This village was originally a lumberjack settlement on the shore of Lake Huron named “Bark Shanty.”
In the late 1840’s and 1850’s, the settlement gained its first sawmill, schoolhouse, and general store.
In 1854, Bark Shanty’s first post office opened. In 1857 the village was renamed to Port Sanilac, as it is in Sanilac Township in Sanilac County.
Local legend attributes the name to a Wyandotte Indian Chief named Sanilac.
Local landmarks include the Port Sanilac lighthouse (burning kerosene from its opening in 1886 until its electrification in 1924) and a twenty-room Victorian mansion built in 1872 by a horse-and-buggy doctor, Dr. Joseph Loop.