Manistee County

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Between 1860 and 1900, some say, Michigan lumber made more fortunes than California gold. Many of those fortunes were made in Manistee. Home to hardworking, self-made millionaires, Manistee also became a thriving cultural center, with elegant architecture, theatrical performances, and intellectual societies that debated the issues of the day. Steamers and schooners brought tourists across Lake Michigan to stroll the grand streets, relax on the beaches of Onekama's Portage Point Inn, or attend the latest play at the Ramsdell Theater. Manistee County also offered opportunities for America's newest immigrants. Drawn by the promise of land and economic opportunity, the new arrivals established communities in the city and surrounding townships. For some of these settlers, such as the Finns who founded Kaleva or the small religious community of Brethren, Manistee County held the promise of utopia. When the lumber era ended, Manistee County reinvented itself, replacing sawmills and lumberyards with salt wells, hydroelectric dams, and power plants. As it continued to draw tourists from across the lake and along newly built roads, Manistee County entered the modern age with a vibrant future to match its fascinating history.
ISBN: 9780738541242
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Michigan
Series: Images of America
Images: 200
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Shannon McRae, a Michigan native and descendant of Manistee pioneers, is an assistant professor of English at the State University of New York at Fredonia who specializes in early-20th-century literature and history. Working closely with the Manistee County Historical Museum, several other local heritage centers, and many citizens of Manistee who generously offered their time and expertise, she has assembled the images they have provided in order to preserve their stories.
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