Alexis Martinez Johnson
L’anse Creuse is a township located in Macomb County, Michigan, just northeast of Detroit. L’anse Creuse encompasses the unincorporated communities of L’Anse Creuse and portions of Mount Clemens. With a population of over 45,000 residents, L’anse Creuse is known for its excellent public school system, growing job market, and family-friendly amenities.
History and Origins
The name L’anse Creuse dates back to the 1700s when French settlers first explored the area near Lake St. Clair. In French, L’anse Creuse translates to “the hollow cove” likely referring to the shape of the lake’s coastline. For most of the 1800s, L’anse Creuse was sparsely populated with settlers sustaining themselves through fishing and farming.
The township saw its first major growth in the mid-1900s as the auto industry boomed in nearby Detroit. L’anse Creuse transformed into a suburban bedroom community providing affordable housing to auto workers and their families. Since the 1970s, L’anse Creuse has continued to grow into a thriving suburban township.
L’anse Creuse is located about 20 miles northeast of downtown Detroit in southeast Michigan. It spans 28 square miles across gently rolling hills and valleys. The township borders Lake St. Clair to the east, providing 5 miles of scenic lakefront.
The major highways of I-94, I-696, and M-59 run through sections of L’anse Creuse, providing convenient access to Detroit and other regions of Michigan. It’s proximity to Metro Detroit makes it an attractive suburb.
Geography and Climate
L’anse Creuse has a varied topography with flat plains near Lake St. Clair that rise to higher elevations inland. The average elevation is around 580 feet above sea level. There are several small lakes and ponds throughout as well as portions of the Clinton River watershed. The terrain is ideal for residential development.
Climate and Weather Patterns
L’anse Creuse has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. Winters tend to be cold and snowy while summers are warm and humid. The average high in July is 84°F while the average low in January is 16°F.
Lake St. Clair moderates temperatures year-round. Annual precipitation averages 30-35 inches spread over rain showers and snowfall. Severe storms are uncommon but possible during the summer and early fall. L’anse Creuse receives about 43 inches of snow per winter.
As of the 2020 census, the population of L’anse Creuse was 45,654 residents. This represents a slight decline from its 2010 population of 47,138. However, projections show slow steady growth continuing over the next decade.
Age and Gender
L’anse Creuse has an older population compared to Michigan overall. The median age is 42.4 years old. Around 22% of residents are aged 18 or below while 15% are over 65.
The population is 51% female and 49% male. Many young professionals and working families live in the area.
Race and Ethnicity
The racial makeup is predominantly white at about 88% of the population. Smaller populations of Black or African American (5%), Asian (3.5%), and Hispanic or Latino (2%) residents live in L’anse Creuse.
Income and Poverty
The median household income is $86,250 which is well above state and national averages. Only 2.7% of L’anse Creuse residents live below the poverty line. Most households are middle to upper-middle class.
Economy and Industry
The largest employers in L’anse Creuse are in the education, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail sectors. Top employers include:
- L’anse Creuse Public Schools
- Henry Ford Medical Center
- Faurecia Interior Systems
- Home Depot
- General Motors Technical Center
L’anse Creuse has a strong local job market with an unemployment rate around 2.5%. Many residents commute to jobs in various parts of Metro Detroit. The education, healthcare, manufacturing, and engineering industries provide stable employment opportunities.
The majority of the housing stock in L’anse Creuse consists of owner-occupied single family homes built since 1970. Home values range from $250,000 to over $500,000. The median listing price is around $340,000, making it an moderately expensive housing market.
All public schools are part of L’anse Creuse Public Schools district. There are nine elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. The district has high graduation rates and test scores compared to state averages.
The two main high schools are L’Anse Creuse High School and L’Anse Creuse High School – North. Both offer a comprehensive curriculum including honors courses, Advanced Placement classes, vocational programs, and performing arts.
Nearby Macomb Community College provides higher education opportunities including associate’s degrees and vocational certificates. Many students also attend Wayne State University in Detroit or other colleges and universities in Michigan.
L’anse Creuse is conveniently located near several major highways:
- I-94 provides east-west access toward Detroit and Port Huron
- I-696 loops across the southern part of the township
- M-59 (Hall Road) slices east-west through the center
These highways connect L’anse Creuse with all parts of Metro Detroit.
SMART Bus operates several routes through L’anse Creuse providing public transportation around the township and to other parts of suburban Detroit. The Clique service offers transportation around Mount Clemens.
While buses are available, most residents rely on private vehicles for transportation. The township’s roads are well-maintained.
Things to Do
Parks and Recreation
L’anse Creuse boasts over 20 parks and preserves offering recreational opportunities. Major parks include Bovenschen Hills, Cider Mill, and Brandenburg Park. Activities include hiking trails, sports fields, fishing, playgrounds, and swimming.
The L’Anse Creuse Golf Course is an 18-hole public course with a driving range and putting greens. The L’Anse Creuse Public Schools Community Education program provides year-round classes and activities for residents.
Shopping and Dining
The township has a wide variety of retail options and national chain restaurants along Hall Road. Unique local eateries can be found in Mount Clemens and along the lakefront. The Cherry Creek Golf Club has upscale dining.
Several malls and shopping centers provide convenient access to major retailers, grocery stores, and specialty boutiques. The area has all the amenities of suburban living.
Annual Events and Festivals
Popular annual events include the L’Anse Creuse Fine Art Festival, the Mt. Clemens Fireworks Festival, and the Sterlingfest Art & Music Festival. There are also cider mill festivals in the fall, holiday parades, and concerts in the park during summer.
L’anse Creuse operates under a Council-Manager form of government. Citizens elect seven council members and a treasurer to set policy. The township manager oversees day-to-day operations.
The L’anse Creuse Department of Public Works provides trash collection, recycling, snow removal, street and sidewalk maintenance, and infrastructure upkeep.
Police and fire services are handled by joint public authorities that span multiple jurisdictions. The L’Anse Creuse-Mount Clemens Fire Department provides fire protection and EMT services.
L’anse Creuse has moderately high property tax rates compared to other Michigan townships, averaging around 2.5% of assessed home values annually. Income and sales taxes align with state rates.
Some notable current and former residents of L’anse Creuse include:
- Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul singer
- Bob Seger, rock musician
- Mitch Albom, bestselling author
- John Bonamego, NFL coach
- David Mochel, political consultant
In the late 1700s, Fort L’Anse Creuse was built in what is now L’anse Creuse. Father Rene Menard, a French Roman Catholic priest and missionary, had a mission there in the 1600s.
What is L’anse Creuse known for?
L’anse Creuse is known for having excellent public schools, beautiful parks and recreation, a growing local economy, affordable suburban housing, and a convenient location in Metro Detroit.
What schools are in L’anse Creuse?
The L’anse Creuse Public Schools district serves students in L’anse Creuse. There are 9 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 2 high schools located throughout the township.
What jobs are available in L’anse Creuse?
Major employers in the education, manufacturing, healthcare, engineering, and retail sectors provide jobs. Many residents also work in various parts of Metro Detroit and commute.
Is L’anse Creuse safe?
Yes, L’anse Creuse has low crime rates compared to other parts of Michigan. The township invests in quality emergency services to keep the community safe.
What is there to do for fun in L’anse Creuse?
Popular activities include utilizing the many parks, trails, lakes, and recreational facilities. There are also year-round community events, concerts, festivals, golfing, shopping, and dining options.