Port Sanilac, Michigan

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Port Sanilac is a village in Sanilac Township, Sanilac County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 658 at the 2000 census.



This village was originally a lumberjack settlement on the shore of Lake Huron named "Bark Shanty." In the late 1840s and 1850s, 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.[3] See List of Michigan county name etymologies.

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 (now a museum) built in 1872 by a horse-and-buggy doctor, Dr. Joseph Loop.

The Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve is a designated ship wreck preserve that is very popular with scuba divers.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.9 km2), all land. It is located at 43°25′56″N 82°32′33″W / 43.43222°N 82.5425°W / 43.43222; -82.5425. It is considered to be part of the Thumb of Michigan, which in turn is a subregion of the Flint/Tri-Cities.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 658 people, 319 households, and 176 families residing in the village. The population density was 908.8 per square mile (352.9/km2). There were 437 housing units at an average density of 603.6/sq mi (234.3/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 96.66% White, 0.76% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.61% from other races, and 1.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.13% of the population.

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