Harbor Drive sits just off Jefferson between Cotton and Sugarbush Road. You enter onto Harbor Drive by turning on Mann Street from Jefferson. A great landmark for turning onto Mann. and then Harbor Drive, is the Land & Lake Reality Sign located right on the corner of Mann and Jefferson.
Harbor drive is an island with one way on and one way off via a small 1.5 car width bridge. After entering onto Harbor Drive you can go left or right, because going straight will end you up in the lake. Harbor Drive is a street that is 1 mile long with access to Lake St. Clair and Anchor Bay via canal access from both ends of the island.
In 2007, the residents of Harbor Drive all pulled together and decided to pave the whole street in brick pavers. This was a decision that made the most sense for the long term solution of keeping the street in great shape. The residents of Harbor Drive have received state wide recognition for this solution and how it has beautified the island.
Harbor Drive has 88 residential addresses. The average depth of the lake in front of each property will vary depending on the time of the year, and that year's water levels from the great lakes. The majority of the the depth is around 3 feet right in front of someone's property to 5-6 feet 100 yards off shore. The water temperature during the mid summer months again can vary, but averages 75 degrees. During the winter months, residents of Harbor Drive can enjoy ice fishing, snowmobiling, ice sailing and ice skating.
Tornado of May 8, 1964
On May 8, 1964 at 4:50 pm a F4 tornado moved though Macomb county, putting Harbor Drive right in its path. To see more pictures taken on Harbor Drive during this time, and the surrounding area, please click on this link. http://picasaweb.google.com/cheslib/TornadoDamageFrom581964?feat=directlink#5480783258413410082
Account of the tornado from a resident of Harbor Drive, John Niemetta, the brother of current resident Ann Potteiger.
The tornado touched down at 21 Mile Road and I-94 and continued
until it passed out over the lake in Lottivue. It crossed Jefferson
It had a wide base and from what I was told when it went down Harbor Dr.
It did not look like a funnel but instead it appeared to be a large cloud
rolling along the ground. It crossed Jefferson near the South end of
Mallard Road. In 1964 there were only a few homes on
Mallard and Forbes Dr. There were not many year round residence
on Harbor Dr.. The majority of buildings were garages and cottages
along the canal side of the road. The tornado followed Harbor Dr. within a few
lots south of Mann Dr. Due to the curve in the bay from that point to the north
end of Harbor Dr. the funnel was several hundred feet offshore and there was no
sever damage, only roof damage and broken windows from Mann Dr. until you
reached the north end of Harbor Dr. The building located on the corner of
Mallard and Jefferson across from the old Lottie M. Schmidt office suffered
sever damage. It had a flat roof supported with steel beams.
The roof had been blown off and the steel beams were across the street in the
yard at the office. The Lottie M. Schmidt office had only one broken widow
which was broken by debris from the building across Jefferson. It is
thought a second funnel may had formed that damaged that building..
Ann was at home with my one year old brother and Margaret Roberts.
They had almost no warning. Margaret was fixing dinner. Jeff was in a highchair
at the dinner table in front of a picture window. It looked like it may storm
so Margaret sent Ann to the back of the house to close windows. Margaret looked
out the picture window and saw what looked like a cloud rolling along the lake
shore and everything in it's path was being destroyed. It was at that point the
first tornado warning came across the television. Margaret grabbed Jeff and
headed to the basement steps that were less than 10 feet away in the kitchen
area. She made it to only about the third step when the funnel passed the house in
the bay just off the seawall. Ann was in the bedroom hallway and got caught
between the wall and the fold up attic stairwell that pressure pulled down.
Most people had no warning and took cover where ever possible. One woman at the
north end of Harbor Dr. dove under a glass top coffee table which shattered.
The house across the street and a couple lots north on the lake side was picked
up off it's slab and dropped back down on the slab in a pile of rubble. The
mother and daughter had been inside and crawled out of the rubble with not a
scratch. Both of these women along with about 10 others died over the next
couple years from heart attacks at a relatively young age mostly in their 40's
and 50's. Officially 12 people died in the tornado. For years when ever there
was a storm some of the women that had gone through the tornado would become
frantic. One women would bring her kids every time it stormed and go to our
If I remember correctly the official death toll was 12 none on
Harbor Dr. Most of the death occurred on the Salt River where boat houses had
been built over the river with living quarters above. These places collapsed
into the river killing the occupants. A mother and her children were killed on
the south end of Forbes. A neighbor watched from her window as the house was
picked up in the air and tipped first one way and then the next as the mother
and children fell to their death from the house. The husband was at work at the
time at Selfridge.
