Mills
A Northwest Success History 469
Washington State University Vancouver
By Rick Thum II

Port Huron, MI (Phoenix Iron Works) (1882) - Contributed by Paul Petosky

The largest foundry in the city is situated adjacent to the Chicago & Grand Trunk and Port Huron & Northwestern Railways, and facing St. Clair River. The business was first carried on by W. S. & N. Jenks, in a frame building built in 1857, when ten men were employed. In 1861, this building was destroyed by fire. In the same year large brick buildings were erected, and named the Phoenix Iron Works. In 1882, the business amounted to $125,000, and this year will, it is said, increase to $175,000. The new works and machinery cost $65,000, and seventy-five men are on the pay-rolls. Special attention is given to machinery for mining, milling and marine. This firm manufactures superior engines, from patterns invented in the works.
Source: History of St. Clair MI 1883