Clare County is a county in the State of Michigan. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 30,926. The county seat is Harrison. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 575 square miles (1,490 km2), of which 564 square miles (1,460km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (1.9%) is water. It is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.
Clare County is located in the middle of the Lower Peninsula of the State of Michigan. The counties that surround Clare County are: Isabella to the South, Osceola to the West, Roscommon and Missaukee to the North, and Gladwin to the East.
Considered the “Gateway to the North”, the Clare County is within an hour to an hour and a half drive from some of Michigan's largest cities, such as Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Midland. Lake Michigan is 80 miles to the West, the Michigan/Indiana border is 150 miles to the South, the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge are 125 miles to the North, and Lake Huron (Saginaw Bay) is 50 miles to the East.
The county was set off in 1840 as Kaykekee County from Mackinac County. It was renamed Clare in 1843 after County Clare in Ireland. It was officially organized in 1871. Farwell was the first county seat; in 1877 the county seat was moved to Harrison.