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St. Clair County, Michigan
Fort Gratiot Lighthouse 4.jpg
Fort Gratiot Light
Seal of St. Clair County, Michigan
Seal
Map of Michigan highlighting St. Clair County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded March 28, 1820 (created)
1821 (organized)
Named for St. Clare of Assisi
Seat Port Huron
Largest city Port Huron
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

837 sq mi (2,168 km²)
721 sq mi (1,867 km²)
115 sq mi (298 km²), 14%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

160,383
226/sq mi (87/km²)
Congressional district 10th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.stclaircounty.org

St. Clair County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan and bordering the west bank of the St. Clair River. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 160,383.[1] It is the 13th-most populous county in the state. The county seat is Port Huron, located at the north end of the St. Clair River at Lake Huron.[2][3] The county was created September 10, 1820, and its government was organized in 1821.[2] Located northeast of Detroit, St. Clair County is part of the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area. Geographically, it lies in the Thumb area of eastern Michigan.

Etymology[]

French explorer René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle led an expedition to this area on August 12, 1679. These Roman Catholic men named the lake as Lac Sainte-Claire, because it was the feast day of Sainte Clare of Assisi, whom they venerated.[2][4] English mapmakers adopted the French name, identifying the lake feature as Saint Clare on maps dated as early as 1710. By the Mitchell Map of 1755, the spelling was given as St. Clair, which is the current version.[5] Located along the western shores of Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River, the county was named for them by European-American settlers.

The name is sometimes mistakenly attributed to honoring Arthur St. Clair, an American Revolutionary War General and Governor of the Northwest Territory, but it was established long before he was considered a notable figure.[6] The earlier spelling of the lake's name may have been conflated with English practice and the name of the general, as several political jurisdictions near the lake and the river, such as St. Clair County, St. Clair Township, and the cities of St. Clair and St. Clair Shores, share this spelling. See also, List of Michigan county name etymologies.

The name has sometimes been mistakenly attributed to honoring Patrick Sinclair, a British officer who purchased land on the St. Clair River at the mouth of the Pine River. In 1764, he built Fort Sinclair there, which was in use for nearly 20 years before being abandoned.[7] As noted, the name was established before he was active in the area.

Geography[]

St. Clair County is also called the Blue Water Area.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 837 square miles (2,170 km2), of which 721 square miles (1,870 km2) is land and 115 square miles (300 km2) (14%) is water.[8] St. Clair County is one of five counties that form the peninsula, known as the Thumb, that projects into Lake Huron. St. Clair County is closely connected in terms of economy with its neighbors, Metropolitan Detroit and Sanilac County in Michigan, and Lambton County across the river in Ontario, Canada. Saint Clair County is the principal county in The Blue Water Area, a sub-region of the Thumb.

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • I-69 enters the county from the west, coming from Lansing and Flint, terminating at the approach to the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron. (Once fully completed, the mainline of I-69 will span from Brownsville, Texas to Port Huron, Michigan.)
  • I-94 enters St. Clair County from the southwest, having traversed the entire Metro Detroit region, and terminates at the approach to the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron. On the Canadian side of the border, in Sarnia, Ontario, the route heads easterly designated as Highway 402.
  • BL I-69
  • BL I-94
  • M-19
  • M-25 follows the Lake Huron–Saginaw Bay shoreline, beginning in Bay City and ending at a junction with |I-94/|I-69, and BL I-94/BL I-69 on the north side of Port Huron.
  • M-29
  • M-136
  • M-154 serves Harsen's Island, in Lake St. Clair.

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 1,114
1840 4,606 313.5%
1850 10,420 126.2%
1860 26,604 155.3%
1870 36,661 37.8%
1880 46,197 26.0%
1890 52,105 12.8%
1900 55,228 6.0%
1910 52,341 −5.2%
1920 58,009 10.8%
1930 67,563 16.5%
1940 76,222 12.8%
1950 91,599 20.2%
1960 107,201 17.0%
1970 120,175 12.1%
1980 138,802 15.5%
1990 145,607 4.9%
2000 164,235 12.8%
2010 163,040 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2020[1]

The 2010 United States Census[13] indicates St. Clair County had a 2010 population of 163,040. This is a decrease of -1,195 people from the 2000 United States Census. Overall, the county had a -0.7% growth rate during this ten-year period. In 2010 there were 63,841 households and 44,238 families in the county. The population density was 226.1 per square mile (87.3 square kilometers). There were 71,822 housing units at an average density of 99.6 per square mile (38.5 square kilometers). 93.9% were White, 2.4% Black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% of some other race and 2.0% of two or more races. 2.9% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 25.9% identified as of German, 10.2% Polish, 9.3% Irish, 8.5% English, 6.5% French, 6.5% American, and 5.1% Italian ancestry.[13]

There were 63,841 households, out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.9% were opposite-sex families, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.7% were non-families, and 25.5% were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.7% under age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 30.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.7 males.

The 2010 American Community Survey 1-year estimate[13] indicates the median income for a household in the county was $44,369 and the median income for a family was $53,207. Males had a median income of $30,056 versus $16,771 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,390. About 10.4% of families and 15.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.7% of those under the age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.

