7/3/13 Wednesday at St Clair, MI (St Clair-TT)
TV issues: this morning the satellite said “Complete Signal Loss”. When John tried the local antenna in several directions, he only got a couple Canadian stations. Finally, John powered off the satellite, then powered it back on, then it got the stations! Life is ok again. I worked on the blog while he enjoyed the last 15 minutes of “Good Morning America” and “Live! With Kelly and Michael”.
We had enough time and energy, then, to wash (with 50/50 vinegar and water) the driver’s side of Miss Zanzibar, which still suffered from hard water deposits deposited while at Monaco RV Service center.
After lunch we took off for Port Huron and the Thomas Edison Depot Museum. It’s housed in the former Fort Gratiot (GRAH shee aht) Depot/Station. The Grand Trunk Railway built, not only the Fort Gratiot Station, but also the world’s first international underwater railway tunnel under the St. Clair River from Port Huron, MI to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.
Edison’s family first came to New Jersey from Holland. His grandfather supported the British when Americans were rebelling against them, so he took his family to Nova Scotia. Then his son, Samuel (Edison’s dad) joined the Canadian rebellion against the British, so fled to Ontario, then Port Huron, soon moving on to Detroit, Peru (Ohio), then Milan (Ohio), where Thomas Edison was born. When he was 7, the family moved back to Port Huron.
At first, Thomas ‘Al’ Edison worked in this building as a “newsbutcher”, pedaling newspapers and snacks to passengers, from 1859 to 1863. Later, the conductor let him experiment with his chemicals and print his little newspaper in part of one of the cars. He later hung out at the telegraph office, finally getting to learn the Morse Code and eventually becoming a telegrapher there. He even cobbled together a neighborhood telegraph system, getting news that his father appreciated, so he let Edison stay up late to get it.
Among Edison’s inventions are the Electric Pen (used for first mimeographs), phonograph (despite severe difficulties with hearing), an incandescent lamp and a system to deliver electricity to the bulbs, and a motion picture camera.
Next we visited the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse and the nearby homes for Lighthouse Keepers who worked there from 1829 to 1940. This lighthouse is the oldest in the State of Michigan and the second oldest in all the Great Lakes.
Just a reminder, Michigan (looks like a mitten + the UP (Upper Peninsula) above the mitten) touches 4 of the Great Lakes: Lake Superior (far left), Lake Michigan (lower left), Lake Huron (upper right) and Lake Erie (lower right). Lake Ontario is on the far right, in Canada and New York. We are currently on the East side of the “thumb”, right next to Canada.
On our way home, we stopped at Kroger for gas. Sheesh, they really raised their prices for the July 4th holiday. Got home by 3:30 pm, spending the hot time relaxing under a shady tree, watching our new neighbor arrive and set up next door.
Grilled hamburgers and corn on the cob for supper. Time to post this blog from the car (now less glare than in the morning).