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St. Ignace, Michigan

St. Ignace, Michigan
Downtown St.Igance.
Downtown St.Igance.
Location of St. Ignace, Michigan
Location of St. Ignace, Michigan
St. Ignace, Michigan is located in Michigan
St. Ignace, Michigan
Location of St. Ignace, Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Mackinac
 • Total 2.69 sq mi (6.97 km2)
 • Land 2.68 sq mi (6.94 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation 587 ft (179 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 2,452
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 2,452
 • Density 914.9/sq mi (353.2/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
FIPS code 26-70840[4]
GNIS feature ID 1621477[5]

Saint Ignace, usually written as St. Ignace, is a city at the southern tip of the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan, bordering the Straits of Mackinac. The population was 2,452 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Mackinac County.[6] For travelers coming from the Lower Peninsula, St. Ignace is the gateway to the northern part of the state.

St. Ignace Township is located just to the north of the city, but is politically independent.

Located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, St. Ignace is at the northern end of the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinaw City is the southern end. The bridge connects the Lower and the Upper peninsulas of Michigan.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Transportation 4
  • Local sights and events 5
  • Notable people 6
  • Images 7
  • Notes 8
  • External links 9


The Museum of Ojibwa Culture operates in the former St. Ignace Mission building. The mission is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This was the site of a historic Wyandot (Huron) village.

St. Ignace is the second-oldest city founded by Europeans in Michigan. Before French contact, Native Americans had inhabited the area for thousands of years. Historic peoples here were predominantly the Iroquoian-speaking Wendat, whom the French called the Huron. By the 18th century, the Anishinaabe Ojibwe, who spoke one of the Algonquian languages, became prominent in the region. Another related Anishinaabe people were the Ottawa.

French explorer and priest Jacques Marquette founded the St. Ignace Mission on this site in 1671 and was buried there after his death.[7] He named it for St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit religious order, whose priests were active as missionaries across North America. (Ignace is the French version of Ignatius.) Jesuits served at missions to convert First Nations/Native Americans to Catholicism and to share French culture. in 1673, Marquette joined the expedition of Louis Jolliet, a French-Canadian explorer and departed from St. Ignace on May 17, with two canoes and five voyageurs of French-Indian ancestry (Métis).[3] on a voyage to find the Mississippi River

While exploring the region on the ship Le Griffon with Louis Hennepin, Sieur de La Salle reached St. Ignace on August 27, 1679. Louis de La Porte, Sieur de Louvigny founded Fort de Baude here in 1681 as a fur trading post. It was later directed by Antoine Cadillac. It was closed by the French in 1697.[8]

The Jesuits abandoned the mission in 1705.

The Ojibwe, who came to dominate most of the territory of present-day Michigan in the 18th century among Native Americans, were allies of the French in the Seven Years' War against the British. After the British victory in the Seven Years' War, in 1763 they took over the territory of France in North America, including this part of the former New France. After the victory of rebellious colonists in the American Revolutionary War, in 1783 the village was included within the new United States, as part of what became called its Northwest Territory.

A tombstone marks the grave of Father Marquette, next to the Museum of Ojibway Culture at the former site of St. Ignace Mission.

Originally an important fur trading site in early years of French colonization, St. Ignace declined in importance by the early 19th century. European demand declined for North American furs, and other parts of the economy grew.

Both Americans and British-Canadians operated a larger trading center at Sault Ste. Marie, on both sides of the Canadian-US border, until the decline of the fur trade in the 1830s. The fur trade was severely reduced before and during hostilities of the War of 1812, as the United States prohibited British traders from operating across the border, as had been their earlier practice. The Ojibwe allied with the British, their longtime trading partners, during the War of 1812, hoping to reduce encroachment by American pioneers.

In 1882, St. Ignace was given economic impetus by the coming of the Detroit, Mackinac and Marquette Railroad, which connected the straits area to the major city of Detroit. It was incorporated as a village on February 23, 1882, and as a city in 1883.[7] It began to be popular as a summer resort and for its connection to Mackinac Island. Since the late 20th century, the city has become a rural destination for heritage tourism and is part of a popular summer regional area for tourism.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.69 square miles (6.97 km2), of which 2.68 square miles (6.94 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[1]


Municipal Building

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 2,452 people, 1,064 households, and 633 families residing in the city. The population density was 914.9 inhabitants per square mile (353.2/km2). There were 1,299 housing units at an average density of 484.7 per square mile (187.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 63.4% White, 1.0% African American, 27.8% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 7.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.

There were 1,064 households of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.5% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.84.

The median age in the city was 44.5 years. 21.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.6% were from 25 to 44; 31.6% were from 45 to 64; and 17.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.2% male and 51.8% female.

2000 census

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 2,678 people, 1,085 households, and 675 families residing in the city. The population density was 990.7 per square mile (383.0/km²). There were 1,232 housing units at an average density of 455.8 per square mile (176.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.81% White, 19.42% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.30% African American, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 7.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.90% of the population.

There were 1,085 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,447, and the median income for a family was $45,893. Males had a median income of $29,813 versus $23,017 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,340. About 6.0% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.3% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.


Local sights and events

St. Ignace contains many locations from where one can get a good look at the Mackinac Bridge.

Castle Rock, a geological limestone stack, is located three miles (5 km) north overlooking Lake Huron. Rabbit's Back, a prominent promontory that also overlooks Lake Huron, is 4 miles (6.4 km) north.

Also featuring Kewadin Casinos - St. Ignace.

There are numerous civic events in St. Ignace.[16]

Notable people



  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  7. ^ a b Sawyer, Alvah Littlefield (1911). A History of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan and Its People, p. 318. The Lewis Publishing Company
  8. ^ Walter Romig, Michigan Place Names, p. 204
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Highway ends, US 2.". 
  12. ^ "Pellston Regional Airport Serving Northern Michigan Emmet County". 
  16. ^ "Your Home Port in the Straits of Mackinac Area :: St. Ignace Visitors Bureau". 
  17. ^ "BROWN, Prentiss Marsh, (1889 - 1973)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 

External links

  • St. Ignace Visitors Website
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