A Brief History
An 1830 map
showed a Menominee Indian village at the mouth of the Menominee River, spelled "Minikani,"
but local historians say it was the site of an Indian village long
before that. According to The
Romance of Wisconsin Place Names, Menekaunee translated literally
means "where the lodges are," or "the village."
on the low
lying bay shore was at one time an incorporated village, but was later annexed to the City of Marinette as the
swampy areas along the river were filed in with sawmill wastes and built up.
The area is sometimes referred to as "East Marinette."
The old town was
settled by French Canadians,
Swedes, Norwegians, and Germans who were employed primarily in fishing
and associated trades established at the mouth of the river.
have spoken of Menekaunee as a "tough" place with too many
taverns, and called it "fishtown." Once upon a time, perhaps
the strongest insult a man could bestow upon a woman from the Marinette
area was to call her a "Menekaunee fish wife." The people who
lived there were also sometimes disparagingly referred to as
Regardless of what
those from the West side of town may have thought of them, the people of
Menekaunee formed a true community with a heritage of bonding to be
envied by many other towns. A list of nicknames posted at a recent
"Old Timers" reunion is some evidence of the close-knit
relationships formed by this multi-ethnic group: Coal Pile Annie, Pembine Jack, Frog Eye, Necktie
Dick, One Eye Mollie, and Jellybean Olson.
See the section on
Fishing from the Marinette County Centennial
History for additional references to Menekaunee.
Gard, Robert, and L.G. Soren. The Romance of Wisconsin Place
Names. Minocqua, Wis.: 1988.
"Menekaunee Old Timers Picnic A
Grand Reunion," The Peshtigo Times, Wednesday, August 2, 2000. Page