PORT OF MONROE • PULLING OUR REGION TOGETHER

Community

Monroe County offers a little bit of everything… history, recreation, shopping, educational opportunities, and the arts. And it’s all nestled on the shores of beautiful Lake Erie, with easy access to nearby freeways. Ann Arbor, Detroit and Toledo are each less than an hour away, but there are plenty of things to do and to enjoy right here. Monroe County prides itself on having a small town environment with big city advantages.

Schools and Libraries

Monroe County offers a variety of public, charter and private schools for preschool through grade 12.  Post secondary institutions include Monroe County Community College, a satellite center for Siena Heights University, and various specialty training schools. Monroe County is also less than an hour away from four-year universities including the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University and the University of Toledo.  The Monroe County Library System has 16 branches scattered throughout the County.

History of Monroe

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Nestled on the banks of the River Raisin in the southeast corner of Michigan is the City of Monroe.  Monroe, one of Michigan’s gateway cities, is about 17 miles north of Toledo, Ohio and about 35 miles south of Detroit, Michigan right down I-75.

Monroe is Michigan’s third oldest community.  Its location on the west shore of Lake Erie and the River Raisin made it a natural crossroads for the Native Americans and later the French missionaries and fur trappers who settled here.

Originally called Frenchtown, the settlement found itself caught between the British Army and the U.S. forces during the War of 1812. The U.S. forces including the Kentucky militia pushed the British Army back into Canada. Four days later the British counterattacked and 300 Americans were killed – making the Battle of the River Raisin the single most deadly battle for the U.S. in the war. “Remember the Raisin” became the American rally cry of the war after Indian allies of the British killed another 100 injured soldiers who were unable to retreat after the counterattack.

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The River Raisin Battlefield was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.  In 2009, the federal government designated the River Raisin Battlefield National Park and plans are underway to enhance it as a tourism destination.

Monroe was home to General George A. Custer and his wife Elizabeth Bacon Custer, J. Sterling Morton (founder of Arbor Day), Vern Sneider (author of Teahouse of the August Moon), and Elizabeth Upham McWebb (author of the beloved Little Brown Bear series) among many others.

Attractions

Dorsch Memorial Library

The Monroe County Library System enriches the quality of life for all residents of the county by providing free access to informational, educational and recreational resources.

18 E. First St.
(734) 241-7878
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Historic Sawyer Homestead

A charming Italianate home constructed in 1873, which holds great history in the Monroe area, the Historic Sawyer Homestead was donated to the City of Monroe in 1938. It features an outdoor gazebo and is available for tours, weddings, receptions, meetings, luncheons and gatherings of all kinds. All proceeds from rentals are used for the maintenance and operations of the building. Memberships are also available.

320 E. Front St.
734-242-0168

Monroe County Historical Museum

It houses one of the largest collections of 18th and 19th century artifacts relating to Southeast Michigan. Only a small percentage of the total collection can be exhibited at one time; many exhibits are changed each year. Return trips to our museum are often rewarding.

126 S. Monroe St.
(734) 240-7780
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Monroe County Labor Museum

It is the mission of the Monroe County Labor Museum to provide a facility open to the public for the purpose of the preservation and display of local, regional and national labor history for present and future generations to view.

41 W. Front St.
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River Raisin Centre for the Arts

The RRCA presents and produces quality entertainment and educates Monroe County’s youth in the performing arts - from Team Fiddle to The Monroe Youth Orchestra, from River Raisin Ballet to the Dance Academy and more.

114 S. Monroe St.
(734) 242-7722
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Dining and Shopping

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Monroe County abounds with specialty, ethnic, and fine dining restaurants. Shopping opportunities include the Mall of Monroe, the Horizon Outlet mall and Cabela’s, the world’s foremost outfitter and one of the top tourist attractions in Michigan.  Other large retailers include Meijer and Wal-Mart.