BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF MANISTEE
HISTORY OF MANISTEE COUNTY, MICHIGAN
With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
of Some of Its Men and Pioneers.
Published 1882 by H.R. Page & Co., Chicago
A very correct and comprehensive review of the commercial interests of the city of Manistee was published in the columns of the Manistee Times the first of June, 1873, and is as follows:
"Manistee City is located on the east shore of Lake Michigan, about seventy miles north of Grand Haven, 130 west of Saginaw, and ninety-six miles south of Northport. It is within eight hours ride of Milwaukee by steamer, and is on the direct line of trade by the lake, between Chicago, Milwaukee and the East.
"The city is located on both sides of the Manistee River, and between Manistee Lake and Lake Michigan. The river between the two lakes flows to the west, and is one mile and a half long, and navigable for vessels and steamers drawing from eight to twelve feet of water. It has a current of three miles an hour, and is never closed by ice, floating or otherwise.
lies east of the city, extending south and westward nearly five miles; it is about a half a mile wide, of pure water, and has high banks of sand and clay, beautifully situated for building purposes. The water is of great depth, and affords almost unlimited harbor and commercial facilities. There are four villages outside of Manistee City proper, and on the banks of the small lake, as follows: Filer City and Paggeottville, containing about 400 inhabitants each; Rietzville and Sandsville, containing about 200 inhabitants each.
"The city proper contains about 5,000 inhabitants. Its business center is half way from lake to lake, and in the geographical center of the city. The city is divided into four wards. The First Ward embraces that part lying north of the river, the Second Ward that part south of the river and west of Maple Street; the Third Ward extends from Maple street to Lake Manistee and south to Fifth Street; the Fourth Ward lies east of Maple Street, south of Fifth Street, and extends to the border of the little lake, taking in the thriving settlement known as Maxwell town.
"The New Iron Bridge
across the river on Maple Street, is completed, at a cost of about $18,000, and if far superior to the wooden structure destroyed by the great fire of October 8, 1871.
"The soil in the First Ward is mostly of sand or sandy loam. The Second and Third Wards are principally located on good clay loam soil, which is excellent for garden purposes. The country around the city is generally good for farming purposes. Wheat is never Winter-killed, and fruit of all kinds does well, especially pears, plums, peaches and apples, as the mercury seldom touches zero, and never goes far below that point. The river and harbor is always free from ice, and never subject to overflow. The timber of the county consists largely of beech, maple, ash, pine, hemlock and cedar, growing very large and thrifty. Timber land can be bought at about $3 to $15 per acre. City lots bring from $100 to $15,000 each.
"The Large Manistee River
affords excellent water communication with the interior, being navigable for about 200 miles, extending through one of the finest belts of pine timber in the state. The Little Manistee River flows from the southeast and empties into Manistee Lake. It affords floatage for logs a distance of about eighty miles, and excellent water-power at different points near its mouth.
"There are in the city and vicinity some twenty first-class sawmills, with a capacity of about 100,000 feet of lumber each, and there is actually cut and shipped from Manistee about 159,000,000 feet each year.
"There is a daily line of steamers connecting with lines to Chicago, Milwaukee and most of the lake ports; a tri-weekly line direct to Milwaukee, and two steamers daily connecting with the cars at Pentwater.
"Three Lines of Telegraph
are already established: One south to Muskegon, Grand Rapids, and east and south; one north to Frankfort, and a line between Stronach and this city. Three lines of
are contemplated, and one or more will probably be completed soon. A line from Reed City would be but forty-eight miles long, and would give first-class connections in every direction, and one extending twenty-four miles south would form a connection with the Flint & P.M.R.R. And the route east on the up river line is pressed with must earnestness. Certainly railroad men will not long delay to avail themselves to the extensive trade of our young city. We have one of the finest
Union School Buildings
in the state, which, with three ward schools, affords educational facilities seldom equaled in a city the size of Manistee.
"There are five church buildings of good size and appearance, and one, the Congregational, is a very fine brick structure that would do credit to a much older and wealthier town than Manistee.
The water and atmosphere of Manistee are as pure and healthy as any in the world. We have all the advantages of a Lake Superior climate, without its extreme cold or remote location. With Lake Michigan on the west, deep in its crystal beauty, offering a pathway for the commerce of the world, cheaper than iron horse ever followed, and more enduring than rails of steel; while Manistee Lake and rivers stretch away into the interior, offering water communication through a country rich in resources and fertile for cultivation. The city is extremely inviting to those desiring such a location, and affords one of the most promising opportunities for the investment of capital that could be desired.
"It has been less than two years since
The Great Fire
of October 8, 1871, swept over half of our beautiful city from the face of the earth. At that time we had less than 3,500 inhabitants, but yet from the ashes business houses and homes have sprung up, until last season the school census of the city proved a population of over 4,400, and now we have about 5,000. And all this after the terrible visitation of the fire fiend, and in the face of the thousand and one discouragements produced by the fire, and it is safe to predict that the city will number 10,000 inhabitants inside of five years.
"Sawmill And Lumber Interests.
"First at the entrance of the harbor is found the mill of John Canfield. It is on the site of the oldest mill in the place, and is sheeted with iron from smoke-stack to foundation, and has a capacity of about 100,000 feet each eleven hours. Three mills have been burnt down on this site, which is just at the delta of the river; hence the efforts to make this as near fire-proof as possible.
"Tyson & Sweet's new mill is located in the Third Ward on the little lake, and it is designed to take the place of two mills burned down where this now stands. It has a capacity of 150,000 feet. Then comes the other mill of Tyson & Sweet, which is a first-class mill, and has a capacity of 100,000. Across the river, in the First Ward, is the mill of Messrs. Cushman, Calkins & Co., built on the ashes of the one burned in the great fire. Capacity, 100,000 feet.
"Green & Milmoe's new mill, at the north end of Manistee Lake, was built in the stead of their mill burned down in the city. It has a capacity of 100,000 feet each eleven hours.
"Magill & Canfield's, on the east side of the lake, has a capacity of 90,000. This is a new mill, built on the site of one destroyed by the great fire.
"Shrigley & Canfield's mill has a capacity of 50,000 feet.
"Louis Sands new mill has a capacity of 100,000 feet, and has one of the best whistles in the state. It has been heard over twenty miles.
"It is estimated that nearly 200,000,000 feet of lumber will be shipped from this port during the season.
LIST OF BUSINESS HOUSES AND PLACES OF BUSINESS
In this list we cannot attempt to give the names of streets, but commence at the west end of South River Street, which runs parallel with the river and the harbor, and extends from lake to lake, a distance of over a mile and a half.
William B. CRIPPEN's foundry and machine shop
"There were one or two omisions in the above list which the editor subsequently corrects as follows:
"The blocks thus omitted were the fine, large brick blocks on the corner of maple and River Streets. The first, that of Messrs. Lucas & Nungesser, is the best brick block in the city, and contains the extensive furniture ware rooms of LUCAS & NUNGESSER, the elegant new drug store of W.E. SHORT & Co., the law office of A.V. McALVAY, the restaurant of HORNKOHL & CONROD. The other, that of Messrs. CUSHMAN, CALKINS & Co., contains their extensive mercantile establishment, on the south side of the river, and the merchant tailor rooms of Wilkes EDWARDS. Messrs. Cushman, Calkins & Co. probably sell more dry goods at retail than any other firm in the city."
There are in constant service and belonging to Manistee harbor nine tugs and steamers, as follows:
"The Custom House books show that in the first twenty days of this month, there were 126 arrivals and departures at this port, and 225 since the opening of navigation.