NAME: St. Joeseph
CLIMATE: Snow in Winter, Warm Summer.
COMMENTS: An interesting site.
REMAINS: The old Organ Factory still stands today and is primarily a residential
home (currently up for sale)
The history of St. Joseph is the story of its founder, Narcisse Cantin. Born in 1870 of French Canadian descent, it was his dream to build a canal from Ontario’s Lake Huron to Buffalo and a town on Lake Huron that would serve as a transportation center. Fulfillment of his dream depended upon government approval and its subsidies for the canal. While petitioning the government for its help, Cantin acquired land and proceeded to plat a town site to include several hundred residential lots and streets for palatial homes. He built a three-story hotel, named it “Balmoral,” and attracted businesses that included an organ factory, a winery, a brickworks, and other essential stores to serve the community. He also enticed a number of French Canadian families living in Chicago to move to the new town of St. Joseph. For a while, the town experienced growth and there were signs things would go as planned. Fate intervened in the form of World War 1 and there were no funds for the canal. That sealed the doom of St. Joseph and the dream of Narcisse Cantin. The three-story Balmoral Hotel was demolished in 1920 without ever having a guest. Submitted by: Henry Chenoweth
Old Organ Factory now a residential home
Courtesy Larry Kehoe