St. Clair, Michigan

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St. Clair is a city in St. Clair County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 5,802 at the 2000 census. The city is located on the St. Clair River near the southeast corner of St. Clair Township. Since 1886, St. Clair has been the home to Diamond Crystal Salt.

Contents

Geography

  • According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.9 km²), of which, 2.8 square miles (7.2 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.7 km²) of it (19.01%) is water. The city is located along the St. Clair River.
  • It lies in the Thumb of Michigan.
    • Saint Clair can also be considered as in the Blue Water area, a subregion of the Thumb.
  • The City of St. Clair has much upscale housing along the St. Clair River. The Saint Clair area attracts many tourists from Metro Detroit. The city has a smalltown feeling, with a downtown, parks, and a marina, and boasts the longest freshwater boardwalk in the world.

Naming

Located on the western banks of the St. Clair River, the city's name is taken from the river, which in turn was named for Lake Saint Clair. An expedition led by the French explorer René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle named it Lac Sainte-Claire, because they entered the lake on August 12, 1679, the feast day of Saint Clare of Assisi.[3] The lake is named on English maps as early as 1710 as Saint Clare. But as early as the Mitchell Map in 1755, the lake was spelled as present with the current spelling as St. Clair.[4] The name is sometimes attributed as honoring the American Revolutionary War General and Governor of the Northwest Territory Arthur St. Clair, but the name was in use with the current spelling long before St. Clair was a notable figure. However, it is possible that earlier name of the lake was conflated with that of the general in naming some of the political entities near the lake and the river, such as St. Clair County, St. Clair Township, and the cities of St. Clair and St. Clair Shores.

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