I was on my way home from collage when the tornado struck. My
parents had picked me up and they told me of a bad storm they had encountered
on I-75 near Lake Angelus and all traffic had to pull off the road until the
storm abated. When we reached that area there were emergency vehicles on the
west side of I-75. We turned on the radio to see if there was any news. The
first reports stated a tornado had touched down in the area and then touched
down again along the Anchorville shoreline. It was feared that school buses had
been blown out into the lake as they were dropping off school children. As the
reports came in it was stated the tornado had just missed the Sabel Manor
military housing complex. We then knew it was not Anchorville that had be hit
but instead it was Chesterfield Twp. and the Anchor Bay Harbor area. Due to all
roads leading to the area being blocked off with police blockades we finally
made it to 23 Mile Rd. and Jefferson They would not let us through so my father
got back in the car, stepped on the gas heading toward the blockade as the
police moved the road block and let us through. As we drove down
Jefferson there was no evidence of a storm until we started to pass Lottivue.
By the time we reached the Roselawn Dr. area it looked like a war zone. In the
past you could never see the lake from Jefferson but now all you could see was
destruction, a few severally damaged homes still standing and trees stripped of
most of there limbs and a clear view of the lake. When we crossed the Mann Dr.
bridge there had been a willow tree on the right corner of Mann Dr. and Harbor
Dr. Up in the tree was a flattened washing machine rapped around the tree like
a sheet of paper.
When we reach our house, Ann, Jeff and Margaret had been taken to
the Gandernalik funeral home and were unhurt. The roof had been damaged, some
broken windows and the shutters were hanging down on the sides of the windows.
A mattress had been caught in a lake side window and the cotton stuffing pulled
out all over the living room. Derbies up to knee deep filled the yard, We took
lumber from the yard and put it it down on the floors of the house to keep
from walking in glass. When cleaning up the dinner plats had been stacked in a
cabinet. When we stated taking them out there was broken glass under every plat
but no broken windows in the kitchen. Across the canal at our office there had
been a combo garage and boat house. Most of the boat house was gone but the
boat was in it's hoist unharmed and a shingle had been driven half way through
the garage door. My mother had a wig sitting on a Styrofoam head about 16
inches from the bedroom window. The window was gone, frame and all but the wig
and Styrofoam head still sat there unmoved.
A baby was brought into our office (Lottie M. Shmidt, Inc.) that
had been found in the bottom of a boat at the south end of Harbor Dr. When the
dippers were changed they were full of glass but there was not mark on the
baby. We were also told a human arm had been found on the Mann Dr. bridge.
Billy Wilbur had been delivering news papers at the south end of Harbor Dr.
with his sister Mary Joe. Their car rolled a number of times and stopped just
short of the lake shore. That night my father and other men of Harbor Dr. armed
themselves along with soldiers from Selfridge and patrolled the street to
prevent looting. The tornado watch remained in effect most of the night with
several bad storms. We could not sleep with shutters banging on the sides
of the house and the noise of loose sections of roof. At one
point my mother thought she heard someone outside the front door. She took the
lit candelabra in her white full length bathrobe and went out the front door
only to find a soldier trying to take cover from the storm. I don't know who
was scared who the most, my mother or the young soldier.
Everyone knew us in those days and seeing we were one of the first
house still standing, family members that had ran from 21 Mile Rd. because the
police would not let them drive in would stop at our house first to see if we
knew anything. Some passed out from exhaustion others after learning everyone
was okay. The following day, I and the Wilbur Children took long lengths of
lumber and used them to push through the derbies along the seawall looking for
bodies. A Soup Kitchen was set up in the basement of our office and the
churches in New Baltimore brought in donated food. The insurance companies set
up a claims location in our office.
The Arvillas lived in the what is now the 3rd or 4th house to the
right of the bridge on the lake. It was the last house to be a total loss
on the south end of Harbor Dr. Some of their belongings and personal papers
were found in a farm field in Canada. The Red Cross came in with a vehicle with
food and water and parked a couple lots to the north of my parents. They
charged for everything. I also was told that all donations that were collected
by the township the Red Cross requested it be turned over to them to cover
their expenses. To this day I will not donate to the Red Cross.