Government[]

The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

Elected officials[]

  • Prosecuting Attorney: Michael D. Wendling
  • Sheriff: Mat King
  • County Clerk/Register of Deeds: Jay DeBoyer
  • County Treasurer: Kelly M. Roberts-Burnett, CPA
  • Drain Commissioner: Robert Wiley
  • County Commissioner District 2: Karl S. Tomion (R)
  • County Commissioner District 4: Harry Dunn (R)
  • 31st Circuit Court: Hon. Daniel Kelly; Hon Cynthia Lane; Hon. Michael West
  • 72nd District Court: Hon. Michael Hulewicz; Hon. John Monaghan; Hon. Cynthia Platzer
  • 74th Probate Court: Hon. Elwood Brown; Hon. John Tomlinson

(information as of November 2018)

United States presidential election results for St. Clair County, Michigan[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 59,185 64.19% 31,363 34.02% 1,654 1.79%
2016 49,051 62.88% 24,553 31.48% 4,399 5.64%
2012 39,271 52.94% 33,983 45.81% 927 1.25%
2008 38,536 47.63% 40,677 50.28% 1,687 2.09%
2004 42,740 53.60% 36,174 45.36% 829 1.04%
2000 33,571 49.00% 33,002 48.17% 1,943 2.84%
1996 22,495 37.42% 28,881 48.04% 8,742 14.54%
1992 24,508 36.67% 23,385 34.99% 18,939 28.34%
1988 32,336 60.26% 20,909 38.97% 413 0.77%
1984 36,114 67.63% 16,998 31.83% 287 0.54%
1980 31,021 55.61% 20,410 36.59% 4,348 7.80%
1976 26,311 52.74% 22,734 45.57% 844 1.69%
1972 28,471 63.05% 15,712 34.79% 976 2.16%
1968 21,084 49.41% 16,251 38.09% 5,334 12.50%
1964 17,011 40.76% 24,662 59.09% 62 0.15%
1960 27,366 59.79% 18,332 40.05% 76 0.17%
1956 29,116 69.46% 12,753 30.42% 51 0.12%
1952 27,894 69.29% 12,268 30.47% 94 0.23%
1948 17,883 61.79% 10,647 36.79% 412 1.42%
1944 19,175 61.61% 11,813 37.96% 135 0.43%
1940 18,635 60.16% 12,259 39.58% 82 0.26%
1936 12,760 45.93% 12,663 45.58% 2,359 8.49%
1932 14,883 53.08% 12,776 45.56% 382 1.36%
1928 18,177 71.57% 7,151 28.15% 71 0.28%
1924 17,435 76.54% 3,600 15.80% 1,745 7.66%
1920 14,938 75.14% 4,566 22.97% 375 1.89%
1916 6,538 57.39% 4,617 40.53% 237 2.08%
1912 2,958 27.48% 3,008 27.95% 4,798 44.57%
1908 7,287 62.23% 3,756 32.08% 666 5.69%
1904 8,305 69.01% 3,248 26.99% 482 4.00%
1900 7,432 61.41% 4,403 36.38% 268 2.21%
1896 7,160 56.86% 5,130 40.74% 303 2.41%
1892 5,371 48.82% 5,248 47.70% 382 3.47%
1888 5,419 49.04% 5,286 47.83% 346 3.13%
1884 4,017 44.21% 4,668 51.38% 401 4.41%



Parks[]

St. Clair County is home to five county parks: Columbus County Park, Fort Gratiot County Park, Fort Gratiot Light station, Goodells County Park, and Woodsong County Park. St. Clair County also operates the Wadhams to Avoca Trail and works with local units of government to develop the Bridge to Bay Trail.[15]

Communities[]

U.S. Census data map showing local municipal boundaries within St. Clair County. Shaded areas represent incorporated cities.

Cities[]

  • Algonac
  • Marine City
  • Marysville
  • Memphis (partial)
  • Port Huron (county seat)
  • Richmond (partial)
  • St. Clair
  • Yale

Villages[]

  • Capac
  • Emmett

Charter townships[]

  • China Charter Township
  • East China Charter Township
  • Fort Gratiot Charter Township
  • Port Huron Charter Township

Civil townships[]

  • Berlin Township
  • Brockway Township
  • Burtchville Township
  • Casco Township
  • Clay Township
  • Clyde Township
  • Columbus Township
  • Cottrellville Township
  • Emmett Township
  • Grant Township
  • Greenwood Township
  • Ira Township
  • Kenockee Township
  • Kimball Township
  • Lynn Township
  • Mussey Township
  • Riley Township
  • St. Clair Township
  • Wales Township

Census-designated place[]

  • Pearl Beach

Other unincorporated communities[]

  • Abbottsford
  • Adair
  • Allenton
  • Anchorville
  • Atkins
  • Avoca
  • Avalon Beach
  • Bedore
  • Belle River
  • Berville
  • Blaine
  • Broadbridge Station
  • Brockway
  • Casco
  • Cherry Beach
  • Clays Landing
  • Columbus
  • Copeland Corner
  • Fair Haven
  • Fargo
  • Forster
  • Gardendale
  • Grande Pointe
  • Goodells
  • Hawthorne
  • Jeddo
  • Kimball
  • Keewahdin
  • Lakeport
  • Lambs
  • Lesterville
  • Maple Leaf
  • Martindale Beach
  • Miller
  • Muirs
  • Muttonville
  • North Lakeport
  • North Street
  • Perch Point
  • Peters
  • Pointe aux Tremble
  • Rattle Run
  • Riley Center
  • Riverside
  • Roberts Landing
  • Ruby
  • Sans Souci
  • Smiths Creek
  • Snyderville
  • South Park
  • Sparlingville
  • Starville
  • Tappan
  • Thornton
  • Wadhams
  • Wales
  • West Tappan

See also[]

  • List of Michigan State Historic Sites in St. Clair County, Michigan
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in St. Clair County, Michigan
  • Blue Water River Walk

References[]

References[]

External links[]

Template:St. Clair County, Michigan

Template:Central Michigan

Coordinates: 42°56′N 82°40′W / 42.93, -82.67

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at St. Clair County, Michigan. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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