Thomas Edison Was Thrown off a Train in This Small Michigan Town
Smiths Creek, located in St. Clair County, is both a town AND a creek. They were named after one of the area’s first settlers, Elisha Smith.
A post office was established in 1861 and the Grand Trunk Railroad set up a station there in 1865.
Smiths Creek was the original county seat until it was moved to Port Huron in 1871.
Do you know the story about Thomas Edison getting thrown off the train? This little town is where it happened. Edison was a boy working on the train selling candy, newspapers, cigars and cigarettes.....and conducting experiments in his spare time. Thanks to one of his experiments that was deemed too dangerous, he was thrown off the train. The movie, “Young Tom Edison”, which starred Mickey Rooney, depicts this incident. In the film, his ‘experiment’ was making nitroglycerin. In reality, Edison had caused a fire in the baggage compartment thanks to his experiments with phosphorus.
The original train depot is now sitting in Greenfield Village, after being purchased by Henry Ford.
Smiths (no apostrophe) Creek was a productive village at one time, with farmers growing cucumbers to be sold to the numerous pickle plants throughout the thumb. It had two garages, gas station, Farmall tractor dealer, and a few shops that dotted the street. Once the Depression set in, things changed. Today, the town retains its church, Legion Hall, Masonic Lodge, and post office, not to mention the Pink Elephant Bar.
Very cool (not to mention historic) place to stop on your next roadtrip…get some photos! Let 'em know young Tom Edison was here!