Harsens Island Schoolhouse Grille
Harsens Island Schoolhouse Grille is a historic treasure, built in 1934. It operated as one of Michigan’s only two room schoolhouses until its closing in 2005. This, however, was not the first school on the Island. St. Clair Flats School was opened in 1876. It was a small cottage off the South Channel with a sizeable yard for play. It had 23 desks with students, ages 5 to 15 years old. The school closed in 1918 when teacher Mr. Morash of Port Huron went to serve his country in the war effort. (He did return) In 1919, the school was consolidated with the Harsens Island School on Little Road in a large, white, one room building. In 1932, on a winter day, the stove overheated and the school burned to the ground. A school room was setup at the community center, then, across from the Post Office, on Lacroix, until this school was built. Property for the school was donated by the Yax Family. This is an excellent example of community support that still exists today. A two room schoolhouse, with an activity room, eating area, kitchen, and staff lounge in the basement would become an Island landmark. Despite their efforts, the Island parents lost the Island School in 2005. The old schoolhouse and property on which it sets are now owned by Tony and Kristin Bane. The Schoolhouse Grille opened on May 18th, 2009. The schoolhouse has taken on a new life as a restaurant and wine bar serving its former alumni and community in a different way. It makes for a unique eatery and keeps the Island history alive. Generations of Island families have attended this school, now, sharing memories and stories over a meal.