Location of Manistee, Michigan
|• Total||4.47 sq mi (11.58 km2)|
|• Land||3.29 sq mi (8.52 km2)|
|• Water||1.18 sq mi (3.06 km2)|
|Elevation||663 ft (202 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||6,057|
|• Density||1,400/sq mi (540/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1620680|
Manistee is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 6,226 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Manistee County. The name "Manistee" is from an Ojibwe word first applied to the principal river of the county. The derivation is not certain, but it may be from ministigweyaa, "river with islands at its mouth". Other sources claim that it was an Ojibwe term meaning "spirit of the woods".
In 1751, a Jesuit Mission was established in Manistee. Missionaries visited Manistee in the early 19th century, and a Jesuit mission house is known to have been located on the NW shore of Manistee Lake in 1826. In 1832, a group of traders from Massachusetts built a log house up the Manistee River. However, they were soon driven off by the Odawa nation. The first white settlement and sawmill was built there in 1841.
The village of Manistee was one of about 15 Odawavillages along the shore of Lake Michigan in 1830. Much of the Manistee River Valley, including Manistee itself, was an Odawa Reservation from 1836-1848.
The first permanent Euro-American settlement was made on April 16, 1841, when John Stronach and his son, Adam Stronach, arrived at the mouth of the Manistee River in a schooner loaded with fifteen men and equipment, and established a saw mill.
In 1846, the town was named "Manistee" but was a part of Ottawa County, with county offices 100 mies away at Grand Haven. After a series of new counties being drawn up, by 1855 it became part of a Manistee county that also included modern day Manistee, Wexford and Missaukee Counties.
On October 8, 1871, the town was practically destroyed by fire; on the same day the Peshtigo Fire, the Great Chicago Fire, and fires in Port Huron and Holland occurred, the Great Michigan Fire lit up Manistee. Manistee was incorporated as a city in 1882.
In 2000, Manistee made national headlines after a judge and jury convicted a woman for expressing privately to her mother her wish that immigrants would learn English, deeming it "insulting conduct" consisting of "fighting words" that was punishable under local ordinance. Allegations of improper procedure and irregularities in the court records appeared. Two years later (November 1, 2002) and after the defendant spent four nights in jail, the conviction was overturned by the state Court of Appeals.
- According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.47 square miles (11.58 km2), of which 3.29 square miles (8.52 km2) is land and 1.18 square miles (3.06 km2) is water.
- At the mouth of the Manistee River is the Manistee Pierhead lights (north and south piers) that were built in 1873, and replaced in 1927.
- Manistee is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.
|Climate data for Manistee|
|Average high °F (°C)||30
|Average low °F (°C)||17
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.13
|Source: U.S. Climate Data,|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,226 people, 2,816 households, and 1,614 families residing in the city. The population as of 2013 is 6117. The population density was 1,892.4 inhabitants per square mile (730.7/km2). There were 3,599 housing units at an average density of 1,093.9 per square mile (422.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.5% White, 0.5% African American, 3.8% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.4% of the population.
There were 2,816 households of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.1% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.7% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.82.
The median age in the city was 43.6 years. 21.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.9% were from 25 to 44; 30.1% were from 45 to 64; and 18% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,586 people, 2,912 households, and 1,729 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,023.7 per square mile (782.4/km²). There were 3,426 housing units at an average density of 1,052.7 per square mile (407.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.90% White, 0.33% African American, 1.38% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.96% from other races, and 1.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.20% of the population.
There were 2,912 households out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.6% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 24.0% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,351, and the median income for a family was $41,816. Males had a median income of $35,347 versus $20,102 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,810. About 6.9% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.
In its heyday, Manistee was home to a booming logging industry. Silas C. Overpack was a famous resident in the later part of the 19th century associated with logging. His well-known invention that he made downtown was his logging wheels, which were used in the logging industry from about 1875 until the later part of the 1920s.
In the late 19th century, Manistee was one of the leading shingle manufacturing cities in the world, with over 30 shingle mills on the Manistee river at one time. During the lumber boom of the 1880s, Manistee was the headquarters of its own railroad, the Manistee and North-Eastern, and had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the United States.
Manistee is also associated with the salt industry. Manistee is now the home of three factories on Lake Manistee; Packaging Corporation of America, Morton Salt, and Martin Marietta. The town is also a local favorite for tourism and fishing.
Manistee is home to a radio station, WMTE-FM (101.5), and was previously home to the now-defunct WMTE (1340 AM). The Ludington Daily News, Manistee News Advocate and Traverse City Record-Eagle cover the Manistee area and distribute daily newspapers in the city.
