map of Michigan showing Huron, Sanilac, Tuscola

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Huron County

Huron County is a county in the State of Michigan.   Huron County is located at the northern tip of the the Thumb.  It is surrounded on three sides by water – Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay and has over 90 miles of shoreline, from White Rock on Lake Huron to Sebewaing on the Saginaw Bay.  Huron County's most important industry is agriculture, as with most of the other Thumb counties.  Huron County enjoys seasonal tourism from large cities such as Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw.

The county seat is Bad Axe.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,136 square miles (5,533 km˛), of which, 837 square miles (2,167 km˛) of it is land and 1,300 square miles (3,367 km˛) of it (60.85%) is water.

As of the census of 2000,  the population was 36,079 with an estimate of 33,290 in 2007.  The population density was 43 people per square mile (17/km˛).  There were 20,430 housing units at an average density of 24 per square mile (9/km˛).  The racial makeup of the county was 98.02% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races.  1.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.  39.3% were of German, 18.6% Polish, 7.8% American, 6.7% English and 6.3% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.9% spoke English, 1.3% Spanish and 1.0% Polish as their first language.

There were 14,597 households out of which 29.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.60% were married couples living together, 7.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.50% were non-families. 27.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.20% under the age of 18, 6.50% from 18 to 24, 25.10% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 19.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 97.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,315, and the median income for a family was $42,436. Males had a median income of $31,950 versus $21,110 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,851. About 7.30% of families and 10.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.20% of those under age 18 and 9.80% of those age 65 or over.

Early history

Huron County was attached originally to Sanilac and Tuscola counties. It was created by Michigan Law on 1840-04-01 and was fully organized by an Act of Legislature on 1859-01-25. Sand Beach (now Harbor Beach) was then county seat, until 1865, when the court house burned with nearly all the records.  It was moved to Port Austin and remained there until 1873, when the Board of Supervisors permanently made Bad Axe the County Seat.

The name Huron was derived from the word "hures" as used in the phrase "Inelles hures" (what heads) as applied by an astonished French traveler to the Wyandotte or Huron Indians on beholding their fantastic mode of dressing the hair. These Indians were dispersed by the Iroquois in 1649.

In the early 1700s, the Thumb of Michigan was called the "best beaver hunting in America".  On French maps, "Chasse des caster des ami de francois" was the name for The Thumb of Michigan about 1700 and meant the beaver hunting grounds of the friends of france.

For more informaion about "Celebrating 150 Years", a new book preserving the County’s history, Click Here.

The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services.  The county board of commissioners controls the budgetbut has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances.  In Michigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

Huron County elected officials

Prosecuting Attorney: Timothy J. Rutkowski
Sheriff: Kelly J. Hanson
County Clerk: Peggy A. Koehler
County Treasurer: Sherry Learman
Register of Deeds: Sheri L. Stanton
Circuit Court Judge: Hon. M. Richard Knoblock
Probate Court Judge: Hon. David L. Clabuesch
District Court Judge: Hon. David B. Herrington
District Court of Appeals (District 4): Hon. Michael J. Kelly
District Court of Appeals (District 4): Hon. Alton T. Davis
District Court of Appeals (District 4): Hon. Patrick Murphy Meter

Huron County Board of Commissioners

DISTRICT NO. 1: John A. Horny
DISTRICT NO. 2: David G. Peruski
DISTRICT NO. 3: Clark D. Elftman
DISTRICT NO. 4: Steve Vaughan
DISTRICT NO. 5: James G. Leonard
DISTRICT NO. 6: Ron Wruble
DISTRICT NO. 7: Kurt Damrow

Cities, villages, and townships

Bad Axe
Harbor Beach


Port Austin
Port Hope

Unincorporated communities

Bay Port
Grindstone City
Huron City
White Rock


Bingham Township
Bloomfield Township
Brookfield Township
Caseville Township
Chandler Township
Colfax Township
Dwight Township
Fairhaven Township
Gore Township
Grant Township
Hume Township
Huron Township
Lake Township
Lincoln Township
McKinley Township
Meade Township
Oliver Township
Paris Township
Pointe Aux Barques Township
Port Austin Township
Rubicon Township
Sand Beach Township
Sebewaing Township
Sheridan Township
Sherman Township
Sigel Township
Verona Township
Winsor Township


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