DescriptionAs early as 1790 French and English fur traders inhabited the area that the Chippewa called Manistee, “spirit of the woods.” Thousands of scenic acres of Huron-Manistee National Forests still stand in preservation today. The 19th-century logging frenzy ensured that the name would outlive the woods, yet the people–mainly Swedes and Norwegians–who came to shear the timber stayed to develop the city.
With the end of the logging era, the “Victorian Port City” turned to other industries, including the production of salt and a paper mill. Manistee, on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, is a popular fishing location with access to numerous waterways. Vast brine deposits still make Manistee a primary producer of salt.
The North Pierhead Lighthouse, first lit in 1927, welcomes freighters, fishermen and pleasure craft to the Manistee River channel and the safe harbor found in Manistee Lake.
Visitor InfoManistee County Visitors Bureau 310 1st St. MANISTEE, MI 49660. Phone:(231)398-9355 or (877)626-4783
Self-guiding toursRelics of the logging era, many ornate Victorian mansions lining the residential streets, and refurbished buildings can be found in the commercial section. Walking tour brochures are available at the convention and visitors bureau, chamber of commerce (11 Cypress St.) and the Manistee County Historical Museum (425 River St.).
Things to SeeManistee County Historical Museum