3. Eureka Iron and Steel Company Headquarters, Built 1860, Modernized 1955
Originally constructed in 1860 as the office of the Eureka Iron and Steel Company. The original three story, Second Empire building with mansard roof was far larger than the company needed, so in 1871 a bank opened on this site.
Prior to opening the Eureka works, Eber Ward and businessmen from Detroit systematically purchased 40 square miles of property throughout the Downriver area. Trees were cut and used in the furnaces and property was sold for farms.
As manager of the Eureka Iron and Steel Company, John VanAlstyne was responsible for selling property, was instrumental in opening and operation of the bank, and served as Wyandottes first mayor in 1867. Today a nearby street shares his name.
The bank vault remains, though when converted for use as a real estate office, safe boxes had to be removed. Still with a vault door that opens and closes, in case you are ever trapped, there is a lever to pull that activates a vent and fan for circulation.
Outside is a plaque recognizing Wyandottes important role in steel manufacturing. A state marker by the river also commemorates the event, one of the first erected in the State of Michigan. Recently the Wyandotte Historical Society had it restored.