St. Clair Inn
St. Clair Inn
During the early twentieth century, known as the "Golden Age of Steamboating," pleasure craft were numerous on the St. Clair River. In 1925 the local Rotary Club decided that a luxurious establishment was needed to accommodate the large number of tourists and serve as a civic and social center. Club members organized the St. Clair Community Hotel Corporation. Many of the area's leading business were on the board. The board hired Hockenbury System, Inc., of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for advice on financing the venture. The financial plan was modeled after the successful community hotel campaigns in over one hundred communities nationwide. The public offering of stock began in July 1925, and the campaign for funds exceeded its $180,000 objective within ten days. The sixty-room hotel was completed the following year.
Hailed at its opening in September 1926 as "the most beautiful hostelry which ever graced a city," the St. Clair Inn is an important historical landmark on the St. Clair River. Constructed in the waning years of popularity of luxury excursion vessels on the Great Lakes, the hotel has been a popular destination for both river and automobile travelers. Port Huron architect Walter Wyeth modeled the hotel after English country inns. Although several additions have been constructed, the original Neo-Tudor building retains its English flavor. The interior features a lobby with a brick floor, a heavily beamed ceiling with exposed rough-hewn timbers and a great lounge with Tudor fireplaces. The St. Clair was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.