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The City of Monroe, Michigan is the county seat and the largest city in Monroe County, in the southeastern portion of the Lower Peninsula.

The River Raisin flows through the center of the city, emptying into Lake Erie, and Plum Creek is just south of the city.

The city is in the central-eastern part of the county, bordering on Lake Erie to the east. The chief routes through the city are I-75, US-24, and M-125, each of which runs roughly northeast-southwest.

Cities and villages within twenty miles of Monroe include Luna Pier, Maybee, Carleton, Flat Rock, Dundee, South Rockwood, Estral Beach, Rockwood, Gibraltar, Petersburg, and Woodhaven, in Michigan, while Toledo, Ohio is just over twenty miles to the south. The unincorporated communities and census-designated places of West Monroe, Frenchtown, and Detroit Beach abut the city.

The Potawatomi people inhabited the area for hundreds of years before French explorers and colonists came to the area in the late 17th-century.

Robert de LaSalle claimed the area for New France after his 1679 expedition on the Griffon. In 1780, Francois Navarre came to the region from Detroit, building a cabin on land deeded to him on the north side of the River Raisin by the Potawatomi. By 1784, he was joined by about a hundred French-Canadian families, forming the third European settlement in what would later become Michigan, although it was then known as Frenchtown.

The area was of strategic importance during the War of 1812, particularly after Fort Detroit was surrendered to the British in August of 1812. As American forces assembled there, it became the site of several skirmishes and battles between British, American, and Potawatomi forces.

On November 21, 1815, a post office was established in Frenchtown, the second in Michigan, after Detroit. Laurent Durocher was the first postmaster. With Charles Noble as postmaster, the office was renamed Monroe on July 24, 1824.

The townsite was platted on the south side of the River Raisin in 1817, and Monroe was incorporated as a village in 1827, and as a city in 1837.

Frenchtown was retained as a township, and an unincorporated community and census-designated place north of Monroe.

As one of Michigan's oldest communities, Monroe has three historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, six National Historic Sites, six sites listed on the Michigan State Register of Historic Places, about forty locally designated historic resources, and sixty historic markers placed throughout the city. One of Monroe's most significant historic sites is the River Raisin National Battlefield Park, which was the site of a War of 1812 battle in which the American forces were badly defeated, and after which wounded US soldiers were killed by British and Native American forces.

In order to attend school as a child, George Armstrong Custer lived in Monroe with an older half-sister. He later married Elizabeth Bacon, a Monroe native. Custer is acknowledged in street names, historic markers, buildings, schools, and the Custer Airport.

Public school students in Monroe are served by Monroe Public Schools, which operates five elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and an alternative high school, as well as two specialized education centers. The Monroe County Intermediate School District is also based in Monroe, and the city hosts two public charter schools. There are several parochial schools in Monroe, the largest of which is St. Mary Catholic Central High School. There are no institutions of higher education within the city, although Monroe County Community College is just west of the city limits.

Monroe is home to the Southern Michigan Timberwolves, a semi-professional football team that competes in the Great Lakes Football League.

The focal point of this portion of our guide is on the city of Monroe, Michigan. Online resources representing the city and county governments, as well as any other governmental bodies based in the city, and local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, sports programs and facilities, and recreational opportunities, are appropriate topics for this category.


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