It was a long time ago . . . only five months after the Civil War ended . . . that the first class of only four students entered Port Huron High School. The first high school was probably built prior to 1840 on a site almost in the middle of Court Street, just east of Seventh Street.
Four students were in the first graduating class of Port Huron High School in 1869. An admission fee of 25 cents was paid by anyone who wanted to attend the graduation. James T. Atkinson was the first to receive his diploma. He was also the valedictorian of his class. The other three students who received diplomas were Alice Skinner, William Boyce and Charles Stockwell. There were 64 students enrolled in the high school in the 1868-69 school year.
A new high school on Erie Street was built in 1870 and was destroyed by fire in February of 1873. The following year a new high school was built on the same spot, doing service for about 30 years when it too was destroyed by fire on May 29, 1906. Three hundred students were attending school at this time.
School was held for two more years in the Sanborn House on the present site of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Two years after the fire in 1908, the third high school was built on the same site as the former high school. With increased enrollment over the years, the high school building was vacated in favor of a new modern high school on Court and 24th Street. The student body moved from the old building (which is now St. Clair Community College) to the present site of Port Huron High on January 28, 1957.
The land where the Port Huron High School buildings were built, was once part of the Black River Ojibwa Native American Reservation.