Our Insurance Agency had 25 total losses. Allstate Insurance tried
to scam some owners. A home located near the curve on Jefferson was insured
with Allstate. Within 24 hours the homeowner was presented a check for his
loss. It was used in national Allstate commercials on television. We insured
the next door neighbor who also had a total loss. He was mad because his claim
took so long. We had been issued draft authority to write checks for the total
amount of additional living expense on their policies which he had already
received and told to take his time making a list of everything that was lost.
When he got his final settlement, it was far greater than the neighbor. It
turned out Allstate only paid the dwelling amount listed on the policy and did
not cover additional living expense, additional structures including his
detached garage and contents. He ended up suing Allstate for the remainder of
his claim. There was also a garage at was used as a cottage in the summer at
the north end of Harbor Dr. An Allstate adjuster came into our officer wanting
my father to sign a document stating the value of the building at $1,000 far
under the insured amount. My father refused to singe it stating the insured
amount was in keeping with what it would cost to rebuild. In the early 60's
Allstate had a bad reputation in the insurance industry. When they came out
with auto and homeowners policies the premiums were very low and they did not
turn anyone down and would build up a large book of business and then raise the
rates and non renew everything they did not want.
We had no electricity or phone service for several weeks. A phones
were set up in a parking lot at the foot of Cotton Rd. and Jefferson just
outside the blockade.
The tornado had touched down at I-94 and 21 Mile Rd. and stayed on
the ground until it passed into the lake after damaging some homes in Lottivue.
The long term effect on Harbor Dr. was that most of the dwellings
had been cottages on the canal side of the road. Some were only a couple feet
off the road and they were close together. Much as they are today on Jans Dr.
at the foot of 21 Mile Rd. Most of those dwellings were on the south end of
Harbor Dr. and in the direct path of the tornado. The township refused to let
them rebuild on the Canal side and today the only buildings on the canal side
were there prior to the tornado. The buildings on the canal on the north end of
Harbor Dr. had little if any damage except a couple at the far end of the road.
of Chesterfield was originally established as a general law township in 1842. We
became a Charter Township in 1989 to better serve the residents in our rapidly
growing community. Located in the Northeast quadrant of Macomb County, Michigan
we are approximately 30 miles north of Downtown Detroit. Chesterfield’s land
mass consists of a little more then 26 square miles and our entire eastern
boundary is along Anchor Bay in northern Lake St. Clair.
The population of Chesterfield is currently 45,027 and has grown
substantially in the last 30 years. In 1980 the population was 18,276. In 1990
the population was 25,905 and the most recent census in 2000 reflected a
doubling of residents since 1980 to 37,405.
Three public school districts serve the educational
needs of our school age population. Anchor Bay Schools, www.anchorbay.misd.net,
L’Anse Creuse Schools,
www.lc-ps.org, and New
Haven Schools www.newhaven.misd.net, which all provide a wide range of programs to
assure an outstanding educational
The township municipal services include our own Police and Fire departments
and the quality of living is enhanced by a Parks and Recreation Department,
Water Department, Public Works Department and Senior Center. Our Municipal
Building located at 47275 Sugarbush houses the Offices of The Supervisor, Clerk
and Treasurer as well as the Building, Assessing, Planning and Code enforcement
services. More information on all of these services can be accessed through the
drop down box labeled “Services” located above.
The employees of Chesterfield Township are happy to serve the residents of
Chesterfield and their guests. All employees take pride in delivering efficient,
accurate and courteous service. Please refer to the event calendar featured, in
part , on this page for the latest information on meetings, community events,
and observed Legal Holidays.
We are open weekdays from 8:00am to 4:30pm and can be reached at
(586)949-0400. Our fax number is (586)949-4108. The Municipal Building is
located at 47275 Sugarbush, just a quarter mile north of 21 Mile Rd and a half
mile east of I-94.
Chesterfield Township Website: http://www.chesterfieldtwp.org/
Chesterfield Township Tax Assessment Informational Search: https://is.bsasoftware.com
Chesterfield / New Baltimore News: http://newbaltimore.patch.com
Lake St. Clair and Anchor Bay
Lake St. Clair Website: http://www.lakestclair.net