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The City of Clare, Michigan is in Clare County, although a portion of the city extends south into Isabella County. Vernon City, a mostly historical neighborhood, bounds the city in the southwest.

US-127 forms a large portion of the city's eastern border, joining US-10 in the eastern portion of the city, while Business US-10 and Business US-127 intersect in downtown Clare. As it enters the city in the west, M-115 is joined with Business US-10, and its southern terminus is in downtown Clare. Lesser routes to or through the city include Clarabella Road, Colonville Road, Isabella Road, Maple Road, Mission Road, Pere Marquette Road, and Washington Road.

Farwell is 5.2 miles west of Clare, while Rosebush is 9.1 miles south, Coleman is 11.1 miles southeast, Harrison is 15.1 miles north, Beaverton is 18.2 miles east, and Lake Isabella is 23.3 miles to the southwest.

Like many of Michigan's communities, the history of Clare is one of the lumber industry. In 1864, William McEwan, a lumberman from Bay City, acquired land around what is now downtown Clare. In 1868, he established a lumber camp just south of the current location of the city and began clearing lumber. When the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad extended its tracks through the area in 1870, crossing what was then the Isabella-Tobacco River State Road, near his lumber camp, McEwan began platting a village near the crossing. By the end of 1870, the village included a store, some boarding houses, and a few homes.

With the advantage of the railroad, the town grew quickly in the 1870s. The community's population was seven hundred by 1878, and there were more than thirty retail businesses, some industries, and two churches. In 1879, Clare was incorporated as a village.

An opera house opened in 1881, and the first brick building in the village was constructed in 1885. By 1891, when Clare was incorporated as a city, its population had risen to about 1,200. During the 1890s, electrical services were brought to Clare, and several commercial brick buildings were constructed downtown.

Several of the city's downtown buildings were destroyed by fires in 1904 and 1907 and were replaced by brick buildings. Clare's commercial district did well until the city was bypassed by the freeway in the 1960s, an event that slowed population growth, although there were no population declines until 1990

The 62-acre Shamrock Lake is in the northern segment of the city, just west of Clare Municipal Airport. The South Branch of the Tobacco River flows through the lake, which also includes a small island and a boat launch. It is the setting for Shamrock Park. The lake is home to bluegill, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and northern pike. Other parks in the city include Pettit Park, along the Tobacco River, just west of Shamrock Park.

The focus of this guide is on the City of Clare, Michigan. Appropriate resources include websites representing the city or any individuals, businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, and events within the city.


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