St. James is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Charlevoix County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population of the CDP was 145 at the 2020 census. The community is located within St. James Township.
Located on the northern coast of Beaver Island in Lake Michigan, St. James was the county seat of Manitou County during the county's existence from 1855 to 1895.
The community was setted as early as 1847 when James Jesse Strang took over his Mormon church and settled his colony on Beaver Island. Originally part of Michilimackinac County, it received a post office named Beaver Island on January 13, 1849 with Charles Wright serving as the first postmaster. Strang named the new community after himself, and the post office was renamed St. James on October 10, 1854 when it became part of Emmet County. Strang declared himself to be a king—the only king ever crowned in the United States.
After Strang's murder in 1856 by disgruntled followers, the community began to fold, and the post office closed on March 6, 1868. Charles Wright restored the post office under the name Beaver Island on December 19, 1868 and served again as postmaster. During the 1870s, St. James was also referred as Beaver Harbor. By 1895, the Mormons left the island, and St. James became part of Charlevoix County. It is now a resort community.
The community of St. James was listed as a newly-organized census-designated place for the 2010 census, meaning it now has officially defined boundaries and population statistics for the first time.