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Situated along the St. Clair River, and at the southern end of Lake Huron, Port Huron is the easternmost point of land in Michigan.

The city is considered to be part of the Thumb Region of the Lower Peninsula, as well as part of the Blue Water Area. The Black River divides the city in half, winding through the city before emptying into the St. Clair River near the downtown region.

Port Huron is adjacent to the city of Marysville, which is to the south, and connected to the Canadian village of Point Edward, Ontario by way of the Blue Water Bridge. Just south of Point Edward, and also across the St. Clair River from Port Huron, is the city of Sarnia, Ontario.

I-94 enters Port Huron from the west, terminating at its approach to the Blue Water Bridge, along with I-94, which enters the city from the southwest. On the Canadian side of the bridge, the route is designated as Kings Highway 402. BL-69 makes a look north of I-69, while BL-94 enters the city from the west in the lower part of the city, then turns north to largely follow the course of the St. Clair River, joining with I-94 just west of the Blue Water Bridge. Other routes include M-25, M-29, and M-136.

Cities and villages within twenty-five miles of Port Huron include St. Clair, Marine City, Richmond, and Memphis, while the unincorporated communities of South Park, Tappan, Keewahdin, Sparlingville, Wadhams, Gardendale, Kimball, and North Street are within ten miles of the city.

Except for a 1.5% decline in 1910, the population of Port Huron consistently rose each census year since it first appeared on a census roll in 1850 to 1960, when it began a slight decline that has continued to the 2020 census, when its population was 28,983. Its peak population was 36,084 in 1960.

Prior to its settlement by Europeans or European-Americans, the area had long been occupied by the Ojibwa people, although there were French trading posts at the site in the 17th century. The French build Fort Joseph in the Port Huron area in 1686 to protect its fur trade against English aggression. When it burned in 1688, the French garrison was moved to Mackinac.

Anselm Petit built a home there in 1790, and a small community followed.

After the War of 1812, the United States established Fort Gratiot at the base of Lake Huron around 1814, and a settlement grew around the fort. The US government established an Ojibwa reservation in a portion of what is now Port Huron, but they were forced to move west of the Mississippi River under the terms of the Indian Removal Act of 1836.

A town was organized around the fort in 1828, and a post office was established on April 30, 1833, under the name of Desmond, with Jonathan Burtch as postmaster. In 1837, the Desmond plat was renamed Port Huron, as was the post office, and Port Huron was incorporated as a village in 1849, and became a city in 1857.

Beginning in the 1850s, a large immigrant population began coming to the area, attracted to its successful shipbuilding and lumber industries, which also supported development around the Great Lakes and the Midwest.

By 1860, the village had a population above four thousand, and Port Huron was designated as the county seat of St. Clair County by the Michigan State Supreme Court.

On October 8, 1871, much of the city burned in the Port Huron Fire of 1871, the day a series of other fires devastated Holland and Manistee, Michigan, as well as Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and Chicago, Illinois. About a decade later, the Thumb Fire also did a great deal of damage to the village. On May 21, 1953, a tornado damaged or destroyed more than four hundred buildings in Port Huron, killed two people, and injured another sixty-eight.

In 1895, the village of Fort Gratiot was annexed by the city of Port Huron.

Today, single-family residences make up about forty percent of the city's land area, while multi-family residences account for less than ten percent. Commercial businesses are scattered throughout the city, although a concentration of such developments can be seen in the city's historic downtown region, spanning both sides of the Black River. Another commercial corridor is along Pine Grove Avenue, adjacent to the downtown region and the Blue Water Bridge Plaza. Industrial uses comprise about twelve percent of the land area, which include two paper processing plants, a brass rod manufacturing plant, and the city's 315-acre industrial park off of I-94 in the south portion of the city.

Port Huron also includes a couple of local hospitals, St. Clair Community College, and the Baker College Culinary Institute.

Port Huron includes several museums, including a series of four museums collectively known as the Port Huron Museum.

As the focus of this part of our guide is on the city of Port Huron, appropriate topics include those related to the city and county government, as well as other local sites.


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