St. Clair County, Michigan

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St. Clair County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 164,235, with the 2009 Census Bureau estimate placing the population at 167,562. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it forms part of the Metro Detroit area. Geographically, it lies in the Thumb area of Michigan. The county seat is Port Huron.[1] The county was created 10 September 1820 and its government was organized in 1821.

Contents

Naming

Being situated on the western shores of Lake Saint Clair, the county's name is taken from the lake. 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.[2][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 spelling is presented 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.[5] 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. See also, List of Michigan county name etymologies.

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