Formerly distributing newspapers in Manistee included the Bear Lake Beacon, the Copemish Courier, the Manistee Advocate, the Manistee Daily Advocate (which became the Manistee News Advocate), the Manistee Daily News, the Manistee Democrat, and the Onekama Lake Breeze.
Manistee is home to 10 West Studios which produces full-length motion pictures. Notable movies include: What If..., starring Kevin Sorbo and John Ratzenberger filmed in Manistee, Jerusalem Countdown featuring Randy Travis, Stacy Keach and Lee Majors, and Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Conspiracy starring Christopher Lloyd and Ernie Hudson also filmed in Manistee.
- Orchard Beach State Park is approximately 2 miles North of Manistee.
- Little River Casino Resort is approximately 5 miles North-East of Manistee.
- Manistee National Golf Resort is approximately 2 miles South of Manistee.
- Manistee Golf and Country Club was established in 1901 and is located within the city of Manistee.
- There are three public beaches, Fifth Avenue Beach with the small man-made lake next to Fifth Avenue Beach and First Street Beach, located respectively north and south of the harbor entrance on the shore of Lake Michigan.
Local events and attractions
Manistee has museums, an opera house, and recurring events. These include:
- Arcadia Area Historical Museum
- Armory Youth Project 
- Brethren Heritage Museum
- Kaleva Bottle House Museum also known as the John J. Makinen Bottle House
- Kaleva Train Depot Museum
- Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary[permanent dead link] (Michigan Audubon Society)
- Manistee Art Institute 
- Manistee County Historical Museum
- Manistee Fire Hall
- Manistee National Forest Festival
- Marilla Historical Museum
- Our Savior's Historical Museum
- Ramsdell Theatre, home to the Manistee Civic Players. and the Manistee Art Institute.
- Riverwalk, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of Victoriana and scenic river views.
- Page Road
- SS City of Milwaukee, a National Historic Landmark
- Victorian Manistee Tours
- Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend
- Historic Vogue Theatre built in 1938, having Art Deco/Art Moderne design elements, and considered to be notable.
- Waterworks Building
Manistee has a historic downtown with many original buildings from the Victorian era. The entire Downtown District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are a good variety of retail stores in Manistee, many of which are locally owned and operated.
Government and infrastructure
- Over 40 charter fishing boats operate on Lake Michigan from Manistee County ports.
- Fishing in the Manistee River can yield salmon and steelhead.
- Because a large portion of the county is public land, hunting is popular.
- Filmmaker Michael Moore visited Manistee in February 2011 to support the restoration of the Vogue Theatre in downtown Manistee.
The Manistee Saints are a semi-professional baseball team that have called Manistee home since 1934. Their home games are at Rietz Park in Manistee. Formerly, the Manistee Colts and the Manistee Champs played in the Michigan State League, a minor league baseball league.
There are many golf courses located around the city of Manistee.
- Manistee National Golf and Resort
- Manistee Country Club
- Fox Hills Golf Course
- Heathlands Golf Course
- Bear Lake County Highlands
- Fawn Crest Golf Course
- Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course
- Crystal Mountain
- Caberfae Peaks Ski & Golf Resort
There are also two ski resorts near the city of Manistee.
- James Madison Elementary (DayCare, Pre-School, K), Manistee Area Public Schools
- Thomas Jefferson Elementary (1-2), Manistee Area Public Schools
- Trinity Lutheran School (K-8), Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Private School
- John F. Kennedy Elementary (Location of Former Middle School) (3-5), Manistee Area Public Schools
- Casman Alternative Academy (7-12), Provides an alternative education for those in Manistee County and surrounding areas.
- Manistee High/Middle School (6-12), Manistee Area Public Schools, Class B/Division 3 ; Division 5 (Football) in sports
- Manistee Catholic Central School (K-12), Roman Catholic private school, Class D/Division 4 ; Division 8 (Football)
- George Washington Elementary (K-6), Manistee Area Public Schools
- Abraham Lincoln Elementary (K-6), Manistee Area Public Schools
- John F. Kennedy Elementary (Parkdale Location) (4-6), Manistee Area Public Schools
- Guardian Angels Schools (7-12), Catholic Church School
- St. Joseph Schools (K-12), Catholic Church School
- Newland Academy (6-12), School (Type Unknown) (formerly "Lake Bluff Academy")
- Tomaszewski Country School (K-8), School (One Room Country School)Closed 1959/60 Students moved to Parkdale School
- Union School (?-?), School (Type Unknown)
- Woodrow Wilson Elementary (?-?), Manistee Area Public Schools
- Manistee is served by Manistee County Blacker Airport (IATA: MBL, ICAO: KMBL, FAA LID: MBL), approximately three miles (4.8 km) northeast of the city. Since May 2012, Public Charters offers non-stop scheduled flights  to and from Chicago Midway International Airport.
- US 31 traverses the heart of Manistee, running southerly toward Ludington and northerly toward Traverse City.
- M-55 begins just northeast of Manistee and proceeds easterly across the Lower Peninsula to Tawas City.
- M-22 begins a bit further northeast of Manistee 
- Dave Campbell, baseball player and sportscaster
- Byron M. Cutcheon, Civil War veteran and winner of the Medal of Honor, Congressman, attorney, and postmaster
- Fred W. Green, Governor of Michigan, 1927–1931
- Nels Johnson and his business of Century tower clocks
- James Earl Jones, actor, first began acting at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee
- Edward Kozlowski, Polish-American priest, later Bishop of Milwaukee
- Michael J. Malik, Sr., developer
- Harry W. Musselwhite, politician and newspaper publisher
- Harriet Quimby, first licensed American woman aviator, was born in nearby Arcadia Township
- Rasmus Rasmussen (merchant), lumberman and merchant
- Olaf Swenson, fur trader, adventurer, and author
- Robert Pershing Wadlow, the world's tallest man in medical history died at the Hotel Chippewa in Manistee on July 15, 1940.
- Toni Trucks, actor, first began acting at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee
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- Books on Google Play Appletons' Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events, Volume 17 (D. Appleton & Company ed.). D. Appleton & Company. p. 114. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
In 1751 a Jesuit mission was established here, but the first actual white settlement took place in 1841, when a sawmill was built.
- Helen Hornbeck Tanner. Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987) p. 165.
- Powers, Perry F., and Cutler, Harry Gardner (1912). A History of Northern Michigan and Its People, pp. 374-75. Lewis Publishing Company.
- HISTORY OF MANISTEE COUNTY, MICHIGAN With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Men and Pioneers. H.R. Page & Co., Chicago. 1882. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
In 1846 it was attached to Ottawa County, and the county offices were at Grand Haven, and there was also the nearest justice of the peace. Matrimony, in those days,was a serious matter, and attended with no little trouble. There was no one nearer than Grand Haven or Milwaukee authorized to speak the magic words so charming to the ear, and a trip of ninety miles by canoe, or on foot, was an excursion of considerable magnitude. In 1851 the county was attached to Oceana, county seat at Middlesex, and in 1853 attached to Grand Traverse, to which it remained attached until the Spring of 1855, when it was organized and raised to the honorable dignity of local sovereignty. Prior to 1855, Manistee, Wexford and Missaukee Counties comprised one township, or rather, they were embraced in the township organization of Manistee town.
- H. R. Page & Co. (1882). "The Great Fire of 1871". History of Manistee County, Michigan. Chicago: H. R. Page & Co.
- Charter of the City of Manistee, Michigan (1904).
- "Manistee woman cleared in racial slur case". Luddington Daily News. 11-06-2002. p. A3. Check date values in:
- Paul Craig Roberts (2002-11-14). "Costly immigration". The Washington Times.
- Spiros Gallos (2002-11-30). "Manistee woman still sour over 'insulting words' conviction". Luddington Daily News. p. A3.
- Suprynowicz, Vin (01-05-2003). "Jailed for speaking her mind". Las Vegas Review-Journal. p. 2E. Check date values in:
- Karen Schwallie (18 January 2006). "Wrens Cottage - Manistee Lighthouse".
- "Climate - Manistee Michigan - Climate Graph". U.S. Climate Data. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
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- "Manistee is yours to discover".
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- Historic Arcadia Archived 2008-01-24 at the Wayback Machine.
- Mokofsky, Colton. "Armory Youth Project, former National Guard armory in Manistee turned into place for kids". Daily News.
- Brian Allen. "Manistee Audubon".
- Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary at Pure Michigan.
- "Bird Sanctuaries : Lansing, Michigan : Birding Trips". Archived from the original on 2010-09-19.
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- "Manistee Area Genealogical and Historical Societies".
- "Manistee Fire Hall Marker".
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- Ramsdell Theatre. Archived 2006-12-21 at the Wayback Machine.
- Manistee Art Institute at Ramsdell Theatre. Archived 2000-09-02 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Visit Manistee Michigan - Manistee County Travel Information".
- "S.S. City of Milwaukee - Site of the S.S. City of Milwaukee and the Coast Guard Cutter Acacia".
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- "Vogue Theatre".
- Waterworks Building and Museum, AAA, Michigan.
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- "Welcome to the Manistee Area Charterboat Association".
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- Braciszewski, Kevin. (March 31, 1998) Manistee County School has New Name, Ludington Daily News.
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- Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Bibliography for Manistee County.
- Shannon McRae, Images of America: Manistee County (2003)
- Curran N. Russell and Dona Degen Baer, The Lumberman's Legacy (1954)
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