Geographical information

Monroe County




United States

Land area

9.1 square miles

Water area

1 square mile


597 ft

Demographic information
Population (2000)


Population density

2442.1/sq. mile

Government structure
Community type




Elected officials
  • Mark G. Worrell (Mayor)

1785 (as Frenchtown)



Other information
Time zone


ZIP Code(s)
  • 48161 (Monroe)
  • 48162 (Monroe)
Area code(s)


FIPS code


GNIS feature ID


Official Website

Monroe—originally founded as Frenchtown—is a city and county seat of Monroe County, Michigan. Located on the River Raisin and western shore of Lake Erie,[2] The community is located about seventeen miles north-northeast of Toledo, Ohio and twenty-five miles southwest of Detroit.[3] The population was 22,076 during the 2000 census.[4] Additionally, the city is adjacent to Monroe Charter Township to the south and Frenchtown Charter Township to the north, including the unincorporated communities of West Monroe and South Monroe.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Monroe has a total area of 3.2 square miles. The community uses ZIP codes 48161[5][6] and 48162[7][8]. The city has been assigned the FIPS code 26-55020.[4]


The city of Monroe sits on the western shore of Lake Erie and along the River Raisin, including the mouth of the river. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.1 square miles, of which 1 square mile (10.14%) is water.


Monroe was founded in 1785 as Frenchtown, making it is the third oldest European settlement in Michigan. It was the site of the Battle of Frenchtown, a bloody massacre in the War of 1812, was fought near the mouth of the river. It was the largest conflict in Michigan and the River Raisin Battlefield is being considered for inclusion in the National Parks System[9]. The city and namesake county were named for U.S. President James Monroe, upon his visit to the Michigan Territory in 1817.

Monroe is known for its ties to General George Armstrong Custer. He spent much of his boyhood with his half-sister and his brother-in-law in Monroe, where he attended school and is honored by a statue in the center of town. He married Elizabeth Clift Bacon (1842–1933) on February 9, 1864. She was born in Monroe to Daniel Stanton Bacon and Eleanor Sophia Page. They had no children.

Commerce and IndustryEdit

The city of Monroe has the only port in Michigan that is on Lake Erie. The port, open to ships has been used for many years. The city is also home to La-Z-Boy Incorporated, a furniture manufacturer, and Monroe Shocks and Struts, formerly Monroe Auto Equipment Company and now part of Tenneco. The company moved its headquarters from Monroe proper into Monroe Charter Township.

The Monroe Power Plant, a coal-burning plant operated by Detroit Edison, has four 750MW units, the second largest generating capacity of any coal plant in North America. The stacks are 78 feet taller than the Renaissance Center at a height of 805 feet. Additionally, Monroe Fire Department union IAFF Local 326 is the oldest continuous IAFF local in Michigan. [10]

Visiting MonroeEdit

Getting thereEdit

Monroe is located along Interstate 75 between Detroit and Toledo. The community, and surrounding townships, are accessible via exits 11, 13, 14, 15 and 18. Exit 11, La Plaisance Road features restaurants, hotels and a small outlet center in Monroe Charter Township as well as access to South Monroe and the downtown district. Exits 13 and 14, Elm and Front Streets are city streets that parallel the River Raisin and provide local access for residents and some industries. Exit 15, Dixie Highway, is an interchange that features a wide array of restaurants from fast food to fine dining, numerous service stations, multiple hotels and many other services. Access to downtown Monroe is available via Dixie Highway as well. Exit 18, Nadeau Road, serves Frenchtown Charter Township, including the area around the Frenchtown Square Mall. Access to U.S. Highway 23 is available by using M-50 to reach the village of Dundee. U.S. Highway 24 and M-125 also traverse Monroe and connect northward to Metropolitan Detroit and southward to Toledo, Ohio.[3]

Local events and attractionsEdit

  • River Raisin Centre for the Arts offers entertainment.
  • River Raisin Jazz Festival on the 2nd weekend in August, attracts over 40,000 music lovers per year.[11]
  • There are eight museums in the area:
    • Eby Log Cabin
    • Martha Barker Country Store Museum
    • Monroe County Historical Museum & The George A. Custer Exhibits
    • Monroe County Labor History Museum
    • Monroe County Vietnam Veterans Historical Museum
    • Navarre-Anderson Trading Post
    • River Raisin Battlefield Visitor Center
    • Old Mill Museum
    • The Sawyer Homestead
    • The Custer Monument

Culture and EntertainmentEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

Monroe County
County seat: Monroe — Founded: 1817; Organized: 1817 — Population: 153,608 (2007 est.)
Luna Pier · Milan (partial) · Monroe · Petersburg
Carleton · Dundee · Estral Beach · Maybee · South Rockwood
Charter townships
Berlin · Frenchtown · Monroe
Civil townships
Ash · Bedford · Dundee · Erie · Exeter · Ida · La Salle · London · Milan · Raisinville · Summerfield · Whiteford
Census-designated places
Detroit Beach · Lambertville · South Monroe · Stony Point · Temperance · West Monroe · Woodland Beach
Other communities
Azalia · Cone · Diann · Erie · Ida · Lulu · Newport · Ottawa Lake · Samaria · Whiteford Center
Neighboring counties
Lenawee County (west), Washtenaw County (northwest), Wayne County (northeast);
Lucas County, Ohio (south)
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