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Monroe is a city in the Michigan. The population was 20,733 at the 2010 census. It is the largest city and county seat of Monroe County. The city is bordered on the south by Monroe Charter Township, but both are politically independent. The city is located approximately 14 mi north of Toledo, Ohio and 25 mi south of Detroit. The United States Census Bureau lists Monroe as the core city in the Monroe Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 152,021 in 2010. Monroe is officially part of the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint CSA. The city is sometimes unofficially included as a northerly extension of the Toledo Metropolitan Area.
Long occupied by varying cultures of indigenous peoples, the area around the River Raisin was settled by the historic Potawatomi hundreds of years before the French reached the area in the late seventeenth century. Robert de LaSalle claimed the area for New France after his 1679 expedition on the Griffon. In 1784, after the American Revolutionary War, Francis Navarre of Canada was given a portion of land south of the River Raisin by the Potawatomi. Colonists settled Frenchtown shortly thereafter as the third European community in the state. Around the same time, the Sandy Creek Settlement was established just north of Frenchtown by French-Canadian Joseph Porlier Benec.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.19 square miles. Out of that 9.17 square miles is land and 1.02 square miles is water. Monroe sits at the lowest elevation in state of Michigan, which is the shores of Lake Erie at 571 feet. The average elevation of the city of Monroe is 594 feet (182 meters). The Port of Monroe is the only Michigan port on Lake Erie, and Sterling State Park is the only of Michigan’s 98 state parks located on or near Lake Erie. The River Raisin and Sandy Creek travel through Monroe, although these waterways are unnavigable.