Mount Clemens was first surveyed in 1795 by Christian Clemens, who settled there four years later. Clemens and his friend, John Brooks, built a distillery, which helped settle the area. Brooks and Clemens platted the land, and the town was named after Clemens in 1818. It received a post office in 1821, with John Stockton as the first postmaster. It filed for incorporation as a village in 1837, but it was not acted upon until 1851. It was later incorporated as a city in 1879. Christian Clemens is buried at Clemens Park, located just north of downtown. It became the seat of Macomb County on March 11, 1818.
The Mount Clemens Public Library opened in 1865.
Historically, Mount Clemens' largest industry was the mineral baths that were scattered throughout the city from 1873 until 1974. The city once encompassed 11 bathhouses and several hotels at its peak. The first bathhouse was built in 1873 and was known as “The Original” and was located on the corner of Jones and Water Street. The bathhouse remained until 1883 when the building burned, yet was rebuilt in 1884 and accommodated larger crowds. Over the years, noted visitors such as film actors Clark Gable and Mae West, athletes Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey, news magnate William Randolph Hearst, and the Vanderbilt family vacationed in the city for the bath industry.
The only remaining bathhouse from the bath era of Mount Clemens is St. Joseph's Sanitarium and Bath House, which has been recently renamed Select Specialty Hospital and owned by Select Medical Corporation. This last bath house is in danger of being demolished while the Friends of Historic Preservation  are working with the city to preserve it.
The Olympia Salon & Spa, located in the Martha Washington Sanitarium on Cass Ave, are rejuvenating the bath era by offering mineral baths once again.
The Anton Art Center is a community gallery offering exhibitions of artwork by local, national and international artists. It is housed in a building that was financed by industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie in 1904.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.20 square miles (10.88 km2), of which 4.07 square miles (10.54 km2) is land and 0.13 square miles (0.34 km2) is water. The Clinton River runs through the city. The city is almost completely surrounded by Clinton Township, except for the far east side which borders Harrison Township.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 16,314 people, 6,714 households, and 3,542 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,008.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,547.7/km2). There were 7,582 housing units at an average density of 1,862.9 per square mile (719.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.0% White, 24.8% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.9% of the population.
There were 6,714 households of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.6% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.2% were non-families. 39.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.96.
The median age in the city was 38.3 years. 20.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.9% were from 25 to 44; 27.8% were from 45 to 64; and 13% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.5% male and 48.5% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,312 people, 7,073 households, and 3,854 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,107.0 per square mile (1,583.9/km2). There were 7,546 housing units at an average density of 1,790.2 per square mile (690.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.79% White, 19.61% African American, 0.73% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.76% from other races, and 2.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.33% of the population.
There were 7,073 households out of which 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.5% were non-families. 39.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the city, the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 107.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,856, and the median income for a family was $50,518. Males had a median income of $41,005 versus $27,896 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,741. About 10.0% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.1% of those under age 18 and 11.9% of those age 65 or over.
The city government is composed of a mayor, the current being Barb Dempsey, and a city council. City finances have been trouble for some time. Approximately 42% of properties in the city are tax-exempt, resulting in lost revenue of $1.2 million. In an attempt to raise funds to combat a $960,000 budget deficit for 2010, mayor Dempsey has solicited donations to the city’s general fund from tax-exempt organizations like churches, schools and a hospital, in order to pay for services like fire protection, streetlights and roads. The city already disbanded the 113-year-old police department in 2005 to cut costs. The deficit is projected to reach $1.5 million in 2011.
Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) Bus Route *560/565 Gratiot.
Canadian National provides Class 1 Freight service to Mt Clemens with the old Grand Trunk Western Detroit to Port Huron line.
Mount Clemens has a wide variety of architectural styles in its residential areas. It features many historic homes, also. The most popular styles are craftsman homes, Tudors, and bungalows